Two seasoned travellers give you a heads up on the common blunders we tend to make while vacationing abroad.
1 Not checking your passport
Passport processing can take up to six weeks or even more. So as soon as you start planning for your trip, you need to check the validity of your passport. Apply immediately if you don’t have it yet. If you already have yours, make sure that it hasn’t expired or nearing expiry. Remember, some individual countries require that you have at least six months on your passport before expiry to be allowed to enter. Also, if you have one of those older handwritten passports, get it reissued as many countries do not consider those valid anymore.
2 Not making copies of your documentation
Keep a paper copy of your passport, visa and airline tickets, should you lose these essential documents. While many people photograph them and have it on their phones, this can be problematic if your phone is stolen, and the rate of the of phones left idly on a coffee shop table is high. As a back up, always email yourself scanned copies of these essential documents, or save them on a cloud, so that you can access them anytime from anywhere.
3 Not figuring out airport transfers
Have you given yourself sufficient time between interconnecting flights? Some airports are huge and require a great deal of time to traverse between terminals.
4 Not knowing how to get from the airport to where you are going
What time are you arriving? What airport transfers are available? Do they run all day and all night? Certain airports stop their transfer services between certain dark hours of the night. Many people do not have a game plan to travel from the airport to their hotel, resort or place of stay. This needs to be pre-organised in many cases.
5 Not booking a place to stay—at least for the first night
This is a peace-of-mind decision. Knowing where you will stay on the first night gives a little breathing space and secures a safety net for you. There is nothing worse than standing in the middle of the airport, trying to decide where you will spend the night. This is could be an expensive mistake, especially since you are likely to be too tired to think straight and will go with the first option available to lay your weary head. Inevitably it will cost you an arm and a leg and probably be located in the remotest area.
6 Not factoring in the different time zones when booking your trip
This is one where we have been caught, with daylight savings hours kicking in and out at various times of the year. Check in advance to avoid arriving at your destination at an odd hour. If you have made transport arrangements you may find that these don’t go entirely according to your plans.
7 Not using RFID protectors
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