Travel – whether for business or pleasure – always comes with a few pitfalls: long wait times and line ups at the airport; unexpected changes in the weather; a smaller-than-expected hotel room.
With some advanced planning, you can ensure that everything within your control can be managed, and make every trip a pleasant one!
1) When packing for a getaway, make sure you have the following items in a carry-on bag:
- an extra set of undergarments and an extra pair of socks
- an extra t-shirt
- a toothbrush and toothpaste, extra contact lenses and any other essential toiletries
- any guidebooks, maps or language books you require for your stay
If your other luggage is lost at the end of your journey, you’ll at least have some things to get you by. Remember that most airlines don’t give much in the way of reimbursement for lost bags, so don’t get caught away from home without what you need!
2) Avoid jetlag by planning an overnight flight. You can sleep while you travel and wake up to a new day in a new place.
3) Rent or purchase guide videos to learn about your destination; by seeing the locations rather than simply reading about them, you’ll feel familiar with your new surroundings, and more at ease.
4) Learn the following phrases in the most commonly spoken language of your destination:
- “Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to ________ (name of your lodging here)?”
- “What time do you close/open?”
- “Excuse me, where is the nearest pharmacy?”
- “Please” and “thank you”
These are phrases you’re bound to use during your stay and learning them will help you plan, manage and enjoy your trip.
5) Renting a car while you travel is often a great way to get around; be sure to research the rules of the road, though. Find out what certain signs indicate, the speed limit of major routes, and anything else that will help you avoid getting ticketed or towed.
6) In some countries, the tip on meals is included in cheque’s total. Find out if this applies where you are staying, and avoid paying to much (or too little) after you eat.
7) Don’t carry your passport with you when you’re out and about; make a photocopy of the information and carry that instead – keep your original passport in your hotel’s safe.
8) Don’t overpack! Learn the weight restrictions of your airline before packing to ensure you’re not charged at the airport. If you plan on shopping on your trip, leave space for new items. This is often the main reason for weight overage charges.
9) Research any museums or galleries you plan to visit before you leave; many have reduced (or free) admission on particular days or certain times.
10) Order your Brightroam SIM or international phone as soon as you can to make sure it arrives on time. Don’t suffer the surprise of high roaming fees – plan ahead and get ready to roam!