Prepare your trip

Prepare your trip

It is not a secret for anyone : prepare your trip is the key of a successful trip. No matter what kind of journey; either for vacations, for work, for a short or a long period of time, at the end of the world or the neighboring country… There is essentials that is important to know before going : 

  • Administrative papers for my trip (Visa, passport, bank vouchers, …)
  • Which insurance am I choosing ?
  • What is my estimated budget ?
  • The local currency and conversions ?
  • What is the current language ? If english is understandable / if not how to make everyone understand ?
  • Where will I choose to stay (backpacker, hotel, couch surfing, wwoofing, …) ?

Papers

Each country define its own rules, and, depending on your native country and also your passport, more or less form are necessary. Thing seems more simple in Europe, especially thanks to the Schengen area which allow nationals to travel through without any customs. But what about the other places ?

Most of the time it is necessary to get a Visa, and there is a lot :

    • Tourist visa, generally for a short period,
    • Work visa,
    • Working Holiday Visa
    • Transit Visa, and there is still many of them!

To be sure to get any single paper that you would need once in the country, it is advised to check the country’s government website, to be aware of all needs. It might be usefull to know if there is new law in the country: 

I’m thinking about this men, who had a stopover at Beijing Airport, who suffered from a morning new law that no one (even in the country) had ever heard about. He had to stay in the airport all night without any news, and he had been redirected towards another flight in the morning. Video here

In france, we get a system’s call Fil d’Ariane (means Breadcrumb trail), which keep you informed of all the crisis and important event happening in the country you’re traveling in. I guess many country should have something like this, and it would be wise to do it.

Don’t forget to update things like passport or credit cards if the expiry reaches its limit. It is also recommended to inform your bank that your traveling, they won’t block your card and they will react more quickly in case of loss or theft.

Insurance

The possibility to come back earlier from a journey is one of the risk of the traveler. A wound, a robbery, a big news which makes you going back home, etc… Those are events which can shorten your trip, but they can also cost you a fortune. 

It exists a huge choice according your preferences, I let you see one of the best comparative I’ve found on the net on tourdumondiste.com : Comparative travel insurance

  • It is written in french, However it is understandable and the insurances websites are available in different languages.

I do personally use Chapka since few years, which if from far the favorite traveler’s insurance. It is easy to renew and very complete.

My Projected budget

To anticipate a budget could seems optional, especially if you are the kind of doing things like they’re coming. But this is quickly essential when you cumulate different activities, when you change country and then local currency, or when you go as a team. Fortunately, it is easy today to find loads of application which let you not make heads or tails :

      • Budgi for example, allows you to decide a global budget per travel and to enter your payments as you go along. You can also classify each spending and include the exchange rate in force to know the correct amount in your currency.
      • Bankin, allows you to classify each outlays then display it on a detailed graphic. This app is quite complete and let you the choice to put an alarm when you exceed the planned amount, and has also a budget coach to learn to manage your budget.
      • Tricount, an easy way to manage common accounts, to stop wondering who has to repay. This is an essential when you’re traveling in group.

Local currency and exchange rates

According the place you’re going, currencies are diverse and this is important to know how to do the conversion as soon as you arrive. Apart from having in mind all the rates, XE converter get a website as well as a great application which let you convert directly your currency. A significant ally !

The following :

Prepare your trip #2

Feel free to ask me questions you have, and post me comments about the article that you would like to see one day!

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