(Things to do before traveling)
Whether you are traveling local or abroad, be it a long or a short journey, there are certain things that you need to do before your actual travel. This is to ensure that you are putting matters in order. In other words, you need to become a more responsible tourist, which is key to making your travel a success; a kind of travel that is worth-remembering in your lifetime.
But what does it mean to become a more responsible tourist? Well, it means a lot of things. For instance, a more responsible tourist considers safety as a top priority during the entire duration of travel. He who follows the rules and regulations at all time. He who respects locals and their culture. He who has high regards for the environment and its protection.
In short, a more responsible tourist is one that travels and enjoys destinations without causing any harm to himself, the people around him, and the environment.
Here are 7 steps that can help you become a more responsible traveler:
STEP 1: DO A PRIOR RESEARCH ABOUT YOUR DESTINATION
A key to achieving success in everything you do is research. Before you visit your desired destination, it makes sense to do a diligent research about it. Doing so allows you to know more about that particular place or attraction you intend to visit.
Apart from a list of tourist spots you visit, you should also include in your research the place to stay, the local cuisine to try, the people and their norms and culture, and how to blend with them without being rude or disrespectful.
Lastly, you should do a research about the prevailing laws, rules and regulations at your destination, the visa requirements (if you’re traveling abroad), and the best deals on travel insurance.
These things help for you to fulfill and enjoy your travel while keeping yourself out of trouble.
STEP 2: PREPARE YOUR ITINERARY
Your research should help you to come-up with a good itinerary. It should be as detailed as possible; be specific with every thing you include in your list, and answering the following questions can help you with that.
- Which attractions you plan to visit?
- Where do you want to stay?
- What are the activities you want to do?
- What local cuisine to try?
- How much will these things cost you?
- How long will it take to embark on this travel journey?
Preparing you itinerary helps you put things in order, and provide a clear picture of how much budget you need to prepare, which helps you to have a travel that is smooth-sailing as possible.
STEP 3: GET YOUR BUDGET READY
Of course, your dream vacation cannot be realized if you do not have a budget for it. Ideally, you should set-up a travel fund by opening a separate account for it (if you already have one, then that’s good). In that way, you can easily track your money for travel without having to weed out your other finances that are intended for other important things.
Going back to your itinerary, with the information on the breakdown of expenses, you should be able to figure out how much is the total money you need for your travel. And then find ways to meet such amount on schedule. For instance, you can put 10% of your monthly paycheck into your travel account.
If you already have the needed budget, then that is good. You do not need to follow the recommendation above. Be reminded, however, that you do not need to spend the other finances you have (intended for other important things) or worse, apply for a loan to finance your dream travel. In other words, do not compromise your other finances. Again, planning ahead is key.
STEP 4: PLOT YOUR VACATION LEAVE SCHEDULES EARLY
Scheduling your vacation leave ahead of time ensures that you will get the approval from your boss. If you are a full-time employee, working the usual 9-5, you understand that scheduling leaves for vacation is pretty a challenge. However, that should not hinder you to travel. That is why you have to do it as early as possible. As they say, if there’s a will, there’s a way. Learning some travel hacks for full-time employees can help you realize your dream vacation despite your limited leave credits.
Apart from securing an approval from your company, plotting your schedule early also provides you an ideal time to give instruction / teach your temporary replacement about the work (and the intricacies of it) that you leave behind, ensuring that the company still runs smoothly despite your absence.
If you are running your own business, scheduling your vacation leave early gives you enough time to delegate assignments to your staff, ensuring that your business operates as usual even when you are far away on a vacation.
STEP 5: BOOK AHEAD OF TIME
Booking ahead of time helps not only to get what you need, but you get them at a good price as well. This is so important most especially if your travel schedules fall in the peak season – summer, holidays, long weekends, etc.
With the advent of internet technologies, booking ahead should not be a pain in the ass. In fact, there are good apps that alert you when there are great deals. Watch out for great deals on air tickets, hotel accommodations, and tour packages.
STEP 6: GATHER YOUR STUFF; PREPARE YOUR TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
Through the years of my traveling, I have proven that even those little things needed for your travel that you forget to bring can ruin your travel moments, or worse, your vacation as a whole. So, prepare the things that you need for your travel. Make a checklist of what you need and see to it that the travel essentials are not overlooked.
Though the things you need can vary from one destination to another, you generally spend the same level of preparation for all. So, be ready. Ensure that you have the things you need throughout the duration of your travel.
STEP 7: LET PEOPLE BEHIND KNOW ABOUT YOUR TRAVEL
There are two main reasons why you should let people behind (e.g. loved ones, close friends) know about your vacation. For one, you do not want them to be worried about you while you are away. For another, you need somebody to reach or contact in case of emergency or if you encounter some issues (be it monetary or security or anything else) at your destination. It’s good that you have someone to call in case you need some help. Keep your line open to them.
So, are you ready for your next getaway? Go for it, man! And, always remember, it pays to be a more responsible tourist.
Have a great time!
Image sources: pixabay.com; travelcare.com