Thursday, 2 March 2017

Let's Getaway - 5 Pragmatic Travel Tips


Bag - Billabong womens

Travel
- something we all do, but can we do it better?
It is no secret that travel has come to dominate our lives. Whether we seek travel as an escape from our daily lifestyle, a route to self discovery or simply a way of fulfilling the expectations of the fast paced 21st century lifestyle - it is undeniable that its come to define the popular culture of today.

Whether you have travelled for years or just days - here are some pointers which can make your travel a little easier (at least I hope so! :) )

1) Research earlier

Before planning any trip research the destination(s) that interest you and learn a little more about them. 50% of the travelling thrill comes from the built up towards it - it's great to have something to look forward to when you're drowning in day to day activities. Hence whether you'll read an article, buy a lonely planet guide or chat to someone who travelled there before - do it! It will only make you feel better & more confident about the destination. My go to is internet research & a Lonely Planet guide - these are great not only once you'll there but you can find out a lot of practical info about the country  or place you're heading to - things such as monsoon season, currency or VISA requirements. It's good to get one of these in advance as it makes all of the admin ahead much easier.


2) Prep

This step basically goes together with research. However apart from all of the theoretical research there may be some practicalities to go along with it. These can be required vaccinations, health checks or things like visiting the embassy for a visa ahead of time. It's good to get a notebook and keep track of vaccination schedules and all other things. You'll find a lot of info on the www.who.int/ith/en/ website. For specific vaccines I always use google or the www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice . Additionally whenever I travel, (being a hyperchondriac Med student) I always consult with a doctor who specializes in travel medicine just to make sure I didn't miss anything. I do always research online beforehand but it's always good to get extra expert advice especially when heading out into the tropics. Finally, it is important to remember that regardless of what sort of precautions you'll undertake something can always happen - it's a risk we all take when travelling afar.

3) Flights

Flight availability, route or price can often make or break an independent (travel company free) trip. In order to avoid that start researching alternative flight routes months in advance. Some ticket prices go up rapidly, some linger at a bargain price for a while - that's just the way it is. When browsing for flights, I often go "incognito" on google chrome in order to avoid additional tracking by companies so that they dont inflate the price. Sometimes long haul flights with long stop overs are unappealing - but if the stopover is long enough and at a cool destination- why not get out of the airport and explore? It doesn't hurt to make the most of your travel even before reaching your final destination.

I always use skyscanner.com ebookers.com & edreams.com - then I double check and compare the prices independently on the airline websites - as essentially it's easier later on with changes if you're booking directly through them (sometimes it is cheaper, sometimes more expensive).




4) Travelling itself

For long duration trip it's good to have a packing list with all the essentials. Don't overpack on things - take only enough for the time you're there - you probably will be using less  than half of these anyway. For tropical destinations I would only recommend bikinis, shorts & comfy lounge wear to travel in (a thin rain jacket is a must too, especially when travelling during the monsoon). I always stock up on anti-emetics, painkillers, anti-mosquito spray and loads of antibac. These are my 'go to' when packing my toiletry bag.

With things like expensive camera equipment or other technology -make sure to have a good worldwide travel insurance. If you're cautious nothing is likely to be a problem but accidents DO happen. It's better to have that extra security, especially when you're taking part in extreme sports or other specific activities such as diving etc - double check your policy covers that.

5) Capture it

These days we all are definitely way too much "on our phones" therefore often living our lives via social media - when absorbed in all of the surrounding technology, we sometimes forget to enjoy the actual moment. However, regardless of this fact, it's good to record our experiences - eg. make movies and later on look back on it all. This doesn't mean you have to be with a camera 24/7 but make sure to choose a day or two when you'll capture some of the essential aspects of the trip - if you don't, you'll only regret it later on. I always take a GoPro when I travel to document my voyages, it's small, waterproof and easy to carry. If you're not the type who likes to carry a huge SLR with lenses - with the abilities of todays smartphones - even a phone is enough to take good quality photos or vids.


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6 comments

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