Travel Tips - Planning a Trip
Planning a trip takes a long time. Similarly preparing for a trip also takes time and concentration because you have to take care of all possible things that you must carry along with you which are really handy. Plus you must also take care of the things you leave behind like pets, plants etc. Thus following are a few useful travel tips and points to remember before leaving on any short or long trip
Things to do before you leave for most trips
Confirm airline tickets
This is the first important point one has to remember before going on a trip.
Pay the rent and other necessary bills
Before going on a vacation if it is for more that 2 weeks or so try to clear all the pending bills. For other bills you can give money to a trusted friend who can take care of your bills if required. Also pay the rent if you have a tenancy flat.
Clean your house.
Pet care and plant care.
Have someone take care of your plants as well as your pets while you are away. You can leave your pet at the pet crèche or else with some relative but make sure your pet is comfortable there in that new environment and surroundings.
Empty all water containers.
A filled water boiler can be rather disgusting after a month. Not to mention in what condition a teapot or coffee making machine filled with used coffee grounds can be after a month! Absolutely disgusting!If you have an answering machine, don't forget to change the message.
Things to do before you leave for longer trips
Empty your fridge of perishables
Vegetables, for example, are pretty disgusting if you have to deal with them 3 months after they should have been eaten. If you empty and unplug your fridge remember to defrost it first, then leave the door propped open.
Empty all trash cans
Vegetables left in the trash can for 3 months are even more disgusting than the ones left for the same time in the fridge. Forgetting this might possibly even make your neighbours call the police since they might think you've been lying dead in your flat for 3 months.
Give copies of your keys to someone else
It is a good idea to let someone else have copies of your keys if you are out on a longer trip, in case something must be done in your apartment. Maybe someone needs to water your poor plants, or take care of your mail. Don't let them have your own keys, since they might be out of town when you come back, leaving you sitting outside your own door without any way of getting in.
Unplug electrical stuff
This may reduce the risk of fire if the house is struck by lightning, or if there is some kind of power surge, while you're away. Some appliances consume electricity while plugged in, even if they are off - televisions are a good example of this.
Switch off the water to your apartment
Do not hesitate to ask for assistance, if in distress or in doubt of any kind.
In case a water pipe breaks while you are away.
Money and documents
Following is the list of documents that you must carry with you while on a trip and also money which is most important.
This is the most important document if you are visiting any foreign country.
For getting a visa plan ahead! Sometimes it takes months to get a visa.
Many countries demand that you have one. Be damn sure all stamps and signatures are in perfect order.
Everyone knows TC's are safer than cash, but remember a few things: in some countries it takes two hours or more to change a TC, and in other countries (often the same as the ones with the slow banks) you can get very much more by changing on the black market. Carry money with you but remember when crossing borders, put cash in your underpants since it is unlikely to be found there, but there are no guarantees. I have heard of people having to strip completely at the border to Brazil.
Cards (Visa, Eurocard/Mastercard, American Express etc)
Make sure to carry the phone numbers to call to report if your card is stolen!
PIN code to cards
So that you can use them with ATM machines to get cash. Do NOT put these codes in the same place as your cards, since someone stealing your cards might withdraw all your money.
Driving licence and ID-card
Driving licence can often double as your ID card.
Address list (with phone numbers and email addresses)
For writing letters, sending emails from a cyber cafe, or for phoning home to Mum for more money.
For writing letters.
Timetables and maps.
Trust the men in uniform or anyone appearing moderately decent in appearance.
Head for a crowded area to feel more safe and secure.
Keep information of all important telephone numbers with you, especially help-lines and voluntary -organisations, including the police in the country you are visiting.
Any unknown destination should be studied on the map, before disembarking from the transport.
Do not go out seeking accommodation or transport, once its dark. All this should be done during the daytime. This helps avoid unnecessary trouble of even the transporters demanding more money for the same service rendered in the daytime.
In public places, avoid eye contact with strangers.
Maintain a haughty and confident look. The best thing is to carry a novel or a newspaper and be by yourself, if alone.
Enter any crowded place or a hotel, if being followed. In all probability, the stalker will give up.
Ask for help at the nearest shop or establishment