Living in London while having the majority of our family and friends in various countries all over the world means that we do travel quite a lot. At least 3-4 times a year we go and visit them or just get away for a long weekend. It is always exciting whether we go home or to a new place, and it always involves some thoughtful, practical preparation (I love schedules, organizing things and have a “fetish” for To-Do lists).
I’ve made a list of some of my travel advises to help you get your head around the organizational bits of (summer) vacations. Hope it will make the preps easier and the holiday more enjoyable.
For your peace of mind you might want to check the expiration date of your passport, ID and credit/debit card as soon as you decide to travel. It could be frustrating having to renew documents last minute not knowing whether or not they will be ready on time. Also, if you need Visa make sure you request it on time.
Another very important task is to make sure you always have your passport/ID at hand. Just recently one of our friends went to a wedding in France and was supposed to visit us in London on her way back home to Slovakia. However, she had to shorten her planned UK vacation as when sending home one of her bags with relatives, she also sent her passport with it. She only realized this when her luggage was already half way home, therefore had to wait for it to arrive and then get her passport delivered back to her.
Make sure the parameters of your luggage comply with the rules of the airline you fly with. Also, you should check the wheels, handles and zipper – believe me, you don’t want to drag a broken bag or have your zipper opened.
A name tag is a good idea, even a locker and do not pack your laptop, camera or any precious stuff into your big luggage.
3. SAFETY & SECURITY
We usually let our neighbours know that we are going away, so they can keep an eye on our house (and also water the flowers). Most of the London areas have neighborhood watch, but you can also ask your friends to “home-sit” for you (aka babysitting your place), just ask them not to have sex in your bed… Anyways, it’s good to let someone you trust know, especially when you are away for a longer period of time.
Another option for home security is having a camera – there’s a wide range to choose from within the Panasonic Home Security cameras collection. These innovative and super smart devices help keep an eye on the movements in your home, wherever you may be in the world. Motion, temperature and sound sensors send you alerts, its built-in speaker lets you talk to anyone in earshot and it can stream live footage to your smartphone or tablet. Can you believe it, you can actually talk to and see anybody spotted in your home without your permission! Its pictures can even be recorded to an SD card.
4. DATES & TIMES
This one can set the whole mood for your trip. Fail at it and you’ll never hear the end of it! Make sure you double check departure and arrival times, check in and check out slots. Both departure and arrival times are always set to the time zone of the country they happen, and if English is not your first language make sure you know the difference between the two words. Once traveling to Paris with the girls I was in charge of the tickets and on the way home we missed our train because I swapped the times. It’s always better to wait a bit longer at the airport, station rather than missing your flight or train.
5. TRAVEL CLOTH
Prepare what you are going to wear for the journey, . Make your outfit comfortable and light if possible, you don’t want to sweat in a security check line holding a jumper, a coat and your bag or freezing from an air conditioning wearing sandals and just a top. Also, check what the weather is like in the country of your destination.
Always have some snacks in your bag, especially when on a specific diet. Most of the places now offer gluten-free and vegan options, but sometimes they turn out to be only apples, which can be quite disappointing when hungry on the move. Also contact the hotel and ask them how flexible they are with their menu.
Make a list of your essentials that you want to pack into your hand luggage. Make sure you have all the medication you need (and that you have a reference letter from your doctor if necessary), glasses, contact lenses (and the cleansing water), chargers, transformers, headphones and anything else you might need to keep at hand. Oh, and remember to pack in here your passport or ID.
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU ADD TO THIS LIST?
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