Simple Travel Tips Before/After Booking Your Trips

Whether you are booking an all inclusive vacation or not, it could mean all the difference if you leave out or include one factor. I haven’t been everywhere but I know these tips have helped me enjoy my trips a lot more! 🙂

After having an idea of when you want to book your trip, consider the following:

Before:

  1. If you are travelling to a country that is of higher risk please check out:  http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories – “Our Country travel advice and advisories pages provide Canadians travelling and living abroad with official Government of Canada information and advice on situations that may affect their safety and well-being.” ***** Almost every country has a site like this. It also provides details of what medicines you may need to consider prior to visiting. For example, some shots may need to be pre-ordered by doctors and can take up to 2+ weeks. Most importantly, these sites most likely will let you know if you need a tourist visa or not! This is important as some countries will need you to submit documents prior to visiting and this can take weeks!
  2. Check out if you’re going during peak season or not. Peak season could mean that your flight ticket is more expensive so that’s something you might want to avoid. However, peak season can be a bonus for solo travellers or travellers looking to make new friends and hang out. And if you’ve been travelling for a while, most likely you are flying in from a close by country so the flight ticket most likely will be cheap. Also, sometimes you might not be able to avoid peak season because of certain events that are taking place. In this case, ignore this point here 🙂
  3. Check to see how the weather will be like during your stay. You might be living in a country with decent consistent weather but for some countries, it is the complete nasty opposite. For instance, if you are planning a trip to Peru to see Machu Pichu, the best time to go is from April – October. From November – March it rains and apparently the Inca trail is closed. Peak times are from June – August. If you want that million dollar picture, you might want to avoid peak season 🙂
  4. Research the places you want to visit and look up any other popular attractions. This might sound touristy but if it’s your first time going to your destination, you are a tourist regardless. You want to do your research on the places you want to visit because what you’ve seen in pictures (if that’s what captured your interest in the first place) might not be there or under a lot of construction. I wanted to see the Casa Mila by Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain last year. When I got there, the entire building was COVERED by a sheet because underneath it they were doing some construction. The entire architecture is SOOO beautiful from the outside 😦 But yeah do your research. Also, researching about other popular attractions will make sure you don’t miss out amazing ones that you might regret later! You can always go back to a country but if you can do as much as you can in one shot, why not right? ***** Look into how far your hotel/hostel is compared to the attractions you want to visit. Sometimes its farther than you think and you might not need to stay at the hostel/hotel you’re staying but somewhere else. 
  5. ***** Make sure your transportation (airport, ferry, etc)  times are align with your hostel/hotel check-in times! Sometimes booking early and then waiting for hours to be checked in is cheaper but sometimes it’s the same price if you opt for a later transportation time that’s close to your check-in time!

After:

  1. Book your accommodations (if you are not staying at a resort or doing a cruise). If you are travel with a group of people, staying at a decent/nice hotel can be cheap if split amongst your friends. If you are considering hostels than I recommend www.hostelword.com. They also have an app that is very useful if you’re always on the go. I ALWAYS sort by ratings. Sometimes the best looking hostel is not always the best in terms of service, cleanliness, etc.
  2. Find out what currency is used and try to bring enough cash in that currency. Unlike the American dollar, it is not easy to exchange and does not hold a lot of value.
    1. Breakdown of what you have to budget for (aside from accommodations):
      1. Food (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and what your eyes want to eat lol – if you’re a traveller, most likely you’re a foodie too)
      2. Transportation (taxi, metro, bus – factor in how you will be getting from the airport to your accommodation)
      3. Laundry
      4. Excursions/Tours/Events
      5. Tip (countries like Japan and Australia DO NOT tip. Do some research)
      6. *Social Activities (you will most likely be invited out for an event, gathering, party etc, and it will cost money and you will be tempted to say yes!)
      7. Souvenirs (this includes random crap you like to get for yourself and your friends because they look cute or cool)
  3. Set an emergency fund (i.e. extra medicine or in case your camera/phone breaks or you lose it AND you want to continue taking pictures of your awesome vacation)
  4. Find out what is the most appropriate way to dress (if you’re not doing an all inclusive resort/cruise). For example, in Egypt, female tourists can be covered by wearing tights and a tank top BUT must at least cover the shoulders as well to remain fully covered.
  5. 2-1 week out of your trip, print out all documents and information you need in case your phone decides to die out on you and you cannot show what you need on your phone
    1. Flight tickets
    2. Metro maps
    3. City map (you can always try to grab one at the airport or at the accommodation you are staying at – you might even want to mark down where you are staying and all the places you want to visit just to give an idea of how far you are from these places (sometimes the receptionist can help you with this)
    4. event tickets

Hope this helps! Enjoy 🙂 I’ll be posting up pictures, videos, comments and tips about my current travels after I get back to Toronto 🙂

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