Before Leaving for an Unfamiliar Country
Okay, so the travel bug bit you. And not just any ordinary travel bug. Archievald have a check-list to consider before you travel. This bug bit you hard and you are left wanting to explore a really unfamiliar country. Exotic locales, mouth-watering cheap cuisine, friendly people and a great adventure are among your expectations. You can’t wait to get to the plane and travel to a wonderful city.
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But wait! Before you travel to your destination, stop for a while and consider these things:
- Search the net for relevant news. These days, it pays to be prepared. Archievald usually do this tip. Knowing the social climate of the country you’re about to travel and would help you to plan your itinerary. Knowing the landscape would help you avoid making mistakes. Knowing the lay of the land would help you enjoy your stay. You don’t want to book a flight to an exotic locale and then land in the middle of a politically instigated riot, do you?
- Get a guidebook. Try to familiarize yourself with the scene. Get an idea of what to expect once you’ve landed. Will you be able to pursue adventures? Or will you be just walking about the city square? Travel with guidebooks. Guidebooks also contain helpful phrases so get a feel for the language.
- Secure your documents. Make sure you have your passport and other identification documents ready before you travel. Make sure you have electronic and hard copies of everything. Should there be a need to verify your identity after you lost your papers, you’ll be able to produce them easily. Nerdy as it may seem, a traveler’s pouch might come in handy to secure your papers. Archievald usually secure documents to prevent unintended verifications.
- Secure your visa. Some countries need a stamped visa before you enter the territory. Some don’t. Find out about it and act accordingly. Secure your visa before you Travel. It would be a downer if you would have to be detained for not having proper permission, right?
- Talk to your government. Basically, notify your embassy that you’re going to the place so if something happens they know where you are and can act within their protocol.
- Get travel insurance and shots. Traveling abroad is a risky proposition most of the times so it pays to have travel insurance handy. Confirm with your insurer if you are covered when traveling overseas. Get supplemental insurance if you’re not covered and then get yourself inoculated for your protection.
- Talk to your Bank. Notify your bank through their front-liners that you’ll be traveling overseas and you’ll be using your cards for some purchases. This is to ensure that your cards won’t be declined when you purchase something so far away from your usual haunts. You don’t want to be stuck without the power of your plastic, right?
- Be money-wise. Find out the conversion rates so you won’t get screwed. Archievald usually research the cost of travel in advance. Prepare a stash of local currency so you would blend in and avoid getting scammed. Find out if your bank has working ATMs in your destination and if your credit card(s) would be accepted. Trust us, you don’t want to get stuck penniless, whether you’re in Timbuktu or in Japan or wherever you may be.
- Find out about local events and customs. You can ask about the local events and plan on building your itinerary around them. You should also get to know the local customs because you don’t want to inadvertently insult the locals and get yourself in trouble.
- Book your accommodations in advance. Whether you choose to stay in a luxurious suite or in a cheap hostel, you should book your accommodations in advance so you’ll have a place to stay after you arrive. Nothing beats resting after a long flight and a bumpy drive from the airport. You’ll get to recharge your batteries for whatever activities lay before you.
- Find out about the voltage and bring adapters. You’d be in a bad mood if you cannot charge your phone or get juice on your curler early in the morning. Find out about the voltage and bring the necessary travel adapters with you. They do not weigh much and you’ll be able to plug in as soon as you need it.
- Have a loosely scheduled itinerary. Plan your itinerary in such a way that you can adapt it as easily as possible. You need to enjoy and explore the sights on your own terms, without the pressure of following the rest of the crowd. You can alter your itinerary to include sudden activities you might find interesting.
- Find out about the customs office and the different fees. Find out what are considered contrabands in your destination and for crying out loud don’t bring them. You’ll be in trouble with the law even before you can officially step foot on their soil. Find out if the country also needs fees to let you go and plan accordingly.
These are some of the considerations that you have to make even before booking that flight of your dream travel. Yes, you’re looking for fun and adventure but you have to make sure everything else is in order first before you can go.
So, scratch that itch that the travel bug gave you. Prepare for that wonderful excursion to that you’ve dreamt about and get these things in order.