We are getting close to jet setting off on our next European adventure, so I thought I’d diversify a little from home ‘renovation/design blogger’ to ‘travel blogger’. The first blog article I thought I’d write is things you need to do to prepare for international travel. This will be our 4th Europe trip in 4 years and we have learnt a thing or two along the way. So I thought I’d share some tips that I would have found extremely useful before we set off on our first trip years ago.
Tip 1. Let your bank know you are traveling overseas so they don’t cancel your card.
I’ll never forget the phone call we got from our while we are preparing for our last trip. We were planning to travel around Ireland for 10 days and stay at BnB’s along the way. One evening before we left we started to book the accommodation. I think we put a €15 deposit on a place and within 2 minutes we had our bank calling us to verify that our card hadn’t been stolen.
Tip 2. Make some adjustments with your mobile phone.
Switch off all internet on your mobile phone and call your phone provider to switch your phone to international roam. You can end up with a huge bill when you return home if you overlook this.
Tip 3. Leave space in your luggage for the shopping, don’t over pack!
I learnt the hard way on our first trip. We were in Europe for a month and wanted to ensure I had enough clothes so I didn’t get bored with my wardrobe. That resulted in a suitcase full to the brim before we even left home. I ended up having to throw clothes out when we were overseas to make room for my new purchases.
Tip 4. Scan and email copies of important documents.
Make copies of your Passport, travel insurance policy, emergency phone & card numbers, as well your ticket details. Leave another set with family or friends too. And it’s also handy to have copies of your itinerary and hotel receipts in one place, just in case.
Tip 5. Make sure your memory card on you camera is big enough.
We have a device that enables us to upload our pics onto our ipad. Imagine if your camera got stolen on the last few days and you didn’t have your pics backed up.
Tip 6. Register your details
Make your family happy by registering your travel plans with smartraveller.gov.au so you’re contactable in an emergency. Set up a Skype account too so you can chat to and SEE your partner, your friends, your parents or your furry family when you’re feeling homesick.
Tip 7. Try to avoid jetlag
Drink plenty of water and stick to simple foods. Avoid indulging in alcoholic beverages. I try to acclimatise to the time zone as soon as I get onto the plane. When you land, if you arrive in London at 7am, don’t go to sleep, just try to struggle through the day.
Tip 8. Washing powder
I always take a small zip lock bag with washing powder in it and a couple of clothes hangers. There’s nothing worse than having a suitcase full of dirty laundry. If we are staying at one accommodation for more than a night I wash the essentials and hang them out to dry on coat hangers as soon as we arrive. That way they have a couple of days to dry.
Tip 9. Invest in a luggage scale
Thinking back to our first trip makes me giggle. We had done so much shopping over the month and we were concerned with the weight of our luggage. I still recall using a set of kitchen scales to weigh each item individually so we knew what we could throw into the bin if we were over weight at the airport. Since then we have become much more savvy and invested in a luggage scale. So now my husband can’t use the excuse that our luggage will be too heavy when I want to make one last purchase!
These are just a few organisational tips that can make a journey more enjoyable.