Things You'll Probably Forget To Do Before You Go Travelling
So you're preparing to take the trip of a lifetime and you've finally finished booking all your flights and accommodation. But booking your tickets is just the beginning when it comes to planning an extended trip. When you're planning to go away for a long time, there are lots of things you'll need to take care of in advance, which you may not have considered.
First let's cover off some of the most important things. Ensure that you prepare all important documents and keep copies so that when the time comes you are not running around last minute trying to renew your passport or finding out that your tickets haven't arrived in time.
Scan copies of your passport, travel insurance policy, emergency phone numbers and card numbers, as well as your ticket details. It's also a good idea to leave a set with your family or friends, so that if anything goes wrong you have backups.
Do your homework
Before you set out it's important to research the countries you'll be travelling to. Local laws and customs can be very different from our own and could have a big impact on your travel plans. You may need to obtain visas for certain countries which can take a long time and can be very costly.
Conducting local research may also influence the things you pack or the things you buy abroad. For example, if you know you're going to be visiting a country with tight restrictions on foreign flora and fauna, that ornamental cactus you bought your mum as a souvenir could cause big problems.
Local laws will also dictate what you do whilst travelling and ignorance of these could land you in trouble. For example, in the United Arab Emirates alcoholic drinks are served in licensed hotels and clubs but it is a punishable offence to drink or to be under the influence of alcohol in public.
A check-up with your GP is an excellent way to make sure you are in good shape for your trip and to check whether you need any vaccinations. Common vaccinations include yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A and tetanus.
You may also need vaccinations specifically for the areas you'll be visiting. For example, cholera vaccinations are recommended when travelling to areas where the infection is widespread like the South East of Asia. You may also need to take anti-malaria tablets in certain countries and if you're planning to interact with a lot of wildlife then you might consider being vaccinated against rabies.
Your doctor should be able to advise you which diseases you could be at risk from based on your travel plans but it's a good idea to research it online yourself as well. Some countries may require you to carry an International Certificate of Vaccination (sometimes known as a Yellow Card) or other proof that you have had medical tests before they'll let you in.
It's all very well thinking about the things you'll need to take with you but have you thought about the things you're going to leave behind?
If you have your own home and are planning to leave it vacant for the majority of your trip, it's a good idea to leave your house key with someone you trust who can check in from time to time and access your house in an emergency.
For added security you might consider storing your valuables in a self storage facility for the duration of your trip. Self storage units are also ideal if you're planning to rent out or leave your home and need somewhere to store your furniture etc. Units come in a range of sizes and can be a very affordable means of protecting your property whilst you're out of the country; giving you peace of mind.
You may also want to look into redirecting your post to a friend or family member so that you don't miss anything urgent. Generally, you can redirect your post to any UK or overseas address for up to 3, 6 or 12 months from just Â£24.99. You can do this online but be aware that it takes at least three working days for them gather your information and redirect your mail. For more information, take a look on the Royal Mail website.
If you have pets, you'll need to arrange long term care either with friends and family or through a kennel. Finding long term care for pets could be trickier than you think so leave plenty of time.