How to plan a travel - What else?

The following are the other relavant stuffs to keep in mind when planning to travel.

Travel Insurance:
My hubby demands this. This can be booked online and I admit it is a small stretch on your budget. When we got stuck in Delhi due to the flood in Chennai -  all our flights were cancelled and rerouted. We got reimbursed later on because of the insurance. If you are sure you will not lose your belongings, and others, then you can skip this out -  but depends on your needs.

Itinerary:
If my vacation is a free and easy one -  I would check and research about each places I am visiting, The address, contact details, and how to go and map  -  such details will be detailed in a word document and listed along with all the other places I intend to go and sorted in order.

I ensure to check in the map to see if I am not zigzagging throughout the country. I will go to nearer places first and then venture out further slowly. Thats me. Print out the places to go per day and place that in another pocket.

If you have arranged a tour guide ( can be done online -  check out more than two tour guides for rates) - they would have sent you a list of places they'd bring you. Print it out along with the payment details. Usually you'd have to pay 20% first and then the remaining when you first arrive and when you finish with the trip. Print the payment details as well and keep it in a separate tab in your travel folder.

If you have made train bookings -  check out where you can get the train tickets printed. The ones in Europe need the physical train ticket and not something that is printed from your home printer. 
When I first made a Euro rail booking online, I found out that I had to get the physical copy printed out at Dynasty travel. So get that done and keep it safely with you. 

When I planned trip to Paris there was something called the Paris Pass.It had free entry to museums, buses, rides on the river, and tourist spot. I got that arranged online and had it delivered to me before I left. That pass got me free rides on buses and trains. If wherever you go has that facility get it. It might save you time. You never know.When you have that pass, keep it secured in the folder as well.

Visas
Actually with Singapore passports we are blessed to go Visa free to a lot of countries in this planet. But of course, some places like India requires visa. Ensure your destination is visa free. If its not -  then make arrangements to have those visa prepared and ready to go. Do it earlier, and not late to avoid all the drama.

Budget
Actually this is done in the first stage of planning itself. You are required to keep a tab on the spending to see how much you can spend on food, entry tickets, travel and others. This you can keep it as a soft copy in your phone. I usually keep these details in my Ever Note so I can refer to it during offline periods.

Checklist
You should have a checklist of all the things you intend to do and pack. When I planned for Delhi - I visualized my day in Delhi so as to know what  I need to pack when I am there at the actual location. I would list everything down and have it printed so as the travel day gets nearer - I'd have all the things ready. In your checklist ensure you have travel plans separate and packing list separate.
Also remember to indicate that you need to ensure the power is off at home, and the house well secured, alternate arrangements for the family pet and all windows closed and secure.

Packing list
I pack for 3 people, though my hubby usually packs his stuffs, I would also have to think of stuffs he overlook.

So when I plan the packing, I ensure clothes are weather dependent, laptops, mobile phones, camera, chargers, medicines and first aid kit, universal adapter, multi usb ports, toiletries, tidbits and instant coffee and etc. If I have booked a kitchenette, then my food list is a lot more than normal. I would be carrying instant noodles, and can foods. I have written about this some time back - you can check this here.

If you are going to a colder region -  pack a lip balm -  ensure its a proper one like Vaseline and not the flavored kinds. It does no good. Ensure enough moisturizer is packed. Maybe I should come up with another post just for this?

Anyway go through the list and add more as and when you think of any and cross it out when its all packed and done.

Please remember to pack all your toiletries in travel size bags. The airport securities does not care if your shampoo was a new one and sealed. They will still seize if from you and throw it in the dustbin if its more than 100ml or something. Check the General Restrictions before you leave.


Currency Exchange
I was on a look out for this as well. I was hoping to buy Indian rupees when it was at its weakest and I checked on it daily to see if it would fall further than yesterday. But what I did was far more stupid that I thought. I delayed changing the currency till the last minute. My mum had her currency changed at a local exchange in Clementi. But I was waiting it out till the night I left for Delhi - and yes you guessed it right. I changed it at the airport exchange. My mum had higher profit than I that night. And my hubby changed his at Delhi -  where we waited in queue over an hour. So avoid all this drama and get this changed before you leave.

Credit card
It will be good to carry 2 different credit cards with you. One Master card and one Visa. Not many places accept Amex, so it might be a waste if you just carry one particular card, You would have at least the other if one is not accepted. Oh by the way -  ensure you have your emergency contact details of the credit card noted somewhere on your folder  - just in case its stolen.

Also enable your card to be activated for use overseas. No point you bringing your card overseas and can't swipe it.

Mobile phone
Call and activate overseas roaming. I actually didn't do this. For longer stays, we'd buy a short term SIM card at the airport and activate it. For shorter stays, we'd use the hotel wifi. We'd call our folks in the morning and then be out sightseeing the whole day. When we are back we'd connect back again.
I usually have the mobile phone on Airplane mode as and when I don't need the wifi.

Contact list
I visualize a scenario where my family would need to contact me when an emergency occurs either to them or to me when travelling. As such -  I would come up with an excel sheet -  detailing all the hotels I am staying with the address and contact numbers along with the planned itinerary such as the dates, and flight numbers.. The idea is to stay contactable. I would prepare and send this list to my sister. At least if my plane were to disappear she would have an idea if I was on that plane or not. (Touch wood).

This can be updated till all the plans have been confirmed and given a day or two before leaving.
I think I have cleared the loose ends a bit here. More will be coming up later with: How to plan a travel -  The actual Day

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