Continued from Part 1
Chapter 3 : Preparation
Once you have finalized your country of travel, the next part would be to start the preparation. The first phase of preparation is getting the visa. If you are visiting a country where you need to get visa beforehand then get it as early as possible. Make a checklist of documents required for visa and start collecting them. An early preparation will save you lot of money in addition to giving you mental peace at a later stage. For airline bookings compare prices at various websites instead of checking prices at one site. Use skyscanner.com to compare prices and then also compare price by going to the airlines website itself.
Similarly book hotels which are within your budget. Read their reviews on Tripadvisor to get an idea, check their location within the city and the services they provide. Also make a rough itinerary that you plan to follow during your trip. You will need to submit with visa application in many cases and will be useful otherwise also.
If the country of your visit offers visa on arrival then ensure that you are carrying all required documents. Make sure you are carrying your passport size photograph. Although you can get it at airport but it would cost you a lot more. Also check whether currency of the country can be exchanged in India else you will be required to carry USD which you can convert in local currency after reaching there.
Next step would be the packing which is very important part of trip. Try to travel light as it will make your trip much more easier. You don’t want to carry a big suitcase for a week-long trip. Think carefully what things will you require and carry only those. Pack clothes depending on the weather at the destination and carry layers which can be adjusted based on changing weather. To give an example carry a t-shirt, a full sleeve t-shirt and a jacket which can be used in layers based on how cold it is.
It would always be better to work from a check list . Here is the sample check list which I used on my Europe trip. You can make your own and use it during preparation and also just before departure.
- Passport Original
- Passport Size Photographs
- Passport copies (5)
- Flight Ticket copies (4)
- Hotel Bookings
- Bus Bookings
- Train Booking Prague->Budapest
- Travel Insurance copies
- Credit card copy
- Covering letter
- Credit Cards
- Debit Card
- Chargers for above 3
- Phrase Book
- Clothes 7 T-shirts plus 3 pants
- Inner ware plus towel
- Book to read
Carry copies of your passport and keep them at separate place. I also keep scanned copies in my mailbox just in case required. Remember your passport is the most important thing in a foreign land and if you lose it you are in very big mess, so carry a pouch where you can keep it secure. Also keep some money/card at separate place so that in case your wallet is lost/stolen you have backup amount which can last for at least a day or two.
In the final post in this series we will go through the entire sequence of events right from your home to reaching your destination place. Till that time please let me know if you have questions on this series so far.