Prepare your trip
The following 10 tips will help you organize and plan your upcoming trip:
- Inform yourself (and stay updated) about the most recent safety and security situation of your destination by consulting the website of the government of your home country. If your country does not have one, you can always consult the up-to-date travel advice on the excellent websites of the UK Government, the USA Department of State, and the Australian Government.
- Apply in time for travel documents (international passport & visa) when applicable. This information can also be found on the website of the government of your home country (see links above).
- Apply in time for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) when the USA is your end destination.
- Inform yourself about the health situation in the country that you want to visit. When applicable, visit your doctor in time for immunizations (allow up to 6 weeks for any vaccinations to take effect) and other travel-related medical treatments. You can find all necessary information on the website of the USA Centre for Disease Control and Prevention or the website of the world-famous Belgian Institute of Tropical Medicine.
- Educate yourself about food and drinking safety when traveling to developing countries, in order to minimize the risk for traveler’s diarrhea. Know what to do in case that you would develop diarrhea despite taking precautionary measures.
- Pack you luggage in time! Make use of my packing list, so that you can buy missing items in advance.
- Prepare your finances. Make sure that all your credit cards are working, valid, and have a high enough credit limit. Know the phone number of your credit card company in case you would encounter unexpected problems. Many places still don’t accept credit cards or checks, so be sure to order and bring travelers’ checks or cash (foreign currency) in this scenario.
- Plan your itinerary in advance. A helpful source to start looking for the perfect itinerary are the online travel guides of Rough Guides, Lonely Planet, and – my favorite – the Frommer’s guides (suggested itineraries are listed per destination). Alternatively, contact me if you have an itinerary related question.
- Know what the weather will be like at your travel destinations. Don’t get caught unprepared, and always double-check the weather forecast the day before your departure. The best weather forecast websites are the weather channel, wunderground, and – my favorite – accuweather.
- Book your flights and accommodations in advance to avoid extra costs and huge disappointment. If you want, you can always use the links on my blog to book your holiday. Before booking, be sure to read the following tips: