Traveling abroad can be one of the most pleasurable, exciting, and memorable events in your lifetime. There is a lot of information available on how to make your trip well-organized, secure, and trouble-free. Still, we would like to sum up for you some of the most essential and useful advice that will help you have a great and unforgettable holiday.
1. A few days before your travel, make a copy of all necessary documents you will need (a passport or ID, a driving license, visas, tickets, reservations, insurances, etc.). Leave all redundant daily documents at home (e.g., your metro pass, employee or library card, keys to the office, credit cards you are not planning to use, etc.). The night before your departure, make sure all of these documents are packed and kept in a secure place that is easy for you to reach.
2. Prepare a small medical record that includes information about your general health, such as blood type, allergies, or any problematic conditions, list of medications you are taking, name and contact details of your GP. It is always advisable to have travel insurance that also covers individual medical costs, as well as apply for the free EHIC card if you will be visiting countries part of the EU. Consult with your GP on any medications you are planning to take with you and if any immunizations or checks are necessary before the travel.
3. Decide in advance a proper way to handle your daily expenses and check if it will be possible to use credit or debit cards, cheques, or ATMs at your destination. Inform your bank of the length of your travel and that you might use your cards abroad. It is always advisable to exchange some of the local currency in advance and get acquainted with the acceptable exchange rates.
4. Pack lightly and smart. Online you can find several useful video clips that will help you make the most of your suitcase and give you some extra free space. In order to fit into the usual baggage allowances of the air carriers, you might try little tricks such as choosing parts of different outfits (blouses, shorts, t-shirts) that could be easily combined with one another, instead of taking several ready outfits. Avoid taking clothes that tend to wrinkle easily, and do not forget a pair of comfortable shoes. Keep in mind that some necessities, such as shampoo, toothpaste, soap, etc. can be bought when you arrive at your destination.
5. Remember to take some zip lock bags with you. They will not only help you easily store your dirty laundry and separate it from the rest of your luggage but can also be used to keep delicate items such as souvenirs or books intact.
6. It is essential to think beforehand for your money and document safety. To minimize the potential risks of theft, buy a front-pocket wallet that is usually hard to get to or a belt with a secret compartment, where you can store all your valuables. Coins and cash should be kept in a separate purse so that you can easily pay for a small snack or a bottle of water.
7. If you are traveling with several pieces of luggage, remember to properly mark them, so that they can be effortlessly recognized and identified. It is advisable to use luggage tags that will not reveal your details to everyone at a glance, such as specially designed ones that feature a cover, which protects the information written beneath.
8. The airport security rules and obligations, considering hand luggage can be changed frequently. Even if you are a frequent traveler, it is necessary to re-check again before your departure what will be expected from you as a passenger, especially when it comes to airport security in your country of visit.
9. Once you enter a foreign country, you will be subject to the local laws. Therefore it is advisable to get acquainted with the most general rules, as well as get familiar with the informal customs and traditions, which might be different from the UK ones and lead to awkward situations.
10. If you are planning a low-cost holiday or paying a later trip, it is important to focus on the different ways to minimize your daily expenses. This could be achieved by preparing your meals in your holiday villa’s kitchen with fresh products from the local markets rather than dining out every night. Riding a bike around the area can also be much cheaper than renting a car, and when it comes to long distances, you can check the possibilities to use local transport. Look for free Wi-Fi spots, instead of using mobile internet on your phone.
11. An excellent way to cut down your expenses might be to look for a special travel card that will guarantee you the best exchange rates when you are using it abroad. Most banks offer such a service, but it is important to check in advance if the card is accepted at your holiday destination, and you will be able to pay with it in shops and restaurants or withdraw money from ATMs.
12. If you are using a modern-day phone, such as iPhone or Android smartphone, you can greatly benefit from the variety of free travel applications that will not only make your experience smoother but also save you money. You can easily download travel routes and maps of entire regions or cities and find desired points of interest by simply entering their GPS coordinates. Other useful applications include travel organizers, phrasebooks, guidebooks, photo storages, hot spots finders, weather reports, etc.
13. Even if you are traveling in a country, which is generally considered safe, it is still necessary to follow some simple rules to avoid becoming a victim of crime. Do not show off your money or any expensive belongings and leave your favorite and most valuable pieces of jewelry at home. At all times, remember to behave politely and with respect towards the locals and other tourists, even if you feel offended or confronted.
14. It is advisable to inform a relative or a close friend back home of your travel plan and holiday details. Provide them with the contact details of your air carrier, accommodation, and car hire supplier, as well as towns, villages, and sights of interest you want to visit, so that they have at least a general clue of your whereabouts in case of emergency.
15. Booking a few months in advance can surely save you money when it comes to flight tickets and accommodation, as well as additional services such as car hire and on-site excursions. It might also be possible to pre-order online entrance tickets for some of the major tourist attractions and save yourself the time necessary to wait in queues. On the other hand, pay attention to last-minute deals, which can also be quite favorable.
16. It is always advisable to travel in a group, rather than alone, as a security precaution. However, in a crowded area, it can be straightforward to lose sight of your group members and get lost. It may be helpful to wear clothes in distinctive colors, for example, hats or small scarves that you can wave in the air, to draw your friends’ attention. If you are traveling with small children or seniors, you can take photos of them before you enter a magnificent place of interest, which will help you quickly identify them in front of the police or authorities, if necessary.
17. Learning as much as possible about your destination will also help you to better plan your holiday. Besides detailed information about the must-visit tourist attractions, most guidebooks include valuable information, such as opening and closing times of important institutions, local emergency numbers, as well as safety tips and recommendations on certain areas that should be avoided by tourists. Many pocket guides can be downloaded online for free and printed out for handy use.
18. Keep in mind that reliable locals (such as your villa holiday owner, for example) can give you smart tips about what to see in the area and which the good restaurants to visit are. You should be careful when dining out and avoid places with a disputable reputation to limit the chances of food poisoning, especially if you want to order potentially risky meals such as seafood, for example.
19. Learn some simple but yet useful phrases (Good morning; Please; Thank you; I’m sorry; Can you help me?) in the local language. Try to communicate with the locals if you want to fully appreciate the place and its atmosphere, even if you have to use only gestures or share a laugh.
20. It is a good idea to carry a small first aid kit with you at all times that includes essentials such as plasters, bandages, a skin disinfection agent or antistatic wipes, painkillers, antacids, etc. If you wear glasses, pack an extra pair, just in case.
Always remember that your main aim is to stay safe, enjoy yourself, and have fun. here are holiday villas in Europe for your consideration.
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