Besides packing up and not forgetting some travel essentials, there are so many things you must do before packing up for an international trip. It can be quite stressful since there’s so many of them to remember. However not doing some of these could cause you quite an inconvenience that you might end up booking a new flight!
1. Check passport expiry date
Do you know that even though your passport says it expires on July 2018 doesn’t mean you can actually leave the country a month or two before then? Because you need to have at least 6 months left in your passport otherwise you will need to renew it.
This has happened before when people are thrilled to leave for a trip then couldn’t get on the flight because their passport was not valid up to at least 6 months! What happened then was they had to book a new flight couple of days after they’ve applied for a new passport. This will cost you more money and cost you to lose days from the trip you’ve planned for. It’s definitely better to check first than sorry.
2. Check if you need a visa
There is nothing more embarrassing and stressful than not knowing that you need to apply for a visa. It can happen quite a lot especially if you have quite a strong passport, but remember there will still be a country you have to get a visa to enter. This includes applying for a visa on arrival, so do your research. You can easily find out more about this by doing a search on Google and it will tell you what you need to know.
Fun fact: Do you know that you require a visa to enter China as a UK passport holder?
Also do you know that you need to have a tourist card if you want to visa Cuba?
3. Get an adaptor beforehand
Yes I know what you’re thinking, there’s always time to buy an adaptor at the airport you’re departing from or the one you’re arriving at. There are lots of benefits for buying an adaptor early before you even get to the airport:
You would be shocked at how expensive an adaptor sold at airports is. The cheapest one would cost at least £10 while the one that can be used around the globe would cost somewhere from £30 to £100! That’s a lot of money! You can easily get one yourself for way cheaper if bought from Poundland, for instance, will cost you no more than £2.
– No time / the unexpected
Everyone thinks “I’ll have plenty of time to go shopping while waiting for my flight”. The thing is there is always the unexpected, including being late for a flight or transport arranged. This can happen when you thought you had plenty of time but let’s say the traffic is delaying you so much that you end up checking in about an hour before the plane leaves. When that happens you would run straight to the gate and would have no time to stop and think about buying an adaptor.
Or it would be when you’ve arrived at the destination then realise how close it is to the time your arranged transport is supposed to be there because your flight was delayed. Another situation that happens a little too often would be when you arrive at the destination so late that there is that there is only one bus or coach left to catch. You either have to run for it or it’s a choice of either paying for an expensive taxi ride or staying a night at the airport. It can cause so much inconvenience to wake up the next morning with none of your electronics charged so you can’t search where things are.
Lesson to learn: Do your shopping before you head for the flight.
4. Get some cash
This might sound like a common sense but you’d be surprised that people still do this. They would think there is an option of paying by card anywhere or it is easy to withdraw some out at the ATM. Don’t think like this, especially if you like traveling to local areas of a country. The problems you will face includes:
– Places only accept cash
If you’re going to, let’s say, a local market in Asia or a town near a snow mountain in Germany a chance of them accepting cards is very slim. Pretty much the further away you’re traveling from big cities the more likely that cash is the only way of payment.
– Cannot find an ATM
This is a big problem that a lot of us will face when running out of cash or looking to withdraw some out. Unless you’re in an area where civilisation exists, you have so little chance of finding an ATM nearby. It has become even more difficult now that we know fake ATM exists. We have to be more selective and careful to ensure that we don’t get our information stolen without awareness. This means there are less and less ATM we can freely use, so it is important to have cash in your wallet in case something like this happens.
P.S. Don’t carry too much otherwise you will end up being a target of pickpocketers (yes the world is harder to live in thesedays!).
– Terrible rates
You think exchange rates from airports are bad then be prepared to encounter the same thing with ATMs. You get the convenience but that of course comes with a price. What you can do instead is to order your money online on compareholidaymoney.com , for instance, to get the best of deals so you need to withdraw from ATMs and end up getting a bad exchange rate.