Before travel

This is a guest post from M Zahid.

It is said that travelling is among the top most stressful experiences, so advance preparation is the best way to avoid some of the stress.
If you have a pet, as soon as you know the dates that you will be away, arrange the kennel or shelter, the longer you leave it the less likely they are to have vacancies. Finding somewhere else that is suitable could be inconvenient and costly.

If you are getting a house sitter, confirm they are available for the dates.

Look up on the internet some of the top travel sites, like to see what there is to do around your destination, consider at least some of the things that you intend to do. For instance, if a long walking tour is planned, you may need to pack a good pair of walking shoes. If you have a particular hobby, check if there is anything to do with your hobby at your destination. For instance, if you are into gardening there may be a flower show near your destination, on one of the days you are there. Check for any special events that may be taking place, often you can buy the tickets on line assuring your admittance.

Whilst abroad, other Banks ATM’s can be expensive to use so check if your Bank or affiliates of your Bank have ATM’s at your destination. ATM charges cost travelers millions of dollars each year. Also check if there is an ATM at your destination airport, getting cash in the local currency at the first opportunity could save in the long term, as often exchange rates vary greatly.

An ATM Machine

An ATM Machine

Let your Bank and any Credit Cards know where and when you are going. Often when these institutions see transactions from abroad, they immediately suspect fraud and block further transactions. Letting them know in advance can avoid embarrassment and expensive long distant phone calls.
Remember that when you arrive at your destination, you will be tired and disoriented, so try and work out what you may do on your first day. It may be relax by the pool, walk on the beach, go to a nearby restaurant, almost anything, but with that planned in advance it will be one less stress on arrival.

About three days before your departure cancel any deliveries to your house for the period that you are away. Newspapers and mail piling up on your doorstep could attract the attention of burglars.

Ensure you have the numbers for the airline and your hotel in both your phone and your baggage.

Finally, mark a packet “Going Home” to put in your baggage. You will be placing in this your house keys, car keys, phone chip, cash for tolls, car park ticket and anything else you think relevant. There are few things worse than arriving at your home airport exhausted, then having to rummage through your baggage for some piece of trivia.