I reckon travelling abroad is without doubt one of the most exciting things we can experience in life.When I travel my sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing are all receptors of amazing and exceptional differences to my “normal” day-to-day living creating euphoric and fantasising thoughts for the moment and the future. I can’t tell you how many times I have said or heard it said… “Loved it! I’m going to move there as soon as… “It seems that the more I travel the more I want to travel, if you are a traveller you know what I mean and if you haven’t yet done it… I’m telling you “get it happening”… travel is one of those respectable, legitimate, addictions that make life even more pleasurable.Given that the objective of travel is to have “the best time” I am always looking for ideas of how to make the process of travel easier and more enjoyable so that I can be fully focussed on the chilling out, living the dream, being adventurous, experiencing alternate lifestyles and customs, etc, etc aspects of my trip.My 5 Travel Tips for easier and enjoyable travelI have come up with my Five Travel Tips that have helped me maximise my enjoyment of travel… you will find these below, now just remember that some of these get a bit serious and they are meant to be, what I want you to do is accept them for what they are and have the belief that they will play an important role in you having… “the best time”.Remember this, your government wants to help you and pass on their advice to you as a citizen of the country that will help you in setting out to have “the best time’ when you travel abroad so I strongly recommend you review their websites for information about travel. They have been involved with their citizens travelling for a long time now and they have multi-thousands of experiences to draw on. If you are Australian download the “Travelling Well” booklet from the Australian Government’s website it has fantastic information for your travel planning and if you are living elsewhere I am sure the government of your country will have something similar in the way of advice for you.Putting travel documentation together is somewhat of a pain in the backside when you are all fired up and excited about your upcoming trip. The fact is that without it and if it is incorrect you are not going anywhere and that is nobody else’s fault, it is yours, so put an effort in here and be responsible for gathering what you need. As a guideline you will need – Passport, Visa(s), Travel Tickets, Itinerary, Travel Insurance, Identification and check with your country’s government website for any other documentation you may require for your trip.OK, let’s get to my 5 Travel Tips… just before we do here is a little something extra for you.BONUS TRAVEL TIPSKnow where your Passport is at all times and keep it secure. I had mine stolen one time along with airline tickets, wallet, etc. With no identification it was very challenging to prove who I was and I lost 4 days of my holiday being checked out and issued with a new passport.Rule of thumb. If you are being touted for a taxi inside an airport do not go with them. More than likely you will be taken the long way and the experience can become quite stressful.Give the local language a go! It’s fun, the locals will appreciate it and you will be rewarded for it along the way and make a lot of friends.MY TOP 5 TRAVEL TIPS Planning Passport, Visas, Vaccinations, Health Records, etcTravel Insurance Don’t travel without itTravel Luggage, Airline seatingArrival Transfers, Check in, ConciergeOut and About Cash vs cards, Be street wise, Respect1 PLANNING Make sure your Passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. NOTE: Return not Departure!Get extra passport photos to carry with you in case your passport is lost or stolen and you need to replace it while you’re away.Make sure that you have the right visas for the countries you are visiting or transiting and check any other entry or exit requirementsDo some research on where you are going. Get on the net and browse, checking out the history, the culture, the highlights of where you are going – that way you will get much more out of your visit.Visit your local government website site related to travel because it will have a wealth of useful information and ideas. In Australia you would go to the Australian Government’s travel website so look for something similar in your part of the world. I recommend you get into this site as soon as you have decided to travel.Register your travel information with your relevant government travel organisation. Why would you do this? Well it helps them contact or find you in an emergency – whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or family issue at home. It. may also be used to pass other information to you such as important travel advice updates, notice of elections and information on other matters relevant to travellers and expatriatesMake copies of your travel itinerary, passport details, insurance policy, visas and credit card numbers. Carry one copy in a separate place to the originals and leave a copy with someone at home.Go to your doctor or find a travel clinic for the best source of information about medical and health measures, immunisations and disease outbreaks overseas. Ask them about taking any medications with you into the countries you are visiting and also what vaccinations you will need to have and the approved paperwork to go with you.Make copies of your passport details, insurance policy, visas and credit card numbers. Carry one copy in a separate place to the originals and leave a copy with someone at home.Get a CS Health Passport. This is a personal health record that is so easy to carry with you. I have one of these and I find it so simple and effective. It gives me a feeling of security and safety during my travels in providing a lot of information about me should I need medical or health assistance. Check it out on http://www.cshealthpassport.com a great investment for you and your loved ones.2 TRAVEL INSURANCE I reckon that if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel… regardless of how healthy and fit you are. Take out comprehensive travel insurance and ensure it covers you for the places you plan to visit and the things you plan to do and that it covers any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. Also make sure your insurance covers you for the whole time you’ll be away and know what is not included in your policy.Check out what your Government will or won’t do for you as a traveller. For instance my Australian Government will not pay for a traveller’s medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.3 TRAVEL Minimise the amount of luggage you take with you. I pack plenty of layers. It’s much easier to add on and strip off when the weather turns than carry around bulky, heavy items that probably will not be used. Rule of thumb… if you are taking it in case you need it, leave it at home. You will get more in a case if you roll your clothes up, they are going to get creased anyway. Ironing is easy, lugging bags everywhere is not.Know your airplane. Most online reservation systems tell you the exact model of the airplane you’ll be on. This means you can use http://www.seatguru.com to help you choose your seats. If in doubt, call the airline, not your online travel service.Window seat or aisle seat?… take the aisle! Here’s why… with an aisle seat you can put your carry-on luggage overhead and get to it whenever you want and that keeps the space under the seat in front of you free for total feet comfort. OK, so you have to get up to let people go to the restroom, but for me my legs say ” thankyou” for getting a chance to walk aroundGet some ear-plugs. Ah! What a bonus for travelling. They’re very reasonably priced and effective as they can really reduce noise levels on planes and in hotels, giving you a better chance to sleep. I recommend the soft foam ones, the others are like cramming rocks in your ear.4 ARRIVAL When visiting foreign countries, the most stressful thing for me used to be figuring out airports. I suggest you have someone meet you when you arrive… a friend, a client, a work colleague, a hire car driver… your stress level will drop dramatically. If you are by yourself arrange a hire car service before you leave your home country, which typically costs about as much as a cab, they’ll be waiting for you in baggage claim with a sign with your name on it, escorting you straight away to your hotel with a minimum of fuss and a lot of answers.When you check in, most accommodation places will have already allocated you a room. Always ask what else is available or express what you want, maybe a better location in the building, a view, a quiet room. Very often they will be able to meet your request.If you are staying in a hotel your most important contact will be the Concierge. It was only a few years ago that I understood what these people are really for. They are basically paid to be your local friend, with advice, recommendations, and contacts waiting for your use. Need to find a restaurant, get tickets for a show, want directions, advice on finding a gift for your partner? It’s all a phone call or conversation away. Be mindful that they are busiest at check-in time and pre-dinner so if you need advice best bet is to catch them at off times. Give them a tip. They’re worth it.Get a business card from your hotel when you check-in and put it in your wallet or purse straight away. If you were to get lost when you go out you can just hand the card to your cab driver and you’ll get home. Or do what I have done call the hotel, say you’re a guest, and they’ll help you out.5 OUT AND ABOUT These days, unless you’re going to be backpacking in Guatemala, all you really need is ID and a credit card and some local currency. You can buy with your card just about anything anywhere, certainly if it’s in the realm of traditional shopping. If you are off to markets and street buying you will need local currency however keep it to a minimum and don’t flash it around.Take precautions to avoid being a target of crime. Do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewellery and do not carry excessive amounts of money. Also, do not leave unattended luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers. Don’t expect to be treated differently from the locals just because you’re a tourist. Be aware and comply with the laws of the country you’re visiting… remind yourself that you are not a lawmaker you are a visitor. Respect the local religion and cultures. When in Rome, do as the Romans do!So there you are, my Top Five Travel Tips. Of course there are more, hundreds probably. Work with these five and you will be setting up a “the best time” trip.Then add more from your own experiences.
- 5 Travel Tips for Easier and Enjoyable Travel
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