Whether you’re going to see the dunes in Namibia or visit the Forbidden City in Beijing, preparing for an epic getaway to a faraway country requires a ton of meticulous planning and research. Of course it involves some of the more obvious requirements, such as picking a destination and finding out what’s worth seeing in the city or town you choose to visit.
But preparing, especially preparing for the unexpected, goes far beyond that and is not something that every traveller takes into considering. A trip is not merely about plotting an itinerary, but anticipating all that life can throw at you while you’re on the road. Below we’ll take a look at some of the more pertinent aspects of preparing an epic getaway.
Get your finances in Order
Many people often stress about whether or not they can afford a trip. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s going to put you in crippling debt for the next year, then maybe you should save up a little for it first. On the other hand, if you feel that a little bit of debt won’t completely derail your financial situation, then definitely go for it. After all, you’re only young once and these type of experiences are worth more than anything money can buy.
Ensure that you’ve got your bills paid for, a little bit in your savings account and you’re contributing to some sort of fund for your later years, but anything after that is free game. If you’re someone who’s more on the conservative side of their finances, then maybe a travel account is an appealing option for saving for a holiday. Others might find that using a credit card is the best option since many are geared towards travel and offer points and/or rewards. Deposit whatever amount of money you can afford each month into it, and dip into it whenever there’s a trip you’d like to go on, guilt free!
Just like anything in life, in fact maybe more so, travelling is prone to mishaps. Illnesses, thefts, missed flights or lost luggage - it’s important to factor in that these types of things might occur. Having a contingency plan will mitigate the stress that these types of events often cause.
For example, getting travel insurance will cover most of your costs should you get seriously ill on the road, or if your wallet gets pickpocketed while you’re sightseeing. Knowing that you can get some serious cash in the form of delayed flight compensation if an airline messes up your flight will also make you feel way better about being stuck in an airport for six hours. And knowing what to do in the event that you lose your passport will belay the onset of panic that would otherwise set in.
Don't Overplan it
Overplanning a trip is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you miss half of what you want to see. It might be tempting to cram in as many sights into one day as possible, but chances are you won’t be able to see it all. Many people also fail to factor in the fatigue factor; travelling makes you tired!
It’s important to compensate for downtime in between sights to recharge your batteries. A good strategy is to make a list of everything you’d like to do on a trip and divide it into “must-see” and “maybe” categories. That way when you’re actually at your destination, you can take care of all the imperatives and then, if there’s some time left over, see the secondary points of interest.