9 Top Travel Tips Before You Go


Before Departure

Whether you’re travelling for your first or fiftieth holiday a little preparation will help you make the most of your holiday. Here are some ideas to help you prepare for your trip.

1. Passports and Visas

Ensure you know the passport and visa requirements for the countries you are travelling to. Most countries require passports to have at least 6 months validity before allowing entry. This together with an incorrect visa can be a stumbling block for travellers so make sure you check your passport expiry date and apply for a new passport if necessary well in advance of your departure date.

Similarly with visas, different countries have different requirements and it can take some time to obtain this. Plan ahead to ensure this doesn’t negatively impact your travel plans.

2. Travel Insurance

The best time to buy your Travel Insurance is once you have finished your travel planning and you are ready to book your travels. While Travel Insurance policies cover a range of different areas, one of the key benefits is cancellation cover. This allows you under certain conditions to claim back costs such as non-refundable flights, accommodation, tours and activities you have paid prior to your departure.

3. Digital World

In our digital world, we generally want to stay in contact while we’re away but don’t want to come home to an outrageous phone bill (the largest component is generally data usage)! Here are a couple of ways to avoid this

  • Switch off data roaming, locations services, push notifications for your apps and automatic updates;

  • Buy an International Travel Pass from your communications provider but check carefully to understand charges and what areas are covered;

  • Purchase a local prepaid sim card when you arrive at your destination and swap it out with your usual sim card. To do this you need to make sure that your phone is unlocked and works with local networks. You’ll have a different number so ensure that you have advised an alternative method of contact for family and friends

  • Arrange a travelling sim card prior to departure. There are a number of providers and cost will depend on your destinations but this option provides you with your new contact number prior to departure which you can give to family and friends.

4. Packing

Whether it’s a weekend, a week or several months away ensuring you have the right things packed takes a little planning. There are a multitude of tips and sites regarding what to take, whether to fold or roll but the key is to plan what you’re going to take in advance. There’s nothing worse than lugging around a suitcase full of clothes, shoes and toiletries that you simply won’t use.   Make a list of what you’re planning to take – this can also help if your luggage goes astray – and adopt a “this goes with that” approach for maximum flexibility.

5. Carry-on luggage

There’s a chance your luggage will be delayed or go astray and having certain things in your carry-on luggage will help until it’s located and reunited with you. Make sure you know what the airline you’re travelling with allows as carry-on though.

  • Essential documents – Passport, Visas, Credit Card, Cash, Itinerary;

  • Medications – ensure you have several days’ supply of your medications and relevant prescriptions with you at all times;

  • Electronics – make sure you not only have your phone and tablet/laptop but all necessary chargers and adapters;

  • Toiletries – whatever you need if you’re delayed for 24 – 48 hrs;

  • A change of underwear and clothes;

  • Scarf or Shawl – not all airlines supply blankets and staying comfortable can make all the difference;

  • Lip balm, moisturiser, eye drops and ear plugs to make the time aboard more comfortable

6. Documents

Make sure you have copies of all important documents your passport, driver’s licence and credit cards etc where you can easily access them. Whether it’s hard copy or in digital format, having copies and information immediately available allows you to quickly organise their replacement and reduce the potential for fraud. However you choose to store these copies, make sure you have all of the relevant information eg front and back of credit cards.

7. Finances

Have alternate cards available to access money. If you lose or have a credit card stolen, you can put a stop on it immediately and switch to your alternate card. Let your bank know that you’re travelling and where you’ll be. This helps them to monitor your accounts and credit cards for any suspicious behaviour.

8. Itinerary

Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone you trust. You never know what might happen while you’re away, impacting either you or your family and friends at home, and in the event that things don’t go as planned you’ll have someone who can act immediately to aid and assist, or even attempt to locate you.

9. Entertainment

Download your favourite movies, TV shows, music and podcasts before you leave. For many budget airlines onboard entertainment options are limited and costly. Having your own shows and podcasts too can ease the impact of delayed flights etc