These days, travel is cheap. Go back only a handful of decades and travel was by no means an easy feat. A generation or three ago, flights and cross-country train tickets were a luxury that meant saving up and planning. Modern-day travel, on the other hand, consists largely of opening an app, checking for cheap bookings, and processing the payment in less time than it would have taken our grandparents to get past the contents section of their travel brochures. With speed comes errors. Just because we can travel so readily, doesn’t mean we all know how to do it well. Let’s explore the main things you need to consider before setting sail on your trip…
Your wardrobe must match your itinerary
On your trip, are you planning on hiking to the highest peak? Sunbathing on a yacht? Or are you volunteering to aid the creation of an orphanage in an underprivileged country? For each of these activities, you must dress the part. Consider in detail what it is you will be doing on your travels and pack accordingly, as you don’t want to be left feeling unprepared, and consequently unable to do what you had originally planned.
Seasoned travellers will tell you that footwear is especially important – and not just any footwear, but often the hardest wearing possible – particularly if you’re going to be outdoors a lot on your trip, or taking part in said volunteering work (check out these work boots for inspiration). Why do you need footwear capable of surviving an earthquake? Because being prepared is the name of the game in travel. If you’re going to travel light, you have to get the basics right. And sturdy footwear is number one for an adventurous trip.
Money (in small denominations)
When you land, you might be hungry or thirsty (or both). If you dutifully changed your money before arriving, you probably ended up with a lot of large notes and only a few smaller bills. You need to find a way to sort out this problem as soon as possible – it is a problem due to many smaller shops and street vendors not accepting larger bills.
They need their small change for other transactions and they often dislike being seen to have taken larger bills as it may make them a target for thieves. So, here’s what you do. When you land, go to a bank. There are many in the centre of town. Get rid of your useless larger bills as soon as possible and change them for smaller more usable notes.
Stay safe with all of that money on you
Consider splitting your money up into different areas of concealment about your person. Use all of your inner pockets and avoid using outer pockets, especially pockets on large coats that you won’t feel being unzipped by thieves.
Special methods of concealment are available, such as belts with an inner long zip for hiding your cash. You may laugh now, but it’s better to prepare for the worst and still have some of your money left, as it would be a different story if a thief were to get away with your coat or bag.
Look into your transfers now rather than when you arrive
Ever travelled to Europe, for example? Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris is not navigable. You will spend a large part of your day looking for the correct train or moving walkway to reunite you to your bags, and then you’ve still got a way to go to find an exit. Really. It’s bizarre.
Or what about Oslo in Norway? There’s at least one airport there that has Oslo in the title that isn’t in Oslo. Try figuring that one out.
Before you land, do your research. You don’t want to be the one looking at a wall map while others dart around knowing exactly where they’re going.