Going on holiday is a time-tested method of escaping the worries and grind of day-to-day life. Yet without a little basic planning, a holiday can turn into more of an ordeal than an escape. No matter where you’re going or what you plan on doing, following this basic holiday advice can make sure that your experience isn’t ruined by simple mistakes:
Choosing where to go
This stage is where planning has the most positive effect on the final experience. Obviously, any holiday requires you to make a decision on where you’re going – but there’s more to it than just picking a random spot on the map, particularly if you’re travelling with others. By all means, choose a place at random – but do some research and preparation before you commit.
Whilst the information on the Foreign Office website can often be a little alarming, its worth looking to see what particular dangers may lie in wait for you; figures on crime or environmental hazards can paint a frightening picture often unconnected with the likely reality, but forewarned is forearmed and it doesn’t hurt to prepare for the possibility. The FCO will also be able to let you know about what to expect from health risks such as local diseases or any cultural issues you should be aware of (e.g. Females must be accompanied by a male in public in Saudi Arabia).
Making sure you’re ready
- Documentation and travel permits; what kind of paperwork do you need to visit your destination? If you’re travelling outside of the UK, you’ll invariably need a (in-date) passport – even if you don’t pass through passport control, if you’re questioned by immigration officials at any point you could soon find your fun spoiled by questioning and even the possibility of incarceration. Similarly, some countries require special pre-approved travel documents such as the VISA system used in America. Without these documents, you’ll get no further than the airport.
- Medicine and immunisation; Certain areas of the world have much a much higher risk of infection from some fairly nasty bugs or bacteria than other countries. Even where the risk isn’t necessarily higher, the fact that you’re a foreign visitor to the area means that you’re more vulnerable to local infections because your immune system has adapted to what it encountered in your home environment. A trip to the GPs and a few simple shots can protect you from both exotic variants of common infections as well as more serious disease associated with the region you’re travelling to – as well as equip you with supplies to fight any infection that does take place, such as anti-malaria pills for those travelling to Africa.
- Pack appropriately; Finally, you should always make sure you pack the appropriate clothes and accessories for your destination. Don’t take shorts and t-shirts to Alaska, don’t take nothing but jumpers and heavy winter clothing to Floria during the summer. Keep in mind that when you cross the equator, you enter a different hemisphere with an inverse seasonal system – in short, when its summer in the UK, it’s winter in New Zealand. Plan accordingly.