Traveling is an extremely powerful antidote to the stress and exhaustion of the daily struggle of work, school, and other yearlong commitments. As a frequent traveler will tell you, it’s an intoxicating mix of thrill and adventure that you’ll be addicted to it in no time once you get a taste of it.
Offering a much-deserved break where you can let off some steam and reinvigorate yourself, traveling is also a great learning experience. It enriches your outlook on life when you explore new places and meet various people and perspectives along the way.
Of course, it is also easier said than done.
Constricted schedules (and often resources) mean that people spend a lot of time contemplating their travel plans. For most, going over the idea in their heads alone is enough to deter them, for traveling means stepping out of their comfort zone.
While traveling is wonderful, the first step can be difficult and nerve-wracking. So the next time your friend hangs you out to dry last-minute on a trip that you agree upon, let’s be more sympathetic.
We know that days (even months) worth of effort and planning can drain if one doesn’t cover the right factors. For this reason, we have curated this guide to help you make an effective checklist of all the things you must do before you set out to travel.
1. Make a reservation
What’s worse than procrastinating on the most important part of the trip: booking the place where you’ll be recharging for the day ahead? Heed our warning, and don’t make the mistake of making a late reservation.
No matter the destination, be it rentals in St George Utah, hotels in Las Vegas, or a camping lodge in the remote suburbs, the holiday season is especially rife with tourists. Finding a good, comfortable and affordable place to stay during this time can become impossibly hard and ruin an otherwise perfect travel plan. Be smarter than this, and always book your place in advance. If you are worried about the costs, many places don’t charge you for reservations. Research thoroughly, and ask about all the services available so you give yourself the least amount of anxiety settling into a new environment.
2. Ping a local tour guide
If you’re thinking of visiting a place you’ve never been to before, it would be wise to be one step ahead and ping a local tour guide. It would save you the hassle and tension of wandering around aimlessly or getting lost in a new place, but it also won’t disappoint when getting the full feel of the visit.
A local tour guide would be an expert at dealing with tourists and giving them a round of the famous hot spots in the area. This would save you from investing unnecessary time and effort; meanwhile, going in a group can also cut costs, allowing you to spend more on the local attractions and bring home some fancy souvenirs.
3. Pick a suitable mode of transport
Do you prefer going by sea, road, or air? Which options fit your budget, and which ones are appropriate considering the weather and season? Is there anyone in the family who has motion sickness or requires special care for a particular mode of transport? How do you plan on getting to your hotel after you arrive? These are all the questions you must sort out before picking out the ideal transport, route, and timings before you travel.
The unexpected problems that can arise out of a poor decision on transport make it the second most crucial parameter to cover while traveling.
4. Take stock of the travel essentials
You’ve probably heard this a million times already, but we will still reiterate to highlight its importance: Pack what you need, not what you want.
It is tempting to pack an extra bundle of clothes for no other reason than looking dapper in front of the camera, but think about all the extra load you’ll be tagging along with you.
Travel light, pack only the essentials, and keep some remaining space for shopping instead. Hotels and rentals provide stuff like basic toiletries and snacks, so leave the unnecessary baggage behind and focus on optimizing your travel experience.
We’d like to point out that books don’t count as essentials for the fellow bookworms out there. Sure, bringing one with you to keep you occupied during commuting time is a good decision, but please don’t think of stuffing your entire summer reading list in your suitcase.
If you absolutely cannot stay without a good book to accompany you, we recommend swapping your copies with eBooks, so you always have them in your hands and don’t have to worry about getting them ruined.
5. Network with people
People familiar with the area can more holistically guide you than any superficial information on the internet. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to talk to locals online, read up on blogs or ring up their tourist services to know the demands of the destination.
For instance, some countries have their specific vaccination protocols, and they may differ significantly from the ones in yours. To avoid delays in getting a visa, it’s better to know them beforehand.
Hold up, the place you’re traveling to doesn’t have English speakers? Pick up a dictionary or download a translator app on your phone so that your butchered attempt at the native language doesn’t land you in hot waters. Moreover, keep a checklist so that you don’t miss any place you want to visit and end the trip on a sour, regretful note.
Moreover, for vegans or people suffering from food allergies, it is wise that you look up all the restaurants that cater to your unique needs.
Traveling is an amazing experience, and you should enjoy it to the fullest. Don’t worry about the ins and outs of preparing; if you follow the guidelines mentioned in this article down to a T, a comfortable and hassle-free journey awaits you.