While the pleasure of unplanned events happening randomly and with successful enjoyment is not to be denied, a planned trip assures every traveler the same enjoyment. Not to forget, there is a certain sense of happiness in ticking boxes and stepping closer to your goal. Every traveler must maintain a list of the most important things that will make your trip tick all the boxes of happiness, relaxation and fulfillment.
Here is a checklist to allow for the smooth functioning of travel planning.
No two words are as important as these when it comes to travel, international or domestic. Unfortunately, the world isn’t still one big land mass and entry into countries still requires the formalities of passing numerous checks and verifications. Make this easier on yourself and detail the documents you’d need at every stage of arrival. Passport is the first document for verification – make sure that the passport’s validity as is the visa of the country of travel is updated and cover the days of travel. If you are a resident of a country different from that of origin, you must also make sure your host country’s identity verification documents are covered, as well.
Hotels and Flights
Most countries request for the detailed itinerary of your visit, including the payment details and your financial resources to make sure you are able to go to and fro from the country after the granted period. The proof of this lies in your hotel and flight bookings as well. Keep these in handy and registered from a trusted travel agent or by yourself, after due checks.
Some countries do not need a travel visa from your origin country – find out if this is applicable in your case. Other have visa-on-arrival, reduced procedures or different procedures for different countries. It will do you good to keep yourself informed on all these parameters.
Make sure a few close friends and/or family members have copies of your passport and travel itinerary so that they know where and how to reach you for an emergency. You can also save this information for your own emergencies, in case asked for by authorities.
Always make sure you have digital or physical photocopies of all your relevant documents – it is good to have proof and information regarding the same even if you lose the original.
Prepare like an Exam
As it is always, it shouldn’t be difficult to dig up information on interesting topics and be aware of a detailed itinerary. You could be a traveler of different origins – the detailed 9-5 pm traveler, the paper guide-on-the-road, the traveler-guide person or even someone who simply walks along and allows experiences to come to them. Do read about the country you are visiting and gain interesting insights, rituals that may be welcomes or be considered offensive, places you may like to see or the interesting historical background. It never hurts to learn how to say basic phrases in the local language and be aware of your clothing.
Purchasing bills – physical
Commonly known as money, you can’t have enough of this. Physical cash is always a good option – keep this in the form of domestic, of the country you are travelling to and some handy US dollars. Metaphorically, but this also applies literally when you are traveling to another country.
Purchasing power – plastic
Credit cards are a good option but do not go overboard when perceiving a false image of limitless financing. They will come back as nightmares and haunt you on a rainy day. Also, make sure that your credit card companies are duly warned of this travel so that none of your purchases are declined due to suspicious circumstances. Keep yourself aware of international transaction fees if you need to get physical money off the ATM. Multiple cards is a good emergency back-up option.
Get yourself checked
We mean a health check-up. It is a good process to make sure that you don’t have any complications before travel or your existing ailments are not causing more trouble than they are. Stock up on the required medicines; it doesn’t hurt to carry extra, at the least not small strips of medicine.
This is definitely an overlooked category, with the way people freely walk ahead of huge posters at airports repeatedly questioning you of the same. Study carefully on the vaccinations you may require during your travel and build a schedule to get them as early as possible so that it starts to be effective immediately. Vaccine protocol differs in different countries and officials will verify if you have the recommended vaccinations if you have been to potential risk areas.
Make sure to pack comfortable dresses and pack them in a sturdy bag. Flexibility, breathability, increasing or decreasing layers according to the weather of the country – these are all for you to confirm in possession. Have a travel bag for toting your most important essentials around with you and as a dumping ground for water and snacks.
This amounts to covering up your tracks and building Plans B and C for the Plan A. All of this again translates to travel insurance. You cannot predict what may or may not happen during your travels and it is always best to be prepared to the hilt. Even hotel and flight cancellations should have insurance – imagine being stranded in an unknown land, knowing none of the survival skills required. Avoid such a situation to the best of your capabilities.
Remind yourself of your health condition and take precautions accordingly.
This includes ensuring your mobile package covers the possibility of covering international calls, emergency or otherwise, and other services you may require. This might cover data as well. Download any offline maps you might consider to be useful. Download small sources of entertainment that doesn’t require to be connected to the Wi-Fi at all times. Remember to keep note of the nearest embassy of your home country.
Keep up the juice
Always remember, to stay connected, you need to be alive. Yes, we are pointing towards your chargers. All of this and if you have no charge – that will make for the first disappointment.
We will cover some essentials but do not forget; a lot depends on the country you’re visiting. Account for that as well. Besides that you will need your passport, visa (both covering the dates you are traveling and the required period recommended by authorities), cash (of all forms, cards and physical), your charger, headphones and eye-mask (because, comfort), adapters for the country you are travelling to, comfortable shoes and dresses, your medicines, baby wipes (never question this), a pen (never question this either) and a sweater (because you always feel cold when you never bring one). All toiletries should be in regulation-approved bottles or sachets.