Are you planning to do a trip soon? Check this selection of things that we recommend every traveller should consider before and during their travel.
Choose the right credit card/debit card
First of all, make sure you inform your bank that you’re travelling so they can block any transaction from your account in case of suspicious activity (i.e. if your card is stolen or lost). If you’re getting a debit/credit card choose one that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees or fees for using ATM’s from other banks and that works in the majority of countries.
Keep your money in multiple locations
Never keep all your money stashed in one place! Have enough money with you in an easily accessible place in order to buy things while out and about and keep your cards in your purse or backpack. You can split some of it in money belts or bra pocket (especially if you’re travelling to unsafe locations). If you’re staying for a couple of days and are carrying enough money to cover your expenses for those days, carry just what you need and leave the rest at your accommodation (again, not all in one place – be creative, just don’t forget where you hid it!).
Take pictures of your documents
In the worst scenario, robberies may happen and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Scan and achieve your important documents (Passports, ID cards, driving licence, credit cards and even prescriptions) and make sure they’re available even if your bags are lost or if your items are stolen – keeping them in an e-mail account is a good option. This helps you to prove your identity and get replacing documents at your country’s local embassy.
Have a travel insurance
Before travelling, check if you need some special medical care (i.e. vaccination). Also check if your insurance covers you for the location where you’re travelling to. For European citizens, you need to have a valid European Health Insurance card – “A free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country.”
Use transfers instead of taxis
The main airports have some private companies that offer cheap transfers during the day, for which you can book tickets online at a discounted rate. Public transports, such as subway and trains, also have appealing prices. If public transportation isn’t an option, choose UBER (which is legal in most of the countries) since it is still cheaper than taxis.
All airline companies have established a weight and dimension limit to hand and checked luggage. Choose the items that you want to bring with you and don’t forget to leave an empty space for any souvenirs you might want to bring home. Finally, if you need extra baggage, book it online in advance so you won’t have to pay extra if you exceed the weight limit. Pro tip: if you are checking your luggage for long-haul flights, make sure you take in your hand luggage an extra pair of underwear and your bathroom essentials. You never know whether your checked luggage will be lost or not.
Download useful apps
If you’re travelling to a foreign country you may not will have wi-fi connection everywhere and mobile data fees are expensive. There are several travel apps, maps and text translation apps that you can use offline.
Give yourself extra time
Shuttles, trains, and cars have a tendency to take longer than we expect (and we experienced that not a long time ago, when we travelled to London). Make sure you have plenty of “buffer time” and once you arrive you can read, have a bite or explore the duty-free shops. It’s better arrive earlier that seeing your aircraft fly away.
Keep your chargers with you
You never know when you’ll need to charge your electronic devices. What would happen if you had your ticket in your phone and the battery ran out?! There’s nothing worse than buying an overpriced charger at the airport.
Pack snacks and an empty water bottle
This tip is the best to avoid spending astronomical amounts of money in airports and aircrafts. You can take some of your favourite fruit, energy bars or chocolates and put them in a ziplock bag. Once you pass through security you can fill your empty water bottle for free at one of the water coolers in the waiting lobbys.
Pickpockets are most common in crowded areas and they can easily take something from you before you even notice them! Don’t use purses or backpacks that cannot be zipped shut and try not to keep anything in your back pocket. Lock all your luggage and don’t allow strange people to carry it. Be always aware, especially in subway stations, famous sights and crowded places.