Everyone who has travelled, knows what to do (or what not to do) the next time they travel. Tall men realized they wished they made a seat reservation with extra legspace. Women found out that half of their suitecase content is still clean an unworn. And I can name a few more examples. I work at a travel agency and give advise everyday to my clients. By the way, this does not mean I know it all and I did manage to forget my passport once myself 😉 But a bit of advise is always welcome. So, here are my personal tips and tricks (keep checking, I am still adding and updating):
PASSPORT AND OTHER TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: I always have a copy of my passport, drivers license and other important documents in my own email. Just in case I loose them or if they get stolen. I do however make sure that the documents say it is a copy (preferably over your photograph and hide your social security number; you can write this down elsewhere). I make sure I know whether I need a visa or not and how long my passport needs to be valid for my holiday destination.
CREDIT CARD/CASH: more and more credit cards are accepted. Bring a second one (or a bank card) just in case. And I always have some cash with me for emergencies.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: do not travel without a good travel insurance! I have worked as a tour operator representative in various countries and I have memories of people having accidents or getting a heart attack, while not being insured.
VACCINATIONS: make sure you get informed about vaccinations for your holiday destination. Sometimes you do not have a choice to be able to enter certain countries!
TRAVEL GUIDE: get yourself a good travel guide, whether it is a book or one you can read online. Learn about your destination, about history, culture and also about habits and customs. And while you are preparing yourself, learn some phrases or words in the language they speak in the country you are visiting. It really helps and if you are not so good with languages: try anyway… at least it will make a local laugh and for sure they will help you out! PS, if you want to, you can also use a translation app on your phone!
SUITCASE: I have a suitcase which is about 20 years old. It is quite heavy, but never ever something got damaged (and I am the kind of person that will bring local wine or olive oil back with me). So bring a good suitcase with you.
BACKPACK: If you travel with a backpack, make sure you put it in a flight-bag that before you check it in at the airport. Otherwise your backpack will probably arrived damaged.
WHAT TO BRING: pack light is my advise (although I hardly manage myself). It is really up to you what you want to pack. If you are staying at one place, then it really does not matter. But I discovered on round trips that I bring less and less with me. I am tired of carrying a heavy load with me on holiday. Below you will find a link with a packing list!
PHOTOGRAPH WHAT YOU BRING WITH YOU: when I pack I put everything next to my suitcase first, take a photograph before I pack it. This way I know what I take with me and in case something happens it will help with your contacting your insurance.
TRAVELLING BY PLANE: do not stress and be on time at the airport. I always book a seat for long distance flights and I check in online before I go. Usually I just need to drop off my luggage and I can go straight to customs. Treat yourself to something to drink while waiting, read your travel guide. Just do not miss your flight! And here is my “travel agent” tip: while booking your ticket, make sure your name on the ticket is the same as in your passport!
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