ANTICIPATING YOUR UPCOMING VACATION IS AS CLOSE AS YOU’LL GET TO THE FEELING OF KIDS WAITING FOR SANTA.
Whether you’re travelling with a partner, a group of friends or alone, the opportunity to discover new sights and meet new people or perhaps dip your toes in the ocean, all adds up to an exciting adventure. And, as with any adventures, a little pre-planning goes a long way.
What do you want to experience: culture, good food, beaches, sports, wildlife?
Local travel expert Brenda Baer says your choice of destination should be based on your personal interests rather than price. Be sure to do lots of research on your own with guide books or travel apps. There are a host of apps to help with your planning, including google road trips, the FLIO airport app and several helpful language apps.
Check your passport well in advance of your departure. Many countries require a passport that is valid for three to six months after your planned departure from their country. And go online to see if the country or countries you’ll be visiting require a visa. These can very often be organized at the time you book your flight at little or no extra cost.
TIP: LET YOUR FINANCIAL INSTITUTION KNOW WHEN YOU'RE TRAVELLING, THIS WILL AVOID UNNECESSARY HOLDS ON YOUR CREDIT CARDS DUE TO A CHANGE IN YOUR SPENDING PATTERNS.
TIP: COPY OR MAKE A NOTE OF YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS, PASSPORT NUMBER, DRIVERS LICENSE ETC. AND LEAVE WITH A RELIABLE FRIEND AT HOME, SOMEONE YOU CAN CALL IF YOU LOSE YOUR CREDENTIALS OR EVEN WORSE – HAVE THEM STOLEN!
Packing can be one of the most complicated parts of your trip. There’s a thin line between taking just the right amount of clothes and amenities, versus lugging a heavy bag full of things you’ll never wear. And that can also become costly these days. As Brenda says, “Pack everything you’d like to take… then put a third back!”
TIP: GENERALLY, IT IS LESS EXPENSIVE TO TAKE AN EXTRA BAG THAN IT IS TO STUFF ONE EXTRA LARGE BAG AND END UP PAYING OVERWEIGHT FEES.
Regardless of your destination, you’ll want to arrive feeling relaxed and looking great. This is easily doable with some basic guidelines:
Get as much rest as you can just before or during your travel - even if it’s just a little bit here and there.
Watch what you eat and drink. Caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating; best to stay away from heavy meals, keep them light and drink plenty of water.
Comfortable footwear and loose-fitting clothing will serve you well as there is a lot of walking, standing and sitting when travelling through airports and making connections.
As soon as you reach your destination, immediately change your watch to the current time zone. If you don’t, you’ll drag on the jet lag for much longer.
Take a small make up bag to freshen up before landing. Cleanse your face, moisturize, touch up your hair and makeup, and you’re ready for day one!
TIP: CONTAINERS MUST BE 100 ML OR LESS AND THEY ALL HAVE TO FIT WITHIN A ONE-LITER ZIPLOC BAG.
Check that your carry-on bag meets the size restriction on the airline with which you’re travelling. And if you change airlines mid-trip, you should be aware of the size restrictions for any other airline you are using. Cherise Gosselin, Proprietor of Bags’n’All, says that the basic international carry-on bag is under 22 inches, which should work with all major airlines.
Your carry-on bag should include; moisturizer, sanitizer, aspirin, ear plugs, prescription medications in their original bottles, valuables, such as jewelry, and a wrap…
TIP: THIS VERSATILE PIECE CAN BE USED AS A BLANKET, TO SIT ON OR AS A PART OF YOUR TRAVEL OUTFIT.
Eye drops and a full or partial change of clothing are a good idea too, especially if your checked luggage becomes lost. Brenda suggests you leave your diamonds at home and have some fun with costume jewelry while travelling.
If you’re making an investment in new luggage you should be aware of three key things: the warranty, the wheels (if they are screwed in, they can be replaced) and what material the bag is made of. If you plan on putting your bags through some rough areas like cobblestones or a lot of stairs, Consumer Report recommends Briggs and Riley, which comes with a lifetime ‘no matter what’ warranty. Eagle Creek luggage and backpacks are the best for a rustic outdoor adventure vacation, and for good quality luggage for the average user, you can’t go wrong with Samsonite or Delsey.
It is important to check out the safety tips and laws of the country you’re visiting. Have an understanding of the basic customs of that country so you don’t inadvertently upset the locals. Take the same precautions you would at home. Back packs are dangerous as they can be cut off of your back while walking. If you do want a back pack, be sure to buy the ones with the metal screen lining.
Travel experts highly recommend medical insurance. If you incur major costs such as an air ambulance back to Canada or an overnight stay in a hospital, these can run into thousands of dollars. Travel agents also recommend travel insurance for trip cancellation or interruption.
Now all you need is a quick check on the currency and currency conversions, and you’re ready to go!
During our own travels, we have met many great people with whom we are still in touch. Sometimes we even meet up and travel together again.
Whether you’re travelling for a week or spending several months in another country, it’s time to embark.
SIT BACK IN YOUR SEAT, CLOSE YOUR EYES AND YOU’LL SOON FIND YOURSELF DISEMBARKING ON ANOTHER ONE OF LIFE’S GREAT ADVENTURES!