Better be prepared – Travel

The better prepared you are the safer and more, enjoyable your travel will be. Make sure your passport has enough validity. Check the expiry date of your passport before you travel. Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for six months from when you plan to leave that country.

“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller,” Ibn Battuta

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Someone rightly said, ‘adventure may hurt you but monotony will kill you’. Travelling over the holidays is one of the joyous things one can do. It refreshes your mind and gives you that much needed break you have been longing all the year round. While travelling is lots of fun, it does not come free. The expenditure, attached with travelling, makes you go crazy. 

Nothing beats the excitement of jumping on a plane to explore a new place or to rediscover an old one. Taking some sensible precautions while you’re away will help to make your journey safe and fun. 

Travelling over the holidays can be expensive and demanding but as they say, ‘better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times,’ so it’s always a good idea to save some money for travelling. There are plenty of small strategies you can implement while travelling that will help you save without ruining the fun and spontaneity of being in a new place. 

Please see our article and also I have complied some tips to help you plan a holiday on a budget.

Book your flight ahead: If you are planning your next holiday best advice is to plan early, do plenty of home work and book early. Once we are back from our holidays, we start planning our next. Leaving it last minute is not a good idea and you will miss on lot of specials and good deals also at the same time you will feel rushed as well for both in booking stage and during your holidays as well. We as a family have few good reasons why you should be booking early for your next trip. Flexibility and booking early are two of the best tips for booking cheaper flights and on not to miss out on your MUST DO LIST. While last-minute deals can also be found, your options will be limited. Please check my article to why book early.

Travel in off season: Avoid School holidays or book middle of school holidays and go few days over the end of school holidays rush. Travelling out of season will mean cheaper flights and less busy destinations a win-win situation. Even the most popular destinations typically have an ‘off season’, and if you can find out when it is, that’s the time to travel there on the cheap. Don’t go to a destination if that time is peak or holidays season at that place unless you can afford to or you have to. Many times, you will find that plane tickets, hotels, and activities cost less, which makes for a great vacation and – the best part – less tourists.

Peak times of the year depends upon the destination. For holiday destinations, such as the peak season for Europe is (roughly mid-June through August), shoulder season (April through mid-June and September through October), and off-season (November through March). Each has its pros and cons. Regardless of when you go, if your objective is to “meet the people,” you’ll find Europe filled with them any time of year. So the idea is to wait for best bargains including off season. 

Ubering and Taxies: While it’s tempting to rely on taxis and Ubers in a foreign country, they can be a real money-suck. Do you homework, plan ahead, do research on day by day activities and if an attraction is on walking distance then walk at your destination rather than taking a taxi. There’s no better way to see a place than to stroll around, taking in the architecture and looking up at those exciting new skies. But if you’re too tired to walk, then work out the metro or alternative options before you’re tempted to jump in a cab. For example lately we find it cheaper to hire a car as family of four than using public transport or taxies that way you can do and see more. 

Spend all local currency especially coins: Spend all small notes especially coins before crossing a currency border. While you can always change paper currency, coins are generally worthless outside their country of origin.

Claim Value added Tax: If you do lot of shopping, you may be eligible to get a refund on the local Value Added Tax (usually around 20 per cent) at the airport when you leave. For major purchases, this can be well worth the paperwork. Local merchants explain the process or do a research prior to arriving at the destination as it could save you lot of money. 

Packing light: It’s OK to wear the same t-shirt a few days in a row. The importance of packing light cannot be over emphasised. Take half the clothes you think you will need. you won’t need as much as you think. Write down a list of essentials and if you need help please check out our packing list tips. You can also avoid having to pay unexpected excess luggage charges at the airport by weighing your luggage before you leave home. We usually pack a travel luggage scale which comes very handy at times when you are not sure. Alway check you luggage size and weight prior to leaving for the airport. With a carry-on-the-plane size bag, you’ll never struggle with porters or cabbies. 

Go grocery shopping: Shop or eat like a local. When you are travelling, you can often feel like you have to eat out, and this can get expensive. Try buying some supplies you can make for yourself at your accommodation (even if it’s just snacks), and then you can be more choosy about when you decide to enjoy restaurants rather than feeling it is your only choice for getting food. This cab be healthy option as well and try to purchase more fruit, fruit juice and natural produce instead of snacks, junk food and soft drinks. 

Make smart choices when Eating out: As I said before EAT like a local. Cheap lunches can be bought in a supermarket or even a local fresh food market, rather than in an overpriced cafe or restaurant. Alternatively, most expensive restaurants offer lunch specials featuring the same food they would serve for dinner but half the price! That’s the best time to eat out when you travel and eat light for dinner. Always eat freshly cooked food which is prepared in front of your eyes to avoid getting food poisoning or other health issues which can impact your health and in turn can impact you holidays. Also getting treated in other country can be costly especially if you don’t have travel insurance. Please check our article which will explain you why travel insurance is important for you. 

Common-sense precautions for avoiding unsafe food and drink…

  • Avoid food that has been kept at room or ambient temperature for several hours, e.g. uncovered buffet food, food from street and beach vendors.
  • Avoid uncooked food, apart from fruit and vegetables that can be peeled or shelled, and avoid fruits with damaged skins.
  • Avoid ice unless it has been made from safe water.
  • Avoid dishes containing raw or undercooked eggs.
  • Avoid ice cream from unreliable sources, including street vendors.
  • Avoid brushing the teeth with unsafe water.
  • In countries where poisonous biotoxins may be present in fish and shellfish, obtain advice locally.
  • Boil unpasteurized (raw) milk before consumption.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before preparing or consuming food.
  • Boil drinking-water if its safety is doubtful; if boiling is not possible, a certified, well-maintained filter and/or a disinfectant agent can be used.
  • Bottled or packaged cold drinks are usually safe provided that the manufacturer’s seal is intact.
  • Beverages and thoroughly cooked food served at a temperature of at least 60 °C are usually safe. 

Using Phone or Tablet while traveling: Using your mobile phone or tablet overseas will usually be more expensive than using it at home in Australia. While it can cost 10c to use a MB of data in Australia, this could cost $15.00 overseas.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. You may be charged for the calls you receive as well as the calls you make.
  2. It will probably also be more expensive to:
          • make calls within the country you are visiting
          • make calls back to Australia
          • send SMS or MMS messages
          • use data services on your phone. This can be particularly expensive and will include using the internet, sending and receiving emails, and using many phone and tablet applications (such as map applications)
          • receive and retrieve voicemail.
  1. International roaming will probably not be included in any call, data or SMS allowances you may receive on a mobile phone plan. This means that roaming will usually cost you extra to use.

Before you leave Australia make sure you know what your provider is charging you to make and receive calls and messages and to use data on your phone or tablet. 

In the era of technology and gadgets, your smartphone can be a handy money-saving travel buddy. There are apps on the market for everything, including travel guides, maps, phrasebooks and currency conversion please check out our article about best travel apps. Download these and you’ll save lot of cash and time. 

Always Obey the Law: Always obey the laws of the country you are visiting, even if they are different from those

in your own country. In some cases you may be bound by your own country laws as well. Check the Laws, rules and regulations for each country before you go.

Search Travel websites: Please check out my Travel Tips page to lookup and search all your travel needs.

All these photos are my own which I made this morning during our morning walk 🙂

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