15 things you need to do before you Vacation Abroad!

So, you’ve made the exciting decision to take a vacation, be it on your lonesome, with friends, with family, your best significant other or you might be like me, ‘who wants to see the world.’

Your to do list!

So, you’ve made the exciting decision to take a vacation, be it on your lonesome, with friends, with family, your best significant other or you might be like me, ‘who wants to see the world.’

With this big decision comes so much planning, before you actually ‘pack that bag and go’. This fact, unfortunately does not change, be it your first trip or you are a seasoned traveller. Now, to my niche audience, ‘my fabulous Mums’, may I present to you my suggestions. However, these suggestions of things to cross off your checklist or to do list will be useful to any traveller.

Secure plans for the children.

As massively exciting the prospect of travelling is, as mums we worry about our children. There is always the need to make firm plans for them, regardless of them coming with you or not.

Now, If they are coming on vacation with you, the whole trip must be planned around the children, with first the hotel or accommodation choice being child friendly and the destination having an abundance of age appropriate activities. I am positive, you do not want a bored child or children on holiday with you. ‘Trust me,’ what you might find relaxing is boredom hell for most children. So, it is important to research age appropriate events and centres that cater for children, to keep them entertained and busy. Pre-book tickets when possible to reduce the stress of not being able to get them on arrival. Research iconic places or look to booking holidays around festivals, to ensure the children are adequately engaged.

On the other hand, if they are not travelling with you, this is a whole different experience entirely. The concern now is that they are left in good hands, with someone you can trust to give them the care they need. With technology, it’s a lot easier with face time apps on phones and gadgets to stay in touch.

Do lots of research

Determine what travel documents you need for the country of choice.

Each country has its own travel requirements for different nationals. Some nationalities can travel to many countries visa- free. For instance, The British passport allows its citizens free visa travel to 174 countries. However, going to some countries such as America, you would need to do an online application for an ESTA. A few other countries, a visa is needed for a British citizen to go visiting. Meanwhile. citizens from other nations need to apply for visas to most countries. Which means it is important to leave plenty of time to plan to acquire whatever visa is needed to visit the country you have decided on. These days lots of travel agents make it easy for you and offer it as a packaged deal. 

Print out hard copies of your Itinerary and booking Confirmations and Photocopy your passport.

With tickets and boarding pass being done online now, in my opinion it is important to have your Itinerary and confirmation of bookings printed on paper, in event something happens and the download you have on your phone or electronic device cannot be used or accessed. I am always wary of relying too much on technology so, a hard copy of these are useful. The copies you can keep as memorabilia of the trip afterwards.

I also know we do not plan or hope to lose our passports, but these things have been known to happen and having your passport photocopied gives you a fighting chance to start the process of reclaiming your identity. Its my opinion you should have a few copies with you, kept in a safe place in the room you are in and on you when going out. On the other hand, a scanned electronic copy emailed to yourself should be on hand to print if the need arises. And these can be reused when ever you have another travel, just keep them safe in a plastic wallet.

Just love natures beauty.

Check Mobile phone plans for the country you are visiting;

Technology can be your friend or your enemy when travelling. But it is a useful tool when you want to stay in touch with friends and family. For a mum away from her babies, its especially important to keep in touch . With the invention of face time its easy to stay in touch when you miss them. Also, for a blogger like me want to make sure you have wifi /data to be able capture the moments as you go. It’s also important you do your research to be able to get the best available service that gives you value for your money.

Check the weather forecast before you leave;

‘The weather ‘can make or break your holiday if you are not prepared for it. Checking before you leave can help you prepare activities for rainy days, especially if you are travelling with children. Knowing to an extent what to expect, will let you plan days in your holiday that could be outdoors and fun activities, it would also help with budgeting, as you are able to decide on days you could pick as possible rest days (rainy days could be your rest days or indoor activities could be planned), cause as we all know weather reports are only guidelines and not absolute.

Make a note of the route to your hotel and how you plan to get there;

In booking your hotel, take thoughts of how you will get to it; so distance from the airport to hotel is important, if you are going to take a taxi or you decide to book a pick-up car from the hotel itself. Some hotels offer pick up services, so ask about these. If you plan to do some driving it’s important to make sure you have the hotels post code or zip code easily accessible for you to input in your sat-nav.

Research sites to see iconic buildings, festivals, Out-door markets and events.

Do extensive research on places to visit, have a list of them. So, you have lots to do and see. Festivals and special events such as concerts are good to experience as well, find out if there are any around your hotel or around the time of your visit.

Buy adapters /converters.

 Make sure to buy adapters or converters for your electronic devices ,so setting up or charging is possible. Search what type you would need and purchase before living or worse case at the airport, depending on where you get it from the price at the airport will be fine.

Research local customs and etiquette.

Make sure to research the local customs and etiquette of where you are visiting. Some countries have certain dress styles that they consider as inappropriate for public spaces or places you are not allowed to eat. Also, in certain places public transport have female only train carriages, if you are travelling with male company you will not be able to travel together on these types of carriages.Look for appropriate carriages or types of transport. It‘s very important to pay close attention to signs and read them to avoid unwanted fines.

Public Transport systems.

Research the public transport system and how to use them, the type of tickets needed and where to purchase them. This will prepare you for what you should expect on how to move around and explore.

Learn some common phrases in the Local language.

Be aware of some simple phrases in the local language; greeting phrases are a very good one to learn, as well as how to order food. You do not want to starve when your away.

Research the safety of the area you are visiting

Just so you are aware research the safety rating of the area you are visiting, there is a saying “to be fore warned is to be fore armed”. This knowledge will help make you conscious of things around you and help you stay away from particularly dodgy places.

Check what your travel insurance covers

Travel insurance are a necessary evil that we have to have in event something happens to us as we travel. This makes it important that you are aware to a great extent what your travel insurance covers you for, as well as the clauses that void the company’s ability to pay out. It can be very annoying to find out you will not get anything because there is a small print that protects the insurance company and not you.  

Exchange and carry some cash with you.

With technology these days, you use your card mostly anywhere. However, there are certain countries one visit’s and your credit or debit cards will not be accepted in some establishments. In this instance, having some cash on hand will be beneficial. Also, while still on the subject of money, It is useful to phone up your bank so they are aware you are travelling , this is important so your transactions are not taken as fraud and restricted.

Pack your lotion/ Sun-cream

Lastly, you would expect to be able to find your brand of body lotion or sun-cream at any destination you travel to or at least something close. But, except your plan is to attempt to make dry skin a trendy look, I would suggest you carry some travel size bottles of your favourite lotion with you as some places will not have your brand. Also, it’s a good idea to carry some over the counter medicines, but check to see if the country you are going to will be fine with it.

Lets hear from you- What do you do before travelling internationally.

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