One of the best things about travelling is the excitement that goes with preparing. Contrary to what most people think, the planning process does not have to be hectic once you have the right resources and tools to help you book your flight and hotels, as you gather the essential needs for your trip.
Whenever you are getting set for a trip, one thing that troubles the mind is the necessary travel items you will require during your trip. In addition, the phobia that comes with booking a trip within a short period can be distressing, especially when you are a busy entrepreneur or professional with little or no time on your side.
Prior to setting out on my last trip to Dubai, I made sure to research the city extensively, including researching cheap hotel deals, flights and tours, mainly because I was spending three weeks there. I needed unbelievably good deals that would make my stay in Dubai worth it without going broke. Most importantly, I considered the local rules and laws which are a bit contrast with those observed in the western world.
Hence, adequate information must be sought regarding travelling. Preparation is key to a smooth journey and stay, especially when it is a long and far distant trip.
Depending on the purpose of your trip, you will pack accordingly. Most times you take on a lot simply because you don't want to leave anything you consider important behind. But the truth is, not everything you think is important is truly important. Most times you just realise you have a heavy suitcase containing most things you will never use during your trip.
You don't want to go packing cycling wears if it is a business trip. Of course you can take your swimming suit because you might just want to take a glide after a hard day's work.
Here is a checklist to help you get ready ahead of time and also pack the very essentials for any type of trip.
1) Travel Visas, Flights and Hotels:
Before travelling, it is very important to read official websites of the countries you are visiting. Make enquires about their visa processes and how long it will take to get it. For some countries, you might require just an entry stamp. By knowing the requirements and other regulations of the country, you will be saving yourself any problems that might come up during your trip.
Flights are usually one of the first things most people search for when planning a trip. When booking a flight, flexibility is key and you will need to stay alert by signing up with some reputable platforms for deals in your area or the countries you plan to visit. For international countries like Dubai, I prefer going with packages that have hotel deals in line with the purpose for my trip.
It is advisable to also check for hotels close to the areas where you'll be touring, doing business or your planned hangout spots. Finding the right hotel that best fits your every need on a trip could be a daunting task, which comes easy when you use a platform that lets you compare hotels when you book hotels online.
2) Travel documents:
Your passport is the first thing to throw into a light folder, along with a printed copy of your itinerary and your medical insurance card/papers. If your visa is not stuck on your passport, you have to put them a safe compartment or your travel folder/wallet. Your business or name card is a good way to start or end some conversations, so never forget to take them along.
Whether you have card or cash, your money is one big deal for your trip. Always take enough cash to get you through any expenses (Taxi fare, water, snacks) you may make between your point of departure and arrival. Usually have your money split into at least two types of cards, so you never have to run into embarrassing situations. Don't forget to have some local currencies handy from the countries you are visiting. And keep yourself fully armed with the exchange rates at the time of your trip.
Your mobile phone with a good camera and scanner application should never be left at home, no matter your destination. And always remember to take a spare phone along with you, or at least a power bank or morphie (which are lifesavers by the way). An international adapter also comes in very handy when you are travelling between countries that use different power voltages. A book or an e-book reader should go in too. There is nothing as annoying as when you feel like not doing anything around you and yet cannot find a good book to read. Take your laptop and its charger if you will need them.
One of my newly found essentials is the wifi services from Skyroam, which gives you unlimited HotSpot, for some specific countries.
Just like your travel insurance, remember to take along pain reliever pills or any routine medications you have. Vitamins and allergy drugs are also essential medications you should pop into your bag. A little first aid kit can also save your life.
You can't miss out on your deodorant, hairbrush, toothpaste, toothbrush, perfume, tweezers, blush, shaving gel, floss and hand sanitizer. Try to have these in 50ml containers especially if your trip is not a long one. Whether it is a 2 star or 5 star, some hotels have very good ambience but not very good facilities and vice-versa. When you book hotels it is necessary to review the facilities offered by various hotels when preparing for your trip. Don't forget your make up too (especially for the ladies), as you don't want to go looking for your blemish sticks, mouth freshener, or that red lipstick that enhances your look for a fancy evening.
No matter the occasion, a must pack are one set of shirt, pants, socks, jacket, a pair of shoes and a belt. A wrist watch is key but whether it is formal or casual would depend on the type of trip. You also need a face towel. Now, depending on the purpose of your trip, you can begin to put in your jewellery, dress, swimsuits, gym wears, sunglasses, etc. Never forget your pyjamas. You don't want to get out of the shower at night and realise you don't have anything to get into.
No matter your destination, to save cost on accommodation and maximize your resources on any trip, you could find cheap hotels when you book online. You can travel the world without going broke. Once you are able to tick these off, whether you are going away for business, pleasure or both, and no matter where your accommodation will be, or what the weather looks like, you are ready to take off and arrive without regrets. Don't do it alone, make sure you get the right travel guides to support your research.