An Ounce of Preparation Prevents a Pound of Pain
Travel isn’t really that complicated and realistically you can decide you want to go on a trip and walk out your front door the following day. However, there are a few things you can do as preparation to help your trip go smoothly and prevent hiccups.
Get your travel money sorted.
Find out the best solution for minimizing ATM fees and foreign currency conversion charges when you make credit card purchases. Although you don’t get a flat fee when you make a credit card purchase, some cards calculate the currency conversion in a way that includes a 2-3% fee. You can buy yourself an extra week of travel time on a long trip by getting a card that doesn’t do this!
It’s also a good idea to have a backup credit card, which you’ll probably need to apply for BEFORE you quit your job if you’re intending to do that. Alternatively, a VISA brand debit card is an option of getting a credit card isn’t something you want to do.
Honesty in relationships.
I’ve had a few friends lately have people cheat on them. If you’re in a relationship or even an on/off relationship before you’re heading away to travel then you might need to do some self-reflection about whether you’re going to be able to withstand the temptations that come along with travelling e.g., being around scantily clad Scandinavians! The same applies if you’re planning to travel with a partner. Is that person going to be tempted to get up to no good on your trip? You also need to sort out things like how you are going to deal with splitting expenses? It gets complicated if you’re just planning to pay separately or split everything. You’re realistically going to get sick and tired of adding up who spent what.
Break in your gear.
If you’re going to be travelling with a backpack, spend some time walking around with it on. Get the straps into the right position. Learn how to distribute the weight of your items in a way that’s comfortable. Make sure your pack is the right size and fit. Once you leave it’ll be too late to return it. You also don’t want to end up doing a longer than expected walk with your pack before you’ve had a chance to get the straps and supports adjusted correctly for your body.
Follow the same guidelines for hiking shoes. You don’t want blisters on your trip if you can possibly avoid it and you might need to spend some time trying hiking boots on in order to find a brand and design that’s a good shape for your foot.
Prune your packing list.
You know the saying “Take half the stuff and double the money”? It’s completely true! In the couple of weeks before you set off, start collecting everything you plan to take in one area of your house / room, then start taking items out of that pile when you spot something that snuck into the pile that isn’t necessary. You really don’t need all those extra t-shirts! Packing cells are a great idea, especially if you are sharing a suitcase with a travel partner or child.