Whether you’re an experienced traveller or someone who has been looking forward to their first adventure for months, there are always things you must remember before grabbing your passport and heading to the airport. Sure, the whole pandemic has put your adventure plans on hold, but because they have been postponed, it doesn’t mean they aren’t happening at all.
The delay will only make you even more excited when you can finally jet off to the other side of the world and see something that few people get the opportunity to witness. It may be inconvenient, but it gives you plenty of time to prepare. If you’ve ever taken a trip anywhere, you know how the preparation is often the worst part, so take advantage of it now so that you’re ready to hit the ground running when you are finally permitted to travel the world.
Plan Your First Day
What better way to start preparing for your travels or vacation than by plotting out what to do on your first day? This first day is, often, the most exciting part of the trip. You are dropped somewhere unfamiliar, and you get the chance to explore it and discover its secrets around every corner.
Planning your first day will help you get an idea of what you want to see and how close everything is./ you may not physically be there yet, but you can at least get a fraction of bearings that can help you feel more comfortable once you land. This first day can also help you decide which hostel or hotel to stay at, as you’ll be able to relate it to the distance to and from the most famous sights.
Pack Spare Supplies
You are never sure how much to pack on your first adventure, but more experienced travellers will understand that the 20 pairs of socks were, in hindsight, unnecessary. Still, you will need to consider spare supplies that can ensure your travels are more comfortable and enjoyable.
This can include anything that may not be easy to get while travelling. Most of the time, future globetrotters can research and visit website options for everything from eyeglasses to prescription medication. While you may be able to find replacements on the other side of the world, it is not always guaranteed, so it’s worth being prepared. You should also think about charging cables, wallets, and anything else that could be lost along the way.
Contact Your Bank
You won’t need to contact your bank until around 24 hours before leaving, and who knows when that could be. Still, it’s a useful thing to keep in mind, as it will ensure that any emergency payments you need to make on your card won’t be immediately blocked or flagged as suspicious.
Most banks won’t even require you to contact them nowadays, especially considering how popular travel is amongst people of all ages. However, some banks may still do so, and if you plan on moving abroad permanently, you’ll need to let them know. They can make a note on your account that you are overseas (which will explain a lack of or unusual activity), but this may only last for six months, so be sure to update them when required.
Invest In Travel Insurance
Insurance is something that everybody needs, no matter what they do. Travel insurance is, arguably, the most crucial part of your trip, and you must make sure you do it before leaving. Otherwise, you risk insurance fraud and voiding any contracts that you sign.
Again, you don’t know when you are going anywhere, but this will give you plenty of time to research the best deals. Whether you’re planning on going somewhere for a month or a year, you should be able to find the best deals. Some banks may offer travel insurance as part of your account, so checking with them to see if you can save some money on your adventure will check with them.
Fix Your Finances
It’s no secret that travelling can cost you a lot of money, so you should make sure that you save up as much as possible before you go. However, it’s not just about your savings, but also the money that’s available in your account.
You know that you’ll need to spend more money every time you withdraw cash from foreign ATMs, so it’s worth getting a bank account that allows for free withdrawals. There are plenty of internet banking options that do this, and you can speak to your current bank to see what they offer. Furthermore, take advantage of cheap currency conversion to minimize the need for your bank card for as long as possible.
Download Essential Apps
The older generation may claim that our smartphones have turned us into mindless tapping zombies. Still, the benefits that they can bring for travellers of all experiences are something you cannot underestimate. Translation apps for countries where you are still getting to grips with the language are crucial, while offline maps will help you get around much more comfortably and prevent you from strolling into the wrong side of town.
Some larger metropolitan cities will also have a transport app that can show you which bus or subway routes to take to get to the hottest sites (and sights) in town. Wherever you go, check out what the city has to offer and stock up on a range of travel-based apps to make your stay much more manageable.
Think Of a Backup Plan
No matter how much you plan and how detailed your itinerary is (with activities plotted down to the minute), there is always the chance that something will go wrong. Attractions may be closed due to unforeseen repairs, the weather might be entirely out of season, or the simple demand for entertainment may not be there.
All of these issues are disappointing, but they are not the end of the world. If you put together a backup plan for days out, as well as getting from one city to another, you can ensure that you keep busy and on-schedule. Sometimes, these backup plans are even more enjoyable than what you initially planned to do, and they will give you a fantastic story to tell your friends once you get back home.
Double Check Your Details
There is nothing worse than arriving at the airport or hostel and finding out that you’ve misread the details, the day, the time, or even completely ignored the fact you need a visa to enter the country. To say this could severely ruin your trip is an understatement, so make sure you know everything behind your flight, hostel, and anything else you think is essential.
If you are meeting someone there, make sure you can contact them once you land. If you are going alone, think about safe transport from the airport. You should also consider how you will get to the airport on time to ensure you don’t miss your flight because it would be awful to go through all of this effort only to make it to the check-in desk seconds after it closes.
See Everyone You Need to See
If you are travelling for a long time, then you’ll want to make sure you see and say goodbye to everybody you can before jetting off. Again, the pandemic has made this a little challenging. You can’t have the big going away party you expected, but you can still meet up with people (at a distance) and tell them how much you will miss them.
You could also consider using video chatting software, such as Zoom, to keep in touch, and you might find that it’s something you can use even while you’re overseas. Even if you’re only planning on going for a month, this might change once you’re out there and get swept up in the excitement that comes with travel, so make sure you give everyone a proper goodbye, just in case it’s a while before you see each other again.
Taking the leap and going travelling, especially travelling alone, can be intimidating. Leading up to your departure, you will be excited and itching to go. However, it’s also possible that you’ll feel a pang of uncertainty in the days leading up to your flight.
It’s natural to panic, especially when making such a significant change in your life. However, if you stay calm and allow the experience to wash over you, it will be easier to adapt to the sudden shift in your life. Soon enough, you will meet new people who have unique experiences, and this will make you quickly forget about any worries you had even in the minutes before you stepped on the plane.
Ready for Adventure
You may still need to wait a while to climb on that plane, but once you do, all the hanging around and staring longingly out of your bedroom window will be worth it. There’s also no need to hang around doing nothing, so make the most of this free time you’ve been afforded and make sure that you are prepared for when the call comes through. It may be sooner than you expect.