Travelling is a beautiful thing we all have the opportunity to do. Whether you like playing it safe or going out without a plan, everybody should try travelling once. So it’d help to prepare yourself, right? That’s why we’ve made this article of 9 Things You Should Have Before Travelling.
The places you go to will be engraved in your memory forever, so it’s important to ensure a smooth, headache-free trip. Make sure you keep these tips in mind before your next trip!
Let’s start off with the basics. If you’re travelling abroad, you’re going to need a permission slip to get out of your country, a passport. As a traveller, starting small and going domestic is a good idea, but eventually, your sights will be set on international travelling.
Based on the frequency of your travels, you may want to opt for a passport with more pages. For Indian citizens, we have the option of either 36 or 60 pages for travel and visa stamps. If you are a frequent Indian traveller, it’s highly recommended you go for the 60-page passport. Before you know it, your passport will be filled and you’ll have no other option than to re-issue for a new one, as India does allow the addition of extra pages.
So with that out of the way, what benefits does the India passport have for its citizens? Well, other than the fundamental function it’s meant to provide, not much. It does provide travel to a select number of countries without a visa, but that’s about it. India is currently 71 in the Global Passport Power Index. It may not be the best, but it fulfils its purpose and allows you to pursue your passion.
Dread it. Run from it. Packing arrives all the same.
And not only that. You’re going to find yourself packing a lot for these upcoming trips. You may as well start getting into the habit of efficient packing. If you want to go for a more minimalist travel, we’ve got a guide for that!
For finding a bag for all your equipment, here is an in-depth article which will help you choose the perfect future travel companion.
While travelling, you’re going to need to be well equipped for any potential situation. Personally, I follow a “less is more” approach while packing, grabbing only the essential and multi-functional gadgets which are sure to come in handy.
Invest in photography equipment if you’re into that. There will be plenty of breathtaking, hilarious, unbelievable or inspirational moments which you may want to be immortalized. There are plenty of entry-level cameras to choose from based on specs and budget here.
Lastly, if you have any medical conditions, tread carefully. Never ignore the signs of your body. Depending on the country or destination you’re travelling to, consider getting a shot, grabbing extra medicines or find out where and how you can get the needed medicine in case of an emergency. Consider also getting travel insurance if you want to be extra safe.
Unless you’re a millionaire, you will hit roadblocks while travelling, even if you’re comfortably settled. The cost of long term travelling hits the wallet and bank accounts hard. Picking the luxury option or the easy options aren’t always practical. You will have to find tricks and hacks to save money to avoid paying exorbitant amounts of money.
The most basic step you can take is to plan and track your expenses. Set a budget for your accommodations, travelling and food expenses. Afterwards, use whatever is left for emergencies, then souvenirs. It’s important to know what you’re spending because you may end up losing track, surpassing your budget and end up in a financial hole.
My priorities for budgeting are in this order:
- Travelling requirements (such as visa and tickets)
- Goals while travelling
My list of priorities may differ from a lot of people because 1. I would keep my top priority as food if I didn’t sleep and 2. I enjoy walking, so that way I can cut down on transportation.
I carry a fixed amount of local cash with me. It’s stored safely and exclusively for emergencies such as my atm card not working or if I’m at places which don’t accept credit cards. Speaking of credit cards, apply for a card which has no foreign transaction fees. Whether you spend a lot or a little, saving money is always a good habit to practice.
Install Travel Apps
With the advent of the smartphone, we’ve become highly dependent on it for getting even the simplest tasks done. Finding a location, calling a taxi, booking a room, it’s all done on your mobile phone.
Zomato, Uber, Google Maps are some universal apps on everybody’s phone and they work internationally! Unfortunately, your other apps may not be as effective abroad or even in some other states of your country. Ola is mostly locked to India while an app such as M-Indicator is locked to a city.
Travelling apps are undeniably helpful and can pull you out of sticky. So, what are the best apps you should download before setting out on your adventure? For starters, the above 3 apps are a good start. Zomato can help you find places to eat at, Uber can get you places while Google Maps helps you find your way.
Aside from the apps mentioned above, here are the apps (which are free!) I always have on my phone:
- Google Flights
- Google Translate
- Weather App
Bucket List & Goals
People live for experiences. We all want to make the most of our time here before we’re gone, don’t we? Bucket lists are amazing as they embody the end goals of our lives. They help us articulate our dreams.
Making bucket lists is easy once you’ve figured out what you want. Why are you going to this particular place? What do you want to see or experience? Jot down the things you want to do before travelling to your destination and do your best to make sure they happen.
Every place you travel to won’t be included in your bucket list, while others may be just too expensive. That’s okay. The beauty of bucket lists is that they’re supposed to be accomplished before the end game. Instead what I recommend is making a bucket list for each destination.
Take some time before the trip and find our what that place is known for. Figure out the hidden secrets, the major attractions and must try’s. Make a bucket list and achieve all these goals before the bittersweet farewell.
I view bucket lists literally as lists. And my lists have many sub-points. I’m not worried about how long my bucket list is because I’m checking each goal off gradually.
As stated in the above point, there is a need to research before heading to a travel destination. Firstly, there will be cultural differences in the place you will be going to. They may be more conservative, allowing a certain dressing for men and women, the food and beverages may be foreign and not everyone may end up speaking your preferred language.
Secondly, emergency numbers differ from country to country. The last thing you want is to need to contact the authorities and not know what to dial. Is it 911? 100? A different combination of 3 numbers? It’s safer finding out beforehand.
Lastly, in case of any issues in a foreign county, get the contact information and location of the consulate or embassy which you belong to. In the unlikely scenario that you end up in trouble, lose your passport or need a temporary place to stay, the embassy can be your saving grace.
Other than these, research about the do’s and don’ts of the country or place you are visiting. It’s not always that adjustments will be made for you. Many places offer hospitality, while others not so much, so take the safer option and follow the rules!
Prepare For The Weather & Food
This point goes hand in hand with the above point. While researching is important, making sure you are prepared is just as important. You’re going to a foreign land where all the unfamiliar experiences await. The least you can do is prepare for the most common situations that’ll happen.
The weather and climate are the most obvious here. Imagine packing only clothes meant for a tropical climate, but when you get there it’s raining cats and dogs. Now you’re not only stuck in a situation where your plans are behind, you’re woefully unprepared but also drenched. The perfect start to your vacation?
On to food now. Not everybody has strong stomachs, but then again foreign cuisines can get the best of us. Developed countries usually have clean food and restaurant food is always an option. An expensive option but an option.
If you’re looking to sample the local street delicacies and you’re unsure about how well your stomach will handle it, I highly recommend keeping medicine handy.
Advice From Other Travellers
Sometimes blogs or the things you read online aren’t the most reliable sources. Personally, I find the best way to get a grasp of what you’re about to head into is through another person. Not just anybody but somebody who is close, knowledgable or someone whom I can relate to.
Advice from such people is infinitely more valuable than any article online in my opinion. Tips about packing, saving money, finding the best hot spots in certain destinations, how to manage your time and make every second count.
The most valuable piece of advice I’ve received was from a traveller was maintaining the same level of determination throughout each of your trips. Your level of determination dictates the success and value of your travels.
As for advice from my end, I say the same thing to every person who is thinking of getting into travelling: Do not be scared of the unknown.
You must’ve read online that travelling helps find one’s self and that is absolutely true. Travelling is liberating. It brings out a response from you which you may have never known existed. If at all you have any scepticism left, there is no harm in trying travelling out.
A Sense Of Adventure
Not everything will go according to plan. The real adventure is adjusting to the situation or just winging it to make sure you have a great time.
Do you ever get that overwhelming desire to just head out and experience what the world has to offer? This doesn’t apply to everyone. Some have it naturally while others are more cautious. Having a sense of adventure doesn’t hurt anyone.
For me, that sense of adventure fuels me to keep heading out on journeys and experiencing the unknown. It’s that smell of trees as I wander through a forest, the sound of the waves crashing into the shore, the sound and busy markets and the sight seen by no normal man.
Grab that sense, be adventurous and break the mould which you see yourself as. Take a chance. It may end up being one of the best choices you’ve ever made.