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Preparing to Travel | Your First Time Abroad

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The joys of traveling know no bounds as most of us will dreamily acknowledge. That being said, one of the few major downsides to jetting off to experience a new destination is the bothersome chore of packing before you take off. Then there’s the hassle of checking to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything only to get to the airport and realize that you have in fact forgotten your charger, toothbrush or headphones. Or your passport, if you’re really unlucky.

For the well-seasoned traveler, this becomes somewhat routine over time. However, even the most avid jet-setters still manage to fall into the trap of travel slip-ups. So, to make your life a little easier, we’ve put together a checklist of everything to consider before you get on that plane.

Table of Contents

Safety First

Considering the current global climate, security while traveling has become a massive issue. Put your smartphone to good use and download some tracking apps so you can always let your friends and family know you’re safe while abroad, especially if you happen to be traveling alone.

Travel Light

Trying to fit the majority of your belongings into your suitcase can be counter-productive. Things weigh us down, both literally and figuratively so even if you’re off to some far-off destination on the other side of the world, try to keep your luggage weight to a minimum. This will save you both time and hassle. If you’ll only be gone a few days, take a carry-on luggage instead. Only pack the bare essentials… believe it or not, you’ll learn to live without a truckload full of toiletries and outfit changes for a while.

It’s also a good idea to draw up a checklist which you can tick off as you pack to ensure that you won’t forget anything before your trip.

Snacks are Your Friends

Let’s face it, traveling is expensive. Avoid spending extra cash on a questionable plane and airport food and pack some snacks to take on your journey. Nut packets, protein bars, and packed sandwiches will go a long way. Once you’ve reached your destination, locate your nearest supermarket and buy some more snacks to keep you going for the duration of your holiday. This will give you more time to explore without having to find an eatery to stop whenever hunger strikes.

Keep Yourself Occupied

Long journeys on planes, trains and other forms of transportation can be boring if you’re just twiddling your thumbs, waiting for the time to pass. Instead, why not put this free time to good use to relax and take a beat between your exploring. Catch up on some reading, sharpen your drawing skills or make the most of your smartphone; nowadays, there are a plethora of downloadable apps, especially gaming ones, like puzzle games, adventure games, and money-making games, that can keep you happily occupied for hours. Just don’t forget to invest in a nifty power bank to recharge your phone battery when you’re out and about!

Brush Up on Your Local Knowledge

It’s always a good idea to read up about the place you’re traveling to before your trip in order to avoid coming across as the clueless tourist. Research local customs and learn some basic phrases in the native language too if you can. It will prove more valuable than you can imagine when interacting with the locals and you’ll be more likely to be taken seriously.

Banish those Germs

Unfortunately, planes and trains are breeding places for germs and bacteria. To avoid getting sick on your trip, carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer and use to clean your hands and items like your airplane food tray. Also, keep yourself hydrated throughout by drinking more water and avoiding too much caffeine while flying.

Traveling for Work?

If you’re fortunate enough to be traveling for work, you’ll be able to experience new cultures at your company’s expense… what’s not to love? However, there are still some key points you should take into consideration before you pack your bags and go crazy charging everything to your business account.

Read Your Company’s Travel Policies Thoroughly

Make sure you know exactly what your company covers before you set off for your trip. Are travel expenses covered on a daily basis or do you need to collect receipts and get reimbursed on your return? It’s important to read up on the finer details of your company’s travel expense policies to avoid unwanted expenses which you might have to end up covering from your pocket.

Do take advantage of your travel perks, however. Any seasoned business traveler knows to ask about air miles, loyalty points, upgrades and any other extras they’re entitled to on their business trip.

Find a Balance

Traveling for work might become a routine part of your job, in which case, it may take some time to get used to the more taxing aspects of it. Even if you’re a travel junkie, all the coming and going can take a toll on your personal life and wellbeing too.

In order to counteract the tiring effects of frequent traveling, ensure to rest up properly before and after your trip to avoid getting burn out. Also, make time to relax and unwind doing the things you love in your spare time and don’t let the strain of business trips get the better of you.

Cherish the Experience

Any seasoned business traveler will tell you that traveling for work is far from a vacation, since you’re actually supposed to be working, whether this involves planning meetings, attending conferences or giving presentations.

Nevertheless, the novelty of doing all this in a new place can still be a nice change from your regular office back home. Therefore, it would be wise to meticulously plan your trip in advance so you can try to squeeze in some time to do at least a bit of wandering around, while you’re at it.

You may also like:
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