Is there anything more incredible in life than being able to book a flight, and visit a country on the other side of the planet? Travel is something everyone should do more of given a chance. It opens your eyes to different ways of life and is one of the more exciting and fulfilling things you will ever do. But when you’re traveling to a different country there’s so much to think about. Choosing your destination and booking the vacation is just the beginning. Here are some of the things that it’s important not to overlook when you’re flying to new lands.
Some countries do not require visas for short visits, although there are many do. If you’re traveling abroad, researching this and getting it sorted is a top priority. Without the right visa, you will be refused entry, and your vacation will be over before it’s even begun. Things can change too, so even if you have recently traveled be sure to check before leaving each time. It doesn’t just apply to visiting a country, but in some cases, you need documents for returning home too. For example, from March 2016 you need your Canadian Permanent residents card, or Permanent Residents travel documents when flying to Canada. More information can be found here. Without these documents you may not be permitted to board the flight so making sure all of your relevant paperwork is in place is crucial.
Some countries pose a higher risk of infection and disease, and so you will need to be vaccinated to protect yourself before your trip. Other countries will require certain vaccinations, as they don’t currently have the disease and want to prevent becoming infected with it. Some vaccinations are optional, your GP will be able to advise you about the best ones to have based on the country, time of year and your current health. But others will require you to have proof of vaccinations before entering, so again this needs to be considered early on. Diptheria, Polio, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A/ B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, TB and yellow fever are just a few of the very scary and potentially deadly diseases you can be up against in different countries. Don’t let the fear of them spoil your trip, but make sure you have the correct vaccinations and also follow any health advice that has been set out. For example, you might need to wear long clothing between certain hours to avoid being bitten by malaria-spreading mosquitos.
The exchange rate rises and falls all the time. If you’re booking a trip at the last minute, you’re pretty much stuck with the exchange rate. However, if your vacation is a little later down the line, this is something to keep an eye on. Exchange your money when the rates are at their best, and you’ll get more bang for your buck. Different places will also offer different rates, so do your research and look online for where you will get the most amount of money. After all, this is extra cash that could be in your pocket instead of the banks!
In all of the excitement of booking flights and hotels, it’s easy to forget things like transfers. But once you arrive at your destination, how will you be getting to your hotel? You could opt for a cab if the hotel isn’t too far away, although if it’s a good distance, this could be a very expensive trip. Transfer buses are a much cheaper option, so make sure these are booked ahead of time. You’ll also need to know where to board the bus when you arrive too, so have all of this in mind for when you land.
Millions of flights successfully take off and land each year worldwide. However, sometimes weather can cause an issue. Thunderstorms, winds and winter weather, can all pose a problem for air traffic. If you’re planning on flying over the next few weeks or months especially, this is something to bear in mind. Hopefully, you won’t have an issue, but know that weather delays might cause a problem in some cases.
When you’re traveling to a different country, it’s a good idea to call your bank and inform them. That way if you use your credit or debit cards when you’re abroad, they won’t get blocked for fraud protection reasons. At the very least, make sure the bank has your up to date contact details in case they need to call you and verify anything. Another thing to consider money-wise is a contingency fund. This is a spare lump of cash to be used just in an emergency. If you’re delayed or anything happens during your trip, you know you’re not going to be stuck or completely stranded. It can also be a good idea to have some cash as well as money on a card too, that way if either one gets lost or stolen you have a backup. Again hopefully this isn’t something you’ll have to deal with while you’re away, but it’s important to be prepared.
Shopping for travel insurance is possibly one of the least fun forms of shopping ever! But don’t rush it, don’t just pick the first one you see and certainly don’t just opt for the cheapest. Penny pinching here could lead you being seriously out of pocket if you need to make a claim. Read the fine print carefully, be aware of exactly what it covers you for. Make sure you’re covered for all activities you’ll be doing while you’re away. For example, skiing will require special cover due to it being a high-risk activity. You’ll need to make sure your suitcases and bags are covered. And if you’re taking any tech items like cameras, phones, tablets or laptops that these are all covered too. Spending the extra on a good amount of cover here gives you peace of mind, and could really pay off if anything happens to you or your stuff.