Organize your trip with peace of mind: When you decide to plan your holiday, you should keep a few things in mind to prevent a major letdown at the time of departure. I’m a member of a couple of Facebook traveler groups, and I’ve seen the same concerns and difficulties show up several times. Sometimes solutions were discovered, while other times the trip had to be canceled entirely!
So we’ve arrived at the point when you’ve decided on a location!
1) Check the geopolitical situation of the country
Organize your trip with peace of mind: To begin with, go to diplomatie.gouv.fr and scroll down to the travel guide section. Last-minute information such as major events, vigilance maps by continent, and heaps of advice are available.
2) Have your identity papers up to date: an essential element when you want to go on vacation!
Organize your trip with peace of mind: So you take a deep breath and say to yourself, “Well, certainly, logic!” Nonetheless, this summer, I observed no fewer than 50 postings from folks who realized they had:
- They misplaced their identification card/passport.
- An out-of-date identification card/passport
- A passport that will expire fewer than 6 months before the conclusion of your stay outside of Europe.
Depending on your location, you may not need everything. Check your identification documents before purchasing your aircraft tickets (particularly if the departure is less than two/three months after the reservation)!!
In preparation for a trip to France
Let’s begin with the most basic! Finally, if you’re French like me, the simplest. Of course, you must always have your identification card with you; if it is out of date, it is less of a problem since you are in France.
If you obtained your identification card when you were of legal age in 2004, it is valid for 15 years rather than 10 years. As a result, it is out of date yet still relevant.
To fly, it is still preferable to have it up to date, although this is usually not an issue.
In preparation for a vacation to Europe
Attention: Not all countries accept expired but legitimate identification cards. I discovered a beautiful map from the summer of 2018 on the site administrative processes that show which countries accept or reject expired identity cards (expired under the conditions explained in the previous paragraph).
For example, in order to go to Madrid in Spain, you must have a valid identification card; nevertheless, in Serbia, this is not required!
You may also travel to Europe with simply your passport. It should be good till the conclusion of your stay.
To travel outside of Europe, you’ll need a passport and maybe a visa.
Outside of Europe, you will almost always be requested for a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your return date.
Don’t forget to check whether you need a visa, which may necessitate a delay that you must budget for!
As an example, as a French citizen, you may visit Vietnam for 15 days without a visa; otherwise, you can apply for an e-visa or a visa on arrival.
3) Do not forget your license and the appropriate bank card when renting a car
Organize your trip with peace of mind: What could be more inconvenient than wanting to embark on a road trip but forgetting your license or failing to get your international license if the country demands it? But now that you’ve read this, you’ll think about it!
Find information about your rental company as well. Even if you pay online, some places will need a credit card for the deposit, but we normally accept debit cards. The agencies then enable themselves to put you under pressure and ask you to pay a significant deposit or simply not rent the automobile to you.
Are you unsure if you have the correct bank card or whether you need an international permit? Inquire with the agency directly through their contact form or social media!
4) Do not book plane tickets without having looked at the hotels!
Organize your trip with peace of mind: And I would go even further by recommending that you book a hotel on booking.com, for example, since rooms are usually cancellable until the last minute!
What are the negative shocks you could encounter?
- come upon a certain event (for example, a religious or huge fair): Hotels will be crowded and pricey.
- be in a location where there are few lodgings that fit your requirements: They might be filled.
- squander your time on the job!
Of course, some individuals are really fortunate and do exceptionally well at the last minute, but I like to play things cautious!
5) Find out about the excursions you absolutely want to do
Organize your trip with peace of mind: Purchasing tickets on the spot may cost you an hour, and they are sometimes cheaper on the Internet! It would be a pity to miss out on a trip to a museum or an adventure of your dreams because you didn’t check the pricing or there wasn’t enough space!
For example, suppose you’re heading to London and want to explore the Harry Potter studios! Be forewarned that tickets are selling like hotcakes, and there’s a strong possibility you won’t be able to locate any more on the day you wanted at the last minute (or even a month before).
6) Find out about the vaccines/medications to take
Organize your trip with peace of mind: The most apparent piece of advice I can offer you is to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician!
If you are traveling to Asia, for example, most governments suggest that you be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. You should do it approximately a month before you go, but beware of supply shortages! It took me months to complete the reminder so that I could receive the immunization. The good news is that I’ve been silent for years now.
My general practitioner had software or a website where I could check to see whether the place I was traveling to needed malaria medication.
7) Check the weather – the climate of your destination
Organize your trip with peace of mind: To learn about a country’s climate in general or a specific zone’s climate, there are websites that can tell you whether or not it is a good time to go.
I check the weather prediction from multiple sources a fortnight before embarking on a vacation to pack my bag (the projections frequently fluctuate). Even if you can’t alter anything, bring some accessories with you (umbrella, fan, sunglasses, hat, etc.)
8) Find out about the size and weight of authorized luggage
Organize your trip with peace of mind: Ryanair, with its modification in cabin baggage restrictions, is now raising the greatest concerns.
You may now bring a very tiny Eastpack backpack-style bag. If you want to take traditional cabin luggage, you must pay an additional fee, and if you want to hold baggage, you must pay an additional fee.
Take note of the weight of your baggage as well; some firms may charge you up to 15 or 20 euros for every additional kg!
9) Change your money? Before leaving on a trip or on the spot?
Organize your trip with peace of mind: This is a topic I often ask myself, and since my first trip to Vietnam, I’ve discovered (at my own cost) that it’s preferable to convert your euros directly in Vietnam, where the exchange rate is much better, particularly in jewelry shops.
To be cautious, I still bring some currency from my destination country with me to pay for things like the shuttle from the airport to the hotel, which is charged based on the time you arrive. If you come late, everything is closed, and you want to eat, you should carry some foreign cash!
I had not changed a single euro before going for my vacation to Bali. On the other hand, I had informed our driver Wayan that I would need to stop at a reputable exchange office on the way to the hotel.
In the case of Japan, though, things seem to be different. Exchange offices are not always favorable, and else, you must withdraw from Japan Post distributors, with a maximum amount.
Check with your bank to see what your fees will be and if there isn’t a travel pack to pay and withdraw free of charge on the spot. Consider using an online bank that does not impose fees!