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37 Tips to Help You Prepare For A Trip- Kate Halden From Transcend Travel

There are lots of things to consider when planning a holiday.  Where?  When?  How long for?  What type of accommodation?  What do we want to do and see?  .. the list goes on .. You get the trip all organised and the date draws closer.. and there are whole load more things to consider as you prepare to leave!

So for the Business Success Network, as part of Stacey Calder’s 37 lists of 37 things for her 37th birthday, here are 37 top tips for preparing for that trip!!

1.     Prepare for packing – write a list of the days before you go and what you are doing so that you can realistically think about what you need to pack for each day / activity / occasion.  It seriously helps with over packing.  Remember – you CAN wear things more than once.  We all like some choice, but a stuffed tight case might lead to excess baggage fees; it will be hard to lug around; your clothes will be more creased; you’ll struggle to repack for the return journey – stuff always takes up more space when it’s been worn somehow!; and you won’t have any spare space for any souvenirs or gifts that take your fancy while you’re away.

 2.     Try to take clothes in a maximum of 3 colours that complement each other, then whatever you wear from your case matches!

 3.     If you and your travelling companion/s have more than one hold bag booked for your trip, split your belongings across cases so that if one goes missing, you each still have clothes to tide you over.

 4.     Be savvy with your carry on luggage.  Think not only what do you need for the journey, but be prepared in case of a lost or delayed hold bag.  Pack the essentials for the first day – toothbrush/paste, phone charger & adaptor, spare underwear, maybe swimwear/sarong.

5.     If travelling on a low cost airline with cabin baggage only, have a 2nd foldable rucksack/bag with you so that if your bag is taken and put in the hold due to a lack of overhead locker space, you still have somewhere to put your important and valuable items to keep with you on the plane.

6.     Roll clothes rather than fold them.  It will create more space and fewer creases.

7.     Consider investing in packing cubes. These a small bags that you can organise your clothes in and optimise space in your case.  Available in various sizes, they allow you to easily sort and find items and zipping them up in the cube compresses clothes creating more space!

8.     Don’t carry your tickets, passport, money and credit card all in the same place.  Losing one is a bind, losing them all is worse!

9.     Put a piece of paper with your name and contact details on top of your clothes but inside your suitcase.  If the airline baggage tag comes off, which can happen, your case can be identified.  Don’t let your case be one of the hundreds of abandoned bags that cannot be reunited with their rightful owners!

10.  There are lots of similar cases out there these days.  Add a ribbon, sticker or other individually identifying marker on yours to make it stand out from the rest.  When you pick you case up from the carousel, ALWAYS do a double check that you have seen something personal – a marker or an item inside to be 100% certain you have your bag and not someone else’s!

11.  Take a photo of your passport and hotel bookings on your phone, and have a hard copy in your main and/or hand luggage just in case

12.  Pack a 4 way adaptor with an extension cable.  That way you only need 1 country specific adaptor and can charge / use multiple devices at one time.  It is also helpful if sockets in your accommodation are not in the most convenient place for what you want to use them for.

13.  Pick up a USB charger for the county you are visiting.  They are just a few pounds on ebay/amazon.  They are much less bulky that a UK charger and adaptor, and frees up one of the sockets on your adaptor!

14.  A couple of ways to keep your clothes fresh for your travels – take some tumble dryer sheets and put them in your case, or have a mini spritz bottle filled with Febreze for freshening up clothes

15.  If you have items you know you will want to hang up, invest in some foldable travel hangers.  Hotels often have very limited numbers of hangers, and these take up next to no space.

16.  If you are travelling around lots on your trip and therefore living out of your case most of the time, consider a case with 50/50 each side.  It is much easier to keep things in relative order and keep repacking to a minimum

17.  Taking a couple of cotton type sarongs will prove very useful.  They can be used as towels and are much lighter to carry; worn on the beach or poolside; they can double up as a scarf/shawl for cooler evenings, used to cover up without overheating in the event of sunburn, or if visiting religious buildings where shoulders should be covered – so versatile!

18.  Take pictures of your luggage and clothes.  If your bag gets lost, this will help identify it more easily and speed up the process of having your travel insurance reimburse you.

19.  Consider taking bars of shampoo and conditioner rather than liquids.  Pop them into a ziplock bag so they don’t get on other items; you can take them in hand luggage as they are not liquids; they take up less space and are lighter than bottles; they last forever so are great value; and of course – less single use plastic!

20.  Take a pack of UNO cards – a fun-for-all way to pass the time if waiting around in the airport

21.  Take some anti-bac wipes for the plane to wipe the tray table and screens before you start to kill any germs

22.  For long haul flights take pyjama or other loose fitting, comfortable trousers to change into.  You can change back as you reach your destination so will be ‘public ready’ and feel fresher.

23.  Also for long haul flights, have earplugs and an eye mask with you to give you the best opportunity of getting some shut eye.  A hair brush, toothbrush/paste and face spritz/moisturiser will also make you feel fresh and alert when you arrive.

24.  Eat at the appropriate time for the time zone you are travelling to – this helps with your circadian rhythm.  Your what?!  A circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours

25.  Take a basic first aid kit with you to avoid having to hunt down a pharmacy mid trip for simple ailments

26.  Pure citronella oil in a baby lotion makes a great insect repellent

27.  Do a bit of research on your credit and debit cards and use the one/s that do not charge fees / charge the least for use abroad.  Or use a prepaid currency card like WeSwap or Revolut

28.  Alert your bank that you are going on holiday to avoid any unusual spending habits resulting in your card being frozen

29.  Smile and learn a few local words beforehand – hello, goodbye, thank you – locals will be more welcoming if you try the lingo.

30.  Ask locals for recommendations, they will know the best, the most authentic and most cost effective places to visit

31.  Pre-book your attraction tickets.  If there are major attractions that you know you want to visit, book ahead.  You will definitely save time, most likely save money, many pre-booked tickets include ‘skip the line’ so you don’t waste time in queue and you will not be disappointed that the must-see attraction was fully booked, or you didn’t have time to wait in line

32.  For city breaks consider city attraction cards.  If you are planning to visit lots of museums and other attractions in a short period of time, a city pass will save you money on entrance fees, many include skip the line benefits as well as free public transport.

33.  Book your airport / port parking as far in advance as possible to confirm availability ad to get the best price. 

34.  Book an airport lounge in advance.  By the time you have fought the crowds, grabbed a meal at ‘spoons, picked up some snacks at Boots, and a book and drink at WHSmith you will invariably have spent more than the cost of a lounge where you can eat and drink as much as you like, in quieter more comfortable surroundings.  No brainer!

35.  Book as early as you can for the cheapest air fares.  Flight costs rarely go down, it just doesn’t work that way.

36. Travel insurance! This is the most investment you make for your trip.  Without it you could be thousands out of pocket, all for saving a few quid in getting a comprehensive policy.  They really don’t cost too much and will be invaluable if you are robbed, have cancelled flights, get sick or injured etc etc.  JUST GET IT!  Any reputable travel agent will advise you the same and it will be a condition of booking with them that you travel with appropriate insurance.

37.  Do yourself a favour, and use a travel agent!  You’ll save time and very often money.  Talk to them and let them know what you are after, and let them do the leg work, using their expertise to find the right holiday for you.  They can arrange all elements of your trip including the little extras like parking, the lounge, the attraction tickets – whatever it is you want – while you focus on what to pack!  Your holiday will be protected, and you have someone to support you before, during and after your trip.