Tip 1 – Planning

Hoping does not constitute Planning

While it is possible to over plan for a trip (or anything for that matter) it is also possible to start off with no planning at all. Simply and naively relying on hope just won’t get you through.
I start with an attitude of ‘plan for the worst and hope for the best’ and so far, this seems to have worked quite well.

In simple, practical terms this means things like:

  • Making copies of your passport and other important documents and placing one set in each bag and leaving a copy at home with a trusted person.
    Rationale – when one bag gets lost or stolen, you still have a copy of all important documents.
  • Upload pdf versions of the same files to Google Drive (or similar) so that you can download and print a replacement copy – anywhere, anytime.
  • Take passport / visa size photos with you. I’ve seen people trying to get Cambodian Immigration staff (at the border) to accept a poor black and white photocopied picture for a visa application!
  • Check you mobile phone (cell phone) plan for call and data costs while ‘roaming’. Most countries have local sim card plans that are very cheap and make keeping in touch with your travel companion very easy and inexpensive. There is often a prefix to insert for cheaper calls to faraway destinations.
  • Make a good quality colour copy of your Passport photo page.
    Reduce the size when printing and laminate it (or cover with sticky tape) to make it more durable and water proof and keep it in your wallet or purse. It is usually acceptable when changing money or when asked for ID and is a whole lot better than carrying around your Passport.
  • Check on public holidays, bank holidays, religious festivals etc in the country that you are visiting.
  • Pre-book museums, art galleries and major tourist venues before departing. The queue for the Vatican Museum is very, very, very long – and can be avoided by booking in advance.

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