10 tips on how to travel easy

In past 40 years I lived in 6 and traveled through 21 countries, then found my home in Cape Town. Within these years of travel I have made many mistakes and learned the hard way. After each trip I made the list of important things to do when traveling more compact. This is my list when I go on a trip, in no specific oreder of importance:

  1. Book everything as much as you can months in advance. Your flights, trains, buses, cruises, car rentals, mobile homes and places to stay, early bookings can save you money. Most sites have apps with search engines looking for both standard and budget options. You can download the apps to look for everything when you are on the go. Some of them have calendars that show the cheapest times to book.
  2. Let your bank know about your travel plans. If you plan to use your cards then you don’t want any surprises once you are on the trip. Let your bank know what cards you will be using, set your limits on the cards for the trip and always keep the exchange rate in mind when doing this.
  3. Check what visas you may need for the country you are visiting. Each country requirements are different and it also depends on what passport you have. Best way is to look up the contact details of the embassy in your town of the country you want to visit. Most of them have online information what papers they require for a visitors visa, how much it will cost, a calendar for you to book an appointment and download the forms to fill in. Most of them allow you to apply up to 3 months in advance. Rather safe then sorry, especially if you are applying for more then one country to visit. Each embassy will need your original passport to stamp your visa, so calculate that time into it.
  4. Travel Insurance is very important. Yes, we all wish for everything to be perfect on our holiday but sometimes accidents happen and it could cost you a fortune to be in a foreign country without a medical insurance. In some countries you might wait longer to get help if you don’t have one.
  5. Make photocopies of important documents. This sounds like it may never happen to you but if you do loose your passport, most likely you will be better off if you have a certified copy of your passport on you and some passport photographs. Its a good idea to also have a certified copy of your travel insurance and if you traveling with your underage kids, take a copy of your marriage certificate and the unabridged birth certificate of your children. You will definitely need the originals at passport control, so don’t forget to bring them. Certify all the copies by home affairs and the police. Separate the copies and the originals, keep them in two different bags while you travel.
  6. First Aid Kit. I don’t like taking or giving my family medicine if its not absolutely necessary. But when I travel I prefer to be on the safe side and take medicine that I know and we have tried. It can save you time from trying to explain in the middle of the night, in a foreign language, what part of your body hurts. I recommend at least the bare basics, especially medicine for children. On our last trip with our 2 year old we took a thermometer, her meds for temperature, cough and cold, some burn and disinfectant creams, plasters and for us grown ups we added nausea and diarrhoea pills.
  7. Tell your family or friends your plans. I would recommend this especially if you are traveling on your own, but its always good to know that someone has your back even if you are traveling in a bigger group.
  8. Itinerary. I love spontaneity. Traveling to see new places, meet people, experience their culture and food is exciting and being open minded, going with the flow, seeing where the trip takes you can be awesome. Im all for it. However, an outline of the trip is handy for few reasons. If you wish to let your family knows how to find you and it keeps your time line in check so you don’t end up at the opposite end of the country and miss your flight back home.
  9. Packing light and important stuff. Most airlines allow up to 30kg and a bag on board. Do check with your airline before packing because it can cost you if you step over their specifications. Plan your outfits, check the weather in the country you are visiting, count the days, don’t over pack, you can always buy shampoo or a pair of extra socks there. Always make sure that the liquids and sharp objects are packed in your luggage but if you have any liquids for the bag on board, make them up to 100ml and accessible because you will need to put them in a plastic bag at the security check. Pack extra batteries for your camera and international chargers.
  10. Back up your photographs and videos. As a proffesional photographer this is always first on my list but recently I have made a mistake of loosing photographs from my cellphone while on a family holiday. There are few things you can do to prevent loosing your memories. If you take your laptop with you, you should back everything up from your camera or cellphone onto your laptop. Or you can take a memory stick or a hard drive and transfer everything at an internet caffe via their computers. If you are traveling where you have internet signal, easiest way to back up is to buy a local sim card for your cell phone once you arrive and upload everything to the iCloud or Google Photos as you go. It is cheeper to buy it there then use your own sim card.

try out Skyscanner

try out Google Photos

try out iCloud

Credits:

Video: The Darjeeling Limited / Wes Anderson / You Tube

Article: Kristina Stojiljkovic

Links: Skyscaner

Google Photos / Tech Talk America / You Tube

iCloud / PC mag.com / You Tube

Photography: Kristina Stojiljkovic

Magazine: photos published by Horizons Magazine / HiLife