What to Prepare Before Going for a Trip
Planning A Trip
It's almost the time of the year where I'll fly to my home country, Malaysia. I moved to the United States about three years ago after married to my American husband. Though I was so far away from my family in Malaysia, I feel a little closer because technology nowadays allows us to communicate with each other regardless of the time differences. By the way, I have booked the return flight tickets. I was so lucky after I managed to score an affordable ticket with one of the best airlines in the world.
Personal Travel Experience
I remember when I was a student in Italy, I only made a call to my family once a week, and I have to go to the internet center to use their international payphone for making a phone call. Now, everything has changed. I don't have to worried about how much money I'd spend to call my family. Flying from the U.S to Malaysia can be costly if you don't prepare it wisely. Here I shared some of the many tips I have including how to find a cheaper flight.
1) Plan or Schedule Precisely
If you are working, you might want to check the calendar and let your boss know about your planning to travel. In my case, since I only go back once a year, I like planning it ahead of time to match my husband's work timetable. Preparing or checking the schedule with your partner is important so both are on the same page. This will helps to prevent any issue when you are ready to book the flight. Not just that but, when you precisely knew the date that you want to fly, you might have the opportunity to save more money for your trip!
2) Passport and Visa
Passport is an important document that you must have when traveling to a foreign country. In the meantime, check the passport expiration date before making any booking. If it's isn't valid for more than six months at the time of entry to a foreign country, you may be turned away. I bet you don't want that to happen! Check if you require a visa to travel to the country that you want to visit. Apply as soon as you book your trip. You can go to the embassy website to seek further information.
3) Airline Website vs Third-Party Retailer
Both have pros and cons. I have been an avid flight booking fan for both websites. Why? I'm very compulsive when it comes to booking flights. I prefer looking at a cheaper price ticket but, I still want to fly with the best airline. First of all, I will look at the flight that has good reviews - check the customer website such as Trip Advisor to read people's comments. Then, I go to the airline website and third-party retailer at the same time to compare the price. Here some of the airlines and third-party retailer sites that you can try.
4) Airlines Loyalty Programs and Sign Up For Free
You might want to join a frequent flyer or loyalty program of the airline to earn travel benefits. By accumulating the miles or point you may use them to get a cheaper flight ticket or even redeem a free seat. However, you must have a sufficient point to do so. All you have to do is heading to the airline website and sign up for free. The often you travel and booking through the airline you will earn more miles. By the way, you also may take advantage of signing up a major credit card that has an alliance with the airlines. So when you made the payment with the credit card, you collect miles that you can use for your future travel plan. Awesome right?
Trust me, booking a hotel can give you a headache but, you might want to book a hotel that is nearest the public transportation. Why? Public transportation is cheaper and it is the best way to explore the city. To save money, compare the room prices at several booking websites. Don't forget to sign up as a member if reserving directly through the hotel. However, if you travel with a group of friends, try Airbnb because they have a better price compared to the hotels.
6) Stay On Budget
It doesn't matter if you went for a short trip but, stay on a budget is important. Before going make a list of things that you want to add in the budget for example transportation, food, and shopping. By listing it, you will have an estimate of how much money you want to bring and spend.
A common mistake people made on a vacation is requesting the room service, here what you should do instead. Buy food or snacks from the store and bring it to the room or you can go eating at the local food place. After all, you don't want to stay in the room all day. Another tip, look for accommodation with free breakfast included so, you can have breakfast in the morning before going out for your sightseeing!
7) Destination Research
Tourists can often get special discounts that locals cannot access. Many cities offer a pass that offers free or discounted admission to major attractions and transportation. By buying in advance, you’ll be able to skip the ticket lines and better plan your itinerary. For example, you can buy an advance ticket to the museum, galleries, theme park and much more. Destination research is so important to do because it saves you time and you never know if your phone is working once you arrived at the destination.
8) Keep Photocopies of Documents On Hand
Keep copies of documents on hand. If something happens to your passport or wallet, you'll need all of your identifying information. For this matter, I usually carry a travel documents pouch with compartments - keeping all important stuff in one place such as boarding pass, ticket, passport, ID, insurance, cash, keys, and phone. By the way, use your phone's camera to take a photo of the important passport pages (personal information and visa) and photo ID so you will have it on hand in an emergency.
9) Search And Download Apps & Maps Beforehand
There are many apps to help you plan your trip and navigate while there. To avoid data charges from your wireless carrier, download all your travel apps before you leave and ensure that any apps you choose can be accessed offline. For example, you can download these handy smartphone apps to make your travel easier.
- Hotel Quickly
- Jet Lag Rooster
10) Staying In Touch While Travel
Let loved ones know your travel plans so they can contact you. In the unlikely event, there's a news event or catastrophe in one of your destinations, knowing where you actually are may put their minds at ease. If you traveling alone, make sure to let them know your primary phone number or email. In the meantime, let them know about your flight details, place of stay, and how many days you will be gone. Also, it is your responsibility to let them know once you have arrived at the destination. The fastest way to do it by connecting your phone to the wi-fi connection at the airport and texting them.
11) Miscellaneous Items
The miscellaneous items can be packed into a carry on bag but, make sure items are allowed. Some items that you want to consider to bring are medicine, travel guide, journal, pen, mints, lip balm, camera, phone charger, sunglasses, toothbrush, ointment, vitamins, hat, and other small things that you can think of.
12) Take Myriad of Photos
Last but not least, enjoy your trip and take a lot of photos. However, to make sure you are not running out of storage - use a free storage service like Google Photos. It's free and the best thing is it will automatically back up your files and it will stores them on Google's serves. Then, it allows you to delete any files from your device, which will free up a lot of space on your phone. Ain't that cool?! Or you can share them with your loved ones back at home by posting through photo-sharing apps such as Instagram. Have a nice vacation!
© 2019 Liza