Be pre­pared when you’re cross­ing the globe

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - LIFE -

SOME­TIMES, things go wrong when trav­el­ling in for­eign coun­tries. But tak­ing time to or­gan­ise a few back-up plans be­fore leav­ing will help al­le­vi­ate wor­ries if some­thing goes wrong.

Book­ing.com sur­veyed 15,077 trav­ellers across 20 mar­kets world­wide and com­piled a list of to-dos. 1. Don’t just book the hol­i­day you think you should be go­ing on. You are never too old or too young to visit a new city, go back­pack­ing or ven­ture out alone. 2. Dive into the lo­cal cul­ture. A great way to soak up the lo­cal at­mos­phere is to head to a restau­rant away from the main drag or hot spots and ask for their most pop­u­lar dishes. Al­most a third (29%) of first-time trav­ellers re­vealed that try­ing the lo­cal food was one of their favourite tips. 3. Check visa re­quire­ments well ahead of de­part­ing. Same ap­plies for pass­ports. Check your pass­port’s ex­pi­ra­tion date. 4. Take pic­tures of your pass­ports, visas and travel in­sur­ance and email them to your­self, in case you lose them. 5. Al­ways stash away $300 or a spare debit or credit card in case you lose your wal­let. Hide it away in a money belt, pocket in your bag or share it around if you’re trav­el­ling in a group.

Al­ways pack less than you think you will need – ac­cord­ing to Book­ing.com re­search, 18% of trav­ellers re­gret pack­ing too much when they leave the coun­try. At least two days be­fore you go, lay ev­ery­thing out on the bed then put away 30%. Pack lay­ers and put com­fort first, es­pe­cially when it comes to shoes.

Check the lug­gage al­lowance be­fore you fly and, if nec­es­sary, pack heav­ier items (like charg­ers) in your hand lug­gage. If you’re head­ing some­where hot, it’s worth pack­ing a light sarong. It can be used as a pil­low on a long bus jour­ney, some­thing to cover your shoul­ders with when vis­it­ing a re­li­gious site, a blan­ket in the evening and a towel.

If trav­el­ling with friends or fam­ily, share some of your clothes out among your bags. That way if a bag is lost, you’ll still have some items to wear.

Re­search lo­cal scams to watch out for, whether it’s par­tic­u­lar tour com­pa­nies to avoid or how to get a rep­utable taxi from the air­port.

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