Travelling away can be exciting, but also stressful. To ease you on your way and to keep you safe and calm from door to door, here are some handy tips we have come to rely on over the years whilst helping organise business events all over the world.
Don’t over pack, plan out your wardrobe day by day, and include items that can cover you for a number of different scenarios. If you are travelling as a family, consider putting ½ of your items in two bags, that way, if one goes missing, you will still have half of your packed items. Worse case scenario, pack a set of clothing in your hand luggage. It will cover you for any unexpected spillages, and whilst you are doing so, pack a spare toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.
It will not cost a lot to cover your peace of mind. Whatever the scenario, pick insurance that will cover all eventualities from delayed flights to lost luggage and accidents. Make sure you have a copy of the policy with you.
How to book?
Advance purchase bookings can’t be changed in the event of a delay. Equally, booking personally and not via an agent will mean you are responsible for your booking and therefore you will not be as protected. Travel agents and airlines that are ABTA / ATOL bonded will be obliged to get you home. Also, by booking on your credit card it offers you more protection than via your debit card.
Make sure your passport is valid for more than the length of your whole trip, you might not be allowed in if it is not. Some destinations expect your passport to be valid for a good few months from the date you enter the country.
Take something to read
Dead time can be productive time. Get some podcasts downloaded in advance, they take up so much less space in your luggage and can accessed when you are off-line! If you have a Kindle, make sure you get your Kindle app so that you can sync your devices and always keep reading, no matter where you are.
Copy your documents
Take a photo copy or a scan of all of your documents. Then email them or put them on a USB stick and give it to someone you can trust. A great free app is Evernote (www.evernote.com). You can store your documents in it and then search for specific words such as the date, the airline and the destination and Evernote will quickly help you locate the specific document.
There are an abundance of apps out there that can make travel so much easier. These include city guides, SAT nav such as Waze (www.waze.com), translation tools and apps for local emergency numbers.
Make sure you have the right plug for your electrical devices, and for your mobile, consider getting a separate battery pack so that you can stay fully charged, no matter how far away you are away from the grid.
Don’t tell the world
It’s exciting to be away, but be careful about what you share on social media. It can be an open invitation to tell people there’s no one home.
Where to leave your car
Some travellers have been caught out by airport “meet and greet” parking companies that leave cars in unsecured areas, and whilst the car is in their possession, it can be driven badly and for long distances. Research your car parking service carefully, following the airport’s recommended partners.
Look again in a few weeks for Part 2. What tips we have for when you get there.