WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh
PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson
Happy travelling is all about research and planning.
From finding the right hotel to the cutest stores to shop in, and of course the best places to eat. All of this takes research and time to book, a healthy dose of organisation and another small dose of courage. Everyone who has travelled will know, plans change at the last minute, so you need to be prepared! I love travelling, and I am away for work and pleasure for weeks at a time, so I feel as though I have plenty of tricks up my sleeve when it comes to sharing some travel tips. Here are the basics….
- Do your RESEARCH, search and compare flight details. Flight prices are so competitive so make sure you look around. Is it the best time of year to travel to that destination? Make a short list of where you want to go, what you want to see and how relaxing you want your trip to be. Then choose a country! Booking a flight in advance gives you the chance to plan it out carefully and not be rushed.
- Get your TRAVEL DOCUMENTS in order. Passports, Visa’s and International drivers licences all take time and money to make sure they are up to date. Make copies of all your passports, itineraries and visas before you leave, leaving one copy with friends or family and keeping one stashed away in your bag (just in case anything goes missing).
- Plan your holiday wardrobe. See the PACKING guidelines below for some inspiration, but just don’t over do it! There is nothing wrong with not having a pair of shoes to go with each outfit - pick cool, comfortable and classic clothing in breathable, easy to wash fabrics. Think about versatile pieces that you can mix and match, knowing you can always shop for what you forget to bring! You must bring a scarf with you! It’s a blanket, shawl, towel, table cloth, pillow & sarong…
- Check if you need any vaccinations before you leave. Ask your doctor to supply you with a letter for any MEDICATIONS you need to carry with you. Take a little extra medication just in case something happens and always keep it in the original packaging.
- Search out the places that offer FREE WIFI and turn off your phone's data to ensure you don’t get charged with extra fees while using your phone overseas. Buy all your converters and chargers before you leave the country, that way you can recharge as soon as you land in another country. Download any travel apps you need before you leave home, familiarise yourself with them and keep only the ones you know you will use and be useful. Did you know you can charge your phone by using a TV USB port? This has saved me a few times!
- Convert some of your CASH into the currency of your destination just in case you need money straight away. Familiarise yourself with the conversion rate (there are some easy apps to help you with this) and never carry massive amounts of cash on your person. Check if there any fees associated with taking cash out and using your cards overseas, there nearly always are, so taking out larger amounts at once will save you money in regards to fees.
App’s to make your holiday a breeze…
Umapped is my favourite all round travel app. It is so great because it has a feature that lets you collaborate with friends. People always recommend places to stay and eat to you and this is a great way to record them and keep track with its list functions. You can also keep track of your own findings in a list and share/send your recommendations to others. You can also create a journal in the app and it also keeps an up to date trip itinerary.
Timeout is a great app to help you live like a local. Timeout has great city guides and most major cities have their own timeout website page on the app that allows you to find out all the latest café and restaurant openings, pop up events, concerts and everything else that is going on about town.
XE Currency is a must. This is a up to date currency converter - by having this handy you¹ll never unknowingly blow your budget because of changing exchange rates.
Google Translate Ever been to restaurant and can¹t read the menu because it¹s in a foreign language? Google Translate is great for decoding menus or learning common day-to-day words and phrases to help you get around. You can even hold your camera up to a word or a sign and this app will instantly translate what it says for you!
Tripit is a smart little apps syncs all confirmation travel bookings received via email and formulates them into an iterary for you. It organises everything from flights, accommodation and cars into a single itinerary that you can easily share with others.