There’s always the thrill of everyone’s first travel. It can be intimidating but it is an experience worth trying.
Like clockwork on the paperwork
Get the must-haves out of the way first. Before day dreaming about your destination and itinerary the first thing to pay attention to are the required travel documents.
International travel depending on the country requires tourist visas as well as passports with expiry dates no shorter than 6 months from your day of departure. Check these details to avoid the any issues with immigration.
Securing your flight dates should be much simpler these days compared to the past decade. There are numerous of mobile apps to make selection and purchase of flights quick and easy plus there are features that show cheap flights for budget-travellers.
Prepare up to three government-issued IDs as well as medical certificates for pregnant women and for travellers who need to take larger volumes of medicine such as insulin for diabetics. Baggage security will need to see these documents during luggage check-ins.
Finally, get travel insurance that covers all your destinations. For some countries, Visas can only be granted if the traveler has the required travel insurance amount coverage.
Smart tip: Email a copy of all your documents to yourself in case you lose any of them.
What’s in your bag?
Pack smart and check for prohibited items (e.g. Don’t bring gum to Singapore). Mind the weight of your luggage and if you plan on purchasing a good amount of souvenirs and goods you may want to bring an extra bag or purchase one before returning.
Some ways to maximize storage in your bag are:
- Vacuum sealing
- Removing boxed items from their packaging (if possible)
- Roll clothes tightly instead of piling them flat
- Choose one versatile outerwear instead of bringing three
A good time to be thrifty and a good time to indulge
It’s impossible to do away with horror stories of tourists who run out of money while on vacation. The danger even heightens for first-time travelers and solo backpackers. One should never make the mistake of a limited and exact budget for the itinerary. It is possible to set a specific amount on less important items like gifts and souvenirs, but never for the essentials like food and lodging. The best way to do this is to always overestimate expenses for everything. It would certainly be better to have financial excess by the end of the trip, but never a deficit.
Call your bank to make sure there won’t be issues with ATM withdrawals or credit card use.
Travel insurance works wonders
The irony in insurance is that people buy them in hopes that they won’t ever need them. Some people say that getting insurance is a waste of money but in reality the losses are higher for people who travel without one. Should anything happen to you like loss of luggage or medical emergencies, you’ll have peace of mind that you will be cared for and compensated.
Be one with the destination
Taste the local cuisine. Engage with the locals. While there is nothing wrong with going to tourist spots, ask a trusted local for a better recommendation. Be wary of tourist traps and enjoy the moment without thinking about posting it immediately on social media. Travel for the experience and not just for the photos.