Expert pointers to help you prepare for your next trip

October 28, 2014

Travelling is a rewarding experience, but to truly enjoy the adventure preparation is key. Here are expert pointers to help you get ready for your next trip.
Travelling is a rewarding experience, but to truly enjoy the journey and the destination you need to prepare for travel in advance. Travel preparations depend on the destination and mode of transport. An overseas trip with connecting flights entails more preparation than a two-way local flight. A family holiday requires different preparation from a solo business trip. While you're not in control of things that may disrupt travel plans, being well-prepared ensures a smooth journey with minimum frustration.

Important preparations before leaving home

  1. Learn about your destination. This is important especially if you are a first-time visitor. Get information from both the destination's official website and reviews from those who have been there to get a balanced perspective. Study maps to get an idea of the streets and where the landmarks, tourist spots and restaurants are.
  2. Protect yourself. Ensure your safety with travel and medical insurance. Look up the latest health and travel safety bulletin for your destination. For personal safety, register any trip abroad with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada for quick emergency assistance.
  3. Make a budget. Draw up an estimate of expenses that you will incur during the trip, and be as detailed as possible. Do research on the current prices of goods and the rate for services such as rental cars, Internet services and hotel tariffs. Buy foreign currency in advance. Also carry funds in the form of an international credit card and a debit card.

For plane trips

  1. Organize your flight documents. Make sure you have identification, a valid passport and visa for foreign trips. Check validity dates to avoid major hassles caused by expired passports. Update essential travel documents for a foreign trip as requirements change periodically.
  2. Review pre-boarding regulations. Check airline rules and baggage restrictions to avoid any delays.
  3. Have your gadgets ready. Adjust your mobile phone's settings to avoid costly overseas charges. Fully charge your gadgets and enable password and lock features to prevent unauthorized access in case of lost or misplaced bags.

For road trips

  1. Have your map handy. For car, bus or rail travel, have a user-friendly map of your destination with clear landmarks for the nearest stops and service stations. Share copies of maps, contact numbers and an emergency plan with your companions.
  2. Make an emergency kit. Your car's emergency box should contain a first-aid kit, flashlights, whistles, folding pocketknife, candles and matches, nonperishable food and drinking water supply, blanket and extra clothing.
  3. Be prepared for the worst. Prepare for inclement weather, poor visibility and unfavorable road conditions. Equip the trunk with a small snow shovel, tow ropes, jumper cables, antifreeze fluid and portable warning lights.
Expert pointers to help you prepare for your next trip
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