5 things to do before heading on a stint of travelling

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When preparing to travel, there are a few things you need to prepare that many tourists overlook. With so much to consider before flying away, here are five very important things to do before heading on a stint of travelling.

Pack strategically

It’s one thing many fail to do well—the art of packing is one you need to master. Don’t resort to throwing your entire life’s belongings into a suitcase. Work out outfits and toiletries before you go and then work from there.

Having to lug around a massive suitcase full of things you won’t touch is pointless. See if there’s facilities that’ll allow you to wash your clothing in your accommodation, and if so you’ll be able to recycle your outfits and pack even less. If you’re travelling, minimal luggage is essential.

Visit your doctor

A few weeks before you head abroad, be sure to visit your doctor. Many travelling hotspots pose a risk to your health, with some nasty diseases and illnesses that could easily be avoided. Your doctor will be aware of whether you need any vaccinations or medication in order to keep you safe.

It’s especially important if you have a medical condition that needs to be considered. Diabetes is a particularly tricky one depending on where you’re headed, as language barriers could make it difficult—be sure to ask your doctor what you should know before going into your holiday blind.

Exchange your money

Don’t leave it until the last minute to exchange your money. By shopping around before you go, you’ll be able to monitor the fluctuations in exchange rates for the currency you need, and effectively score the best deal. You’ll likely find a selection of bureau de changes on your local high street, so be sure to compare rates and you’ll be able to get the best amount.

Changing your money up once you’re abroad isn’t advised, as you’re much more likely to suffer terrible exchange rates and effectively pay more for less. And, in certain areas, money exchanges are rife with scammers and con artists who employ some clever tricks to get more money out of you.

…but also call your bank

Of course, there’s always the risk that you run out of cash too early. In that case, you’ll need to use your cards—but make sure your bank is aware you’re heading away. If not, they may see your activity as potentially fraudulent and effectively block you from using them.

You may be a master at budgeting, but it’s always good to have a backup plan in case of emergency. Letting your bank know where you’re heading will avoid potential complications.

Research your destination

Make sure you brush up on your knowledge of the destination before you arrive. Things such as local facilities (hospitals and medical centres are a necessity) and shops nearby will make your stay a lot more comfortable.

Be sure to brush up on your cultural knowledge, too. There are some traditions in certain hotspots you’ll have to get accustomed to—be prepared to take your shoes off before entering certain buildings in Thailand, and make sure you bow when greeting the locals in Japan. It’s part and parcel of the experience.

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