Travelling around the world is the most fulfilling experience any blogger can have. Not only that you will visit a foreign country and learn about a foreign culture but you will visit places you dreamed to.
Unfortunately, some of them don’t find it so pleasurable in the end, and the reason for this has its roots in a lot of unexpected problems that turn up along the way.
But those problems don’t have to be so unexpected if you become aware of the number one fact when it comes to traveling – your trip will be as good as your preparation for it.
Everybody will agree that this planning phase can be a major drag, but much bigger drag will be if you realize that your long deserved vacation (for the purpose of which you’ve been saving up for quite some time) is turning into a nightmare because of some things you didn’t do before you left.
We know that sometimes it’s hard to ‛predict’ all the things you’re gonna need, but there is a ‛holy trinity’ you’ll have to respect in order to make your journey a stress-free one.
1. You’re taking your identity with you
In spite of the fact that probably every person alive knows we need passports in order to travel a long distance, there is still a great number of people who forget them at home.
You packed a whole bunch of stuff that will allow you to survive over a month in the wilderness, but the only thing that border patrols are actually interested in is your identity, which is lying home in a drawer.
That will end your trip before it even started which is not pleasurable at all, so always double check if you have it with you before living the house.
If you’re one of those people who thought they’re never gonna need one and you’ve just realized that it’s time to see the world, you should know that getting one is a process.
Don’t worry, it’s not like Kafka’s Process, but make sure you start with application several months before the departure date. Getting the passport requires a few pretty simple actions, but the waiting period can be prolonged by some mysterious obstacles commonly known as bureaucracy (there is a bit of Kafka in there, after all).
You’ll probably have to apply in person, so make sure to bring all the necessary papers along (recent document photos, proof of citizenship, and an extra form of identity).
Once you get the passport it wouldn’t hurt if you make some extra copies of the front page, one for you, one for a drawer back home, and one for a trusted friend.
It might seem like a funny idea, but if your passport gets lost or stolen you’ll have no reason to laugh.
Having the passport with you doesn’t mean you’re out of the water yet.
The second most common thing people forget is to check the expiration date (many of us don’t open our passports at all, it’s not like they’re a particularly interesting read). And don’t close it with the sigh of relief if it’s not expired, but pay attention to how much you’ve got until it expires.
If you want to play it safe make sure you’ve got about six months after arriving at your destination (somewhere you can get away with a less, but if you want to go into details, make sure you check them properly). Check this in time, because maybe you’ll have to go through a renewal process.
In the end, your passport also needs its ‛baggage’ – a visa. And, as you can imagine, it will need a lot more time to ‛pack’ than you. While it’s not required everywhere, you still need tourist visas for many destinations around the world, and the application process can be quite different depending on where you’re headed and how long are you planning to stay.
This information can easily be acquired by a simple phone call to the embassy, but getting the visa in your hands will certainly consume a larger amount of your time and, in this case, also money. There’s no way around it, so take your breath and dive straight in as soon as possible.
2. Diseases can prematurely end your journey
The world is full of wonders, but some places can be pretty stocked up with diseases. They don’t even have to be diseases in a classical meaning of the world, it can be only a bacteria natives have no problem with but our bodies can ‛crack’ under the weight of the first encounter.
That’s why you need to check if you need any special medications or even vaccines before the trip, depending on where you’re going. It is just a precaution but it can literally save your life, and you can find all the necessary recommendations on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
There are a number of pesky diseases like malaria, typhoid fever, bird flu, dengue, chikungunya, etc. that can easily become stowaways at your expense.
If you’re already on some medication (even routine ones) make sure you bring enough to last for the whole trip. Maybe some non-prescription medication such as aspirin won’t be easy to find if you’re traveling to some remote regions, so a couple of packs in the bag can also come in handy.
It also wouldn’t hurt to visit your doctor for routine check-ups. This may seem unnecessary, but it will make sure you won’t end up hurting yourself with an ice cream just because you didn’t have your teeth checked before the departure.
3. Free your mind from the things you left at home
It is obvious that you won’t be able to carry all your prized possessions with you (if you’re traveling by plane you’ll barely be able to carry everything you need). And here we’re not talking about gold.
Some people wouldn’t survive if they returned home and realized that neighbors forgot to water their lovely camellias. Our homes are full of stuff that has great emotional value and represent our whole lives in some way.
If we leave them unprotected they will turn to worries in the back of our head, and we started this whole trip to escape from worries for some time.
We’re not saying you need to employ a professional army guarding the house, a simple relative or neighbor would do.
If you don’t have enough faith in your neighbors and relatives or your journey will be quite long and you don’t want to burden them that much, today you can easily find cheap and highly functional storage space where you can tuck in all your favorite belongings knowing they’ll be completely safe until your return.
There, it wasn’t such a drag, right? Of course, there are additional smaller requirements depending on your what-to-do list for the travel, but they can be handled pretty easily – just think about all the things you wanna do, then check what you need to accomplish that.
It is simply your identity moving across the map, evading unwanted stowaways and knowing that your treasure is waiting for you back home, safely tucked away.
And who knows, when you master how to prepare, you will be able to enjoy it fully and maybe even monetize your journey.