Traveling can be great fun when done properly. Exploring different parts of the world or even taking that road trip through some states you have never been could be adventures worth remembering.
However, in order to enjoy traveling, a person needs to be smart with the organization of their trips. That means packing smartly and properly planning out your itinerary in advance before the actual trip begins.
Here are five sound tips when it comes to organizing for trips (and some can be carried over into everyday life).
1) Read About Your Destinations
Taking a trip without knowing what is store may sound fun from a mystery standpoint. However, it can easily create problems if you are diving into certain situations without various of exit plans.
Know what your destination, be it a city, state, or country is like. Figure out where you want to go and which tourist spots you want to visit. This also means understanding what is going on in a particular country. Be aware of travel warnings and of risks to tourists there. Some places are noted for pickpockets. Other places could kidnap visitors.
This also applies to what the health situation is like in a destination country. Make sure you have a clean bill of health before taking a long trip overseas. Also, if you are traveling to places where there are risks of disease (such as malaria in Africa), then try and get vaccinations before traveling.
2) Keep the Passport Safe
You want to have your passport with you overseas at all times. Always be aware of it because you can always go to the U.S. embassy or eventually leave the country if you have it. In fact, it would be a good idea to have a back-up passport or at least a copy of it in case you lose it or it gets stolen.
It also would be a good idea to have a passport at home in case one gets lost during your travels. Getting passports take time, so you need to prepare in advance. Some countries, such as China, also require visas and these take time and have some charges to acquire. Without visas, you can’t visit some of these countries.
Passports are also good sources of identification, so even traveling stateside with them can be useful.
3) Know Your Money and Stash some Cash
If traveling abroad, know your money situation. That means understanding the currency exchange rate for that country. You don’t want to go to a place where you don’t know how much everything is relative to the U.S. dollar.
Check to see if credit cards are acceptable in many locations within the visiting country. Some aren’t as advanced and may not allow it. Travelers checks also can help.
Airport exchange centers tend to be really poor rates when it comes to exchanging currency. Instead, go to the country and use an ATM or a local bank which will usually provide better rates.
Always have some of the country’s currency, but some U.S. dollars as well as they tend to be accepted almost anywhere around the globe. In the meantime, make sure you stash away some actual cash in case of emergencies. Also, store some spare cash in various places such as in a sock, hidden in your backpack, or even in your toiletry bag. In case, you lose your wallet (and those cards with it), you still have some cash on hand.
4) Pack Lightly if Possible
If you can, try to pack as little as possible. Don’t try to pack for every occasion on a long trip. Then you will be heavily encumbered and must also lug a lot of luggage through airports and in between hotels. Pack light enough and try to look for places where you can do some laundry during your travels.
A good idea is to always pack a change of clothes on your carry-on item. That way, if the airlines lose your luggage or misplace them, you still have some clothes on you.
5) Bring a Charger Adapter
Given today’s connected world of networks, smartphones, and iPads, bringing chargers for your electronic equipment is a must. However, chargers are different around the globe particularly when it comes to sockets and outlets.
Bringing a charger adapter can help you navigate the many different outlets and voltages which are used. This way, you can avoid having your phone or iPad run out of juice with no way of restoring its energy supply. Also, make sure what other countries allow when it comes to chargers and batteries. Different countries have different rules and some may not allow taking something like lithium batteries through airport security.
Keeping the phone charged helps in the long run, especially if you use its global capabilities. Using the phone this way actually can cut down on roaming charges when you are using your device overseas.