Ok so I have my airline ticket ,Visa and itinerary and an idea of what I need to pack but is this it? Truthfully no, there is lots to do besides your actual packing before you head off to the airport. All flights be it local or international require some sort of preparation.Having a travel plan in place is essential insuring everything goes smoothly.
For international flights there is loads more to consider and plan that needs to be done in advance.Over my countless flights I have got a checklist that I go through every single time I travel and I must admit my travel plan is flop proof.
Ten things to help you plan your travels besides pack :
- Get Travel insurance very important in case of unexpected dramas like lost luggage and missed flights and illness cover.Some credit card companies offer you travel insurance if you buy your ticket with your card. Banks as well as your Travel agent will provide you with options. Once this is sorted make sure you print copies for you to pack into your hand luggage ,main luggage ,give copies to your family and email yourself copies of everything.
- Call your Medical Aid company and inform them that you will be travelling. They will require the exact dates of travel and your destination. Once all this information has been updated on the system you will be emailed a copy of your Medical Insurance cover in case of an emergency and what is covered. Print copies of these as well as make copies of your Medical Aid Card to carry with you.Make sure you have read the terms and conditions of your medical cover.It is important to keep your medical card on you incase of an emergency.
- Credit Cards that you will be taking with you will need authorisation from your home country. This is essential to prevent your card from been stopped while using it abroad. Here again your exact travel dates and destination need to be given. It is a good idea to carry a credit card in case of an emergency. In some cases withdrawing cash money from your credit card and making purchases by swiping give you a better rate. It is important to all write down the necessary numbers to call in case of loss or theft of credit card.
- A notebook is a must have when travelling. Keep details of Hotels and next of kin details. All make a list of all the things you want to see and do at your destination.
- Activate the SMS international roaming on your phone. This will help you keep track of your spending each time you swipe your card. With free WiFi in literally most parts of the world one really doest not need to get a sim card to keep in contact with family and friends back home.
- Get supplies of any chronic medication that you take as well as normal meds like painkillers and allergy tablets. Keep meds in original packaging so if you do get stopped by customs officials it is easy to identify what the meds are. For chronic medication is it advisable to get a letter from your Doctor for the above same reasons.
- Foreign Exchange do not leave it for lastminute.com. You can only do this once you have booked your ticket. Monitor the exchange rates, look at the various agencies including your bank. Most agencies offer a card which is like a Debit Card preloaded with your money.It is also a good idea to carry a small amount of cash in the local currency of your destination.
- Mail yourself everything ! scan copies of your tickets , accommodation, visas , passports , credit cards and email them to yourself. Create a folder on your email account for all these documents. Also leave a set of copies of everything with someone reliable back home should you need this information.
- Research your destination. Find out of eating out , know the weather and even learn how to say hello , goodbye and thank you. The locals love when tourists make an effort. Important to find out about the voltage and what kind of plug points are used.
- Keep a list of things to do before you go and tick off as you do each one. Include what you need to pack as well.
I hope these tips help you prepare and plan for your travels. Do you have do anything else before a trip ?
Be Inspired !