Things to Prepare Before Taking a Long Trip

1. Make sure your household bills are up to date

This may sound obvious or even pedantic but you really need to think about something like this. Last year I went on a tour that was 3 weeks. It covered the last 2 weeks of one month and the first week of the next month. Once of my household bills from the first month hadn’t arrived before I left and was delivered whilst I was away. This meant I had no way of paying it for that month. When I got back I was greeted by final demands as this particular authority was known to be ruthless with non-payers.

2. Check your travel and medical Insurance

It is important when going on a long trip you have the correct travel and medical insurance. The last thing you want is to be stuck in another country and something happens you need to produce a credit card to save your life. This also relates to Number 5, if you haven’t told your bank you are going away and you don’t have proper cover you could be in serious trouble. Always travel with adequate travel and medical insurance. A lot of credit companies now offer travel insurance as standard.

3. Share your itinerary with someone

This is important if you are traveling alone. Your loved ones and friends need to know where you are, maybe not all the time, but at least where they can reach you. If something happens back home, you may need to return for an emergency, or there may be some important news they need to tell you. At least if they know your travel plans rather than exact details you will be easier to track down in an emergency situation.

4. Check the Visa and Passport requirements for your destinations or possible destinations

Don’t get to the airport and find they won’t even let you on the plane! This is the reality of what could happen if you don’t have the correct documents. Visa requirements are especially important to avoid unnecessary complications and delays at your destination. Make sure your passport is valid for at least the next 6 months, otherwise a lot of airlines won’t let you travel.

5. Tell your bank where you are going

Even if you are taking travelers checks or cash you should have a back up. The bank needs to know where you may be using your ATM or credit card. Due to cyber fraud nowadays a lot of banks will not allow you to use your cards abroad unless you tell them beforehand. It’s very easily done for most banks through their website. If you don’t tell them, you may end up having your ATM card swallowed by an overseas machine!

6. Organise your ID

What IDs will you need when you travel? Obviously your passport but what about the credit card you booked your flight with? some airlines insist on seeing it before travel. Other IDs could include a driving license if you plan on renting a car or motorbike while traveling. Don’t forget to print all your ticket information and hotel booking vouchers if you have pre-booked them.

7. Set up your phone

If you are planning on taking your phone abroad, beware of costly roaming charges. The best thing is to organize with your phone company beforehand, or better still, get a throwaway SIM card whilst you are there. Most countries have a SIM plan you can get at the larger international airports.

8. Learn a few phrases

Especially important if you are planning to travel a little off the beaten track. Not everywhere is fluent in English, even some larger cities in Asia and Africa you will find little English spoken. Learn a few choice phrases that will come in handy whilst you are there, it will save you a lot of time, money and hassle.

9. Have a Plan B

Expect the unexpected on your trip. If you planned to travel to a beach then suddenly find it closed, make sure you don’t arrive at midnight and you have nowhere to stay for the night. Give yourself some room for maneuver. I once got delayed on a flight and found myself in the middle of nowhere at 2am in the morning, the car rental I’d pre-booked had closed so I had no alternative but to find a hotel which wasn’t easy!. If you plan and prepare, try to think of what might happen, just in case.

10. Secure your home

Of course you are going to lock your doors and take the necessary precautions but what about the little things that could cause problems when you get back. Turn off the water and electricity is a good step if you are going away for a long period. Coming back to burst water pipes is not fun at all. I usually disconnect my car battery if I go on a trip longer than a few weeks, the last thing I need is a flat battery when I return.

Tips For Save Money On Your Honeymoon Package

honeymoon-bedAfter you marry the love of your life and spend every dollar that you have in your budget on a wedding, you are worried that you are not going to get a honeymoon that you will enjoy. This trip is supposed to be one that you remember for a lifetime and you want to make sure that you remember it for all the right reasons. By following a few tips, you will get the honeymoon package you have been dreaming of.

When you are paying for everything you need for your wedding ceremony and reception, consider getting a credit card that awards you points for your purchases. These points can often be turned into things like airplane tickets or hotel stays. As long as you are not letting your balance on the charge card roll over and build up interest costs, you are going to save a bundle with this bonus.

In lieu of traditional wedding gifts, consider setting up a honeymoon package registry. You have to think about what is more important to you, pots and pans, or a great trip. There are plenty of websites online that will allow you to direct your wedding guest’s generous gift to you by paying for part of your trip instead of that toaster you probably do not need.

Find out when the off season starts and ends. There are times at most destinations where the weather is not ideal and so there is less demand for tourists to visit. These times are when there are better deals on honeymoon packages. Book your trip right at the edge of one of these parts of the year and you are likely to still get decent weather for a fraction of the cost and without all the crowds.

Think about the value of your dollar and consider where it is going to be worth the most. There are some countries where the conversion rate will give you more for your money while at other destinations you lose money when you exchange your currency.

Take advantage of the honeymoon package that all-inclusive resorts offer. Many places will allow you to have all you can eat and drink, a hotel room, and even some activities all for one price. This will give you a better idea of what you need to budget for because there will not be a lot of additional costs that you have to consider.

Try to fly out on an off-day. When you can only book your flight on a Friday or Saturday, you are going to pay the highest price and be stuck on a jam-packed plane. If you can, fly out on a Monday or Tuesday to get the best deal. If you want to avoid all the business travelers, book your flight on a Sunday instead.

Plan the least expensive way to get around when you get to your destination. Cab rides and car services are convenient, but they can cost you a bundle. Check around in the area to see if they have a mass transit service that can offer you the rides that you need. Better yet, you can map to do things that are within walking distance from your hotel. Just be sure to check that the area is safe for tourists.

You can also cut the price on honeymoon packages if you are open to having a room with no view. The rooms that do not offer a majestic scene that most tourists are looking for can often be reserved for a reduced price compared to the rest of the hotel.

Finally, do not be afraid to mention that you are a newlywed couple. Many travel hot spots offer discounts and specials for just married visitors.

You Must Know This When Applying For A Visa

The process of applying for the visa necessary for you to travel or migrate to another country is challenging. For an ordinary person, this may be series of complicated steps. Good thing there are experts who are very much willing to help you simplify the process. Immigration consultants will also help you achieve a successful visa issuance.

Visa Interview Tips

Be Prepared – Experts highly emphasized that you must know some significant information regarding your country of destination. Oftentimes, the more you know about where you are going and why you must go there, the better you will do. There are some officers who begin their interview in a casual way, asking you to search your country of destination in a map. Some officers might have specific questions regarding the program you intend to take up if you are applying for a student visa.

Always speak for yourself – You must not bring your parents or any of your family members during the interview. Bear in mind that you will be interviewed not your parents or relatives. So be very prepared to speak on your own behalf.

Be concise – Be reminded that oftentimes, officers are under a considerable amount of time to perform quick and effective interviews. Lots of decisions are often made on the impressions they form during the first minute or two of the conversation. In other words, what you say first along with the initial impression you create are very crucial to your success. Thus, you need to keep all your answers short and to the point.

Have a clear supplement document – The content as well as the context of your supporting document must be clear at first glance. If you are lucky, you may have about 2-3 minutes of interview time. So make the most of it by being at your very best.

Always have a positive attitude – You must not engage in an argument with the officer who is conducting the interview. In case you received a denied visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you must bring so you can successfully overcome the refusal. It would also be a nice idea for you to ask the reason why you were denied and put it in writing. If you are denied for your first interview, book for a second on as soon as you possibly can. Also, gather new information in order to address deficiencies in your application or perhaps interview responses. Bring new and compelling information to your next interview to justify the reconsideration of your case.

List of Character Traits for Adventure Travelling

One aspect of traveling that will always remain a constant is that the road you choose will always challenge you. That’s just part of the journey my friend. And if you aren’t tough, it will eat you up. I’m not talking about being physically tough. All the exercise in the world doesn’t combat mental challenges you may face while traveling. I am talking about character toughness. The ability of being able to turn negatives into positives. The ability of being able to move forward through the tough times you’ll face in order to reach your final destination. The ability to welcome adverse conditions along the way and grow from them. This list of character traits will help you reach your goals when the gear you packed just isn’t enough.

Accept Criticism

Life is full of critics. There’s never a shortage of people saying you can’t do that and here’s why. For one reason or another, someone will always find a reason to project their insecurities, negativity, and fears onto you and your life. Being able to accept that criticism in a positive way will help you grow as a person and plan for situations you may not have otherwise seen on your own.

Be Humble

Humble people don’t think they are owed things, which leads to a less prejudiced view of the world. This also encourages tolerance to others and a less defensive view about your own beliefs. Having a character trait like this will definitely help you absorb as much as possible of the world around you while on the road. And after all, that’s what traveling is all about.

Be Patient

“Patience is a virtue” is an old cliche that’s be around for a long time and for good reason. The older I get the more I’m coming to understand the value of patience. Things don’t go according to plan. Life itself seems to always be in the way. Stuff just happens. It’s amazing how a little patience can have a calming effect on a stressful situation. Try not to swim against the tide but rather have patience and wait for the tide to turn.

Trust Yourself

Self doubt can have one of the most crippling effects on any adventure. It leads to paranoia, insecurity and gets in the way of making clear and decisive decisions. Being able to trust yourself will give you the confidence needed to commit to your plans and push through difficult situations that will inevitably arise. Without having trust in yourself you may become deterred from reaching your destination. Or even worse heading off on your travels in the first place.

Expect Less

This may seem counter counterintuitive because “I want to travel the world!” seems like a lot to expect from life. But in reality expecting less can lead to gaining more. The world around you doesn’t care what you expect from it. It moves along with or without you. If you’re always focused on getting out what you expect from life, you can miss all the valuable opportunities and experiences that are given freely everyday. Just try to sit back and enjoy the ride, take in what life gives you and you won’t be disappointed.

Guide to Checking Travel Bags

Let’s admit this; a lot of us think checking baggage is the ultimate travel solution. It’s not as straightforward as it looks. Anyone who has faced the misery of having reached their destination without their luggage knows exactly what a terrible experience this can possibly be.

On many days, it is simply sheer bad luck. However, on others it can be traced back to some mistakes on your part once you check-in your luggage. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are checking travel bags.

1. AIRLINE POLICIES

This is often taken for granted by many travelers. If one airline is generous with it, the other should be following their footprints. This is seldom the case. All airlines may have very different rules when it comes to checked baggage. There is mostly only one thing common among each of them; airlines are not very generous when it comes to luggage that you check-in.

To avoid putting yourself in any awkward situation, you must read the fine print about the airline policies towards the luggage. This should be done when you book your ticket with the airline. Little can be done once you arrive at the airport, oblivious of what the airline is going to charge you of.

2. PROTECT YOUR LUGGAGE

Under very rare cases are airlines going to accept the blame for lost luggage or misplaced items. You’re most likely to take responsibility of the mishap at the end. For this reason, it is very important to protect your luggage under all conditions.

There are several ways of getting this done. Firstly, you must avoid packing any valuables in your bags. Anything that you’d be sorry to lose should be kept near you in a carry-on. This is where it is likely to be the safest. Valuable items just as jewelry and cash must never be put in your luggage.

Even if there are no such items in your baggage, everything you have packed is important to you because you’d need it more often. For this reason, you must purchase a travel lock that is approved by TSA. Apart from being safer, these are also helpful when your luggage is being examined at the airport. Locks that can’t be opened through the standard ways are often broken and might damage your personal belongings.

3. MAKE YOUR LUGGAGE STAND OUT

While you’re waiting at the baggage carousel, anxiously waiting to get done, you often end up picking up bags that aren’t yours. Not your fault when most of them look just the same. The majority of travelers tend to pick black and blue luggage bags that look almost identical. This is one of the top reasons for your luggage getting misplaced.

Before your next trip, get more creative and make your luggage more personalized. If you have to purchase new ones, opt for a unique color. If you’re good with the existing ones, add a ribbon or anything else that makes your baggage look more personal.