In the many years I have existed on this planet, I have traveled a lot. I the last thirty years, I have traveled to different parts of Europe, Asia, and the United States. I do love to travel, and I plan to continue to do so for as long as I live. Nonetheless, I have learned quite a lot about what can make a trip overseas challenging and stressful and what one can do to alleviate that stress and make it enjoyable and exciting instead.
Here are three tips I would like to share with you to help you stay more organized on your next trip overseas. I hope these tips come in handy for first time travelers.
Do the research
If there is one recommendation I could make to any one who is considering traveling abroad, that is to do thorough research on the country you plan to visit, if possible your research should ideally include the cities you plan to visit as well. Multiple options are available for research, and don’t forget the people closest to you, your friends, relatives, neighbors, could be a great resource in itself. Aside from that, there is the internet and google, you can find virtually anything you want just by typing it in the search option. You can visit your local bookstore, where you will find a ton of travel guides as well, which you can use on the go, while in the city/country of travel as well.
Spend some time doing the research, taking notes of all the relevant information you will need, and that should set you up for a joyful and stress free trip.
Create an outline for day to day activities
Once you have done your research, and have scheduled your flights, and have all the ground work complete, congratulations, you have made it to your destination!! What will make your sightseeing and travels stress free and more enjoyable is a proper itinerary. Now, when I say itinerary, I don’t mean your flight itinerary, although, it is probably a good idea to have that on you at all times while traveling, but, I mean an outline for your day to day activities while you are at your destination.
A good way to go about setting this up is to just surf the internet, or go through your guide book, to make a list of places you would like to visit (monuments, museums, botanical gardens, historical sites etc.) in that city. Once you have a list, then you can try to find out public transportation, commute time, admissions fees, and coordinate from your hotel to all these sights realistically. For example, if you are in Rome for three nights and four days, you can schedule possibly three attractions a day, based on distance from one another, and total time spent at each attraction. You also need to account for food and water since you may be walking a lot.
You can plan your day to day activities out either before you leave or when you get to the hotel and your destination. The font desk can usually help you make arrangements for tour guides and provide any information you may need including transportation and fees involved as well. You may want to befriend the hotel staff while on your trip as they will be a huge source information.
Make a check-list
Last but not least, make a check-list of all items you plan to carry on your trip, and be as detailed as possible. Don’t over pack, but just make sure you have a list so that you can check it twice (pun intended), before you leave as well as for your return trip. Make sure you carry the essentials such as travel size toiletries, books, cell phone, chargers for the cell phone as well as any camera, or camcorders you plan to carry with you. Make sure you keep a spare battery and/or SD cards for your electronic items well, the last thing you need on a trip overseas is a camera with a full SD Card, and inability to take beautiful pictures, you will curse yourself throughout the trip.
Also make sure you read the proper guidelines for the flight you plan to take, these days due to all the heightened security, the rules have become very strict as to how many carry on bags you can carry with you, as well as the size of accessories you plan to carry with you, so be aware of that and pack accordingly. The last thing you need is getting through the security check and being stopped due to not following the rules and having to throw out half the things you planned to take with you back and forth. Last but not least, currency, carry enough with you so that you get the best exchange rate for your trip and have cash on hand when you arrive at your destination.