5 Things to Plan Ahead When Traveling 


Traveling is a great experience – a huge part of it being enjoyed when you have no plans and go with the moment. You’ll often hear seasoned travelers talk about their fondest memories as times when they dropped their plans and went ahead with a spur-of-the-moment idea. This is a great way to travel around. But it’s not the best way to plan. You’ll want to have some essentials in place. I suggest, at the minimum, planning these five things before you head off:

How you’re going to contact home
Your loved ones will want to occasionally hear from you, whether it’s just to let them know you’re doing ok or to have a lengthy catch-up on all the gossip. You don’t have to talk to your friends and family at home too often, but figure out a way of keeping in touch that doesn’t cost either of you a fortune. When you’ve got Wi-Fi, Skype and WhatsApp are your best options.

How you’ll get local currency
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll need money. But, as the Secret Traveller says, pretty much anyone can slap the word “official” on their exchange office and charge whatever rates they feel like.

Some have even been known to hand over counterfeit notes. As such, they suggest either checking the official rates before, or just using the ATMs at well-known banks. Even better, though, we recommend you check out the best pre-paid travel cards so you can avoid repeatedly paying unknown, potentially hefty, exchange rates.

Whether you need travel injections
Traveling not only exposes you to new experiences and opportunities, but also risks. Depending on where you’re going, you might need to get injections to protect you from the world’s diseases. Talk to your doctor early on about whether you’ll need any, because you should ideally book them in for around six to eight weeks before you’re due to travel.

Make sure you cancel any payments at home
If you’re planning on traveling for a long time, you’ve also got to prepare at home to leave things the right way. If you’ve got any gym memberships or reoccurring postal subscriptions, consider cancelling them for the time being. As Nomadic Matt adds, it’s important to go paperless when you’re away and set up online bill payment for your recurring bills to ensure you won’t miss any overseas. Also make sure you’ve arranged for an emergency contact at home to deal with any issues that arise.

Last but not least, you can’t go away without packing. In addition to your essential travel documents (which you should scan and back up in the cloud), some of the things you might not have thought of packing include:

  • Flip-flips
  • A small first aid kit
  • Wet wipes
  • Portable charger
  • A lock for your bag
  • A cheap digital watch

What do you plan before you travel? Share your recommendations!

Plan Ahead Vacation

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