Going on a vacation trip should be a fun thing, but somehow it often make the stress notch go worse. Especially if all doesn't go according to plan. Having the chance to travel more this year, I literally dedicate most of my blogging time lately to share some travel contents. Most of them are heading your way for these weeks, but almost all tend to highlight places I've visited and trips I've experienced. So, this time, I decided to share some advice that I've learnt the hard way - from my travel experiences over the past couple of years - about how to make your trips go hassle-free. Here's the tips on pre-trip planning and other whatnots...
List everything ...from what to pack (and what you should not missed out when you repack later), to where to go. When it comes to me, I prefer to make an ultimate itinerary list - or complete personal guidebook, some might say - and be done with everything beforehand. Yes, it requires a lot of hard work (and hours of Googling!), but it would be a real life saver. If you use apps for this, just don't forget to put everything available offline.
Pack essentials. I always packed light in my single carry-on, until I got off a flight in Singapore where my baggage didn't available onto the connecting flight and I was left with practically nothing. Then I realized how important to pack some essentials in a single carry-on was. Especially if you're going to have a connecting flight in your schedule, or just in case you'll stuck in the airport for long layover. I previously wrote about what essentials to pack here.
Let it roll. Chances are the contents of your luggage will somehow multiplied when it's time to repack everything home. And yes, it happened to me even if I didn't do any shopping and literally came home with the same things I've brought for the trip. For that, I always left a little space in my luggage to let things roll and make sure that everything's in there for a reason, like "Do I really need to bring this?". You can also throw in a tote bag or any folded bags, just in case your luggage will explode.
Dress right. It's okay if you wanna be all stylish while being thousands of feet in the air, but don't forget to also be comfortable with what you wear. When it comes to warm clothes or outer, best to wear something with buttons, zips, or any front openings. Wearing sweater or pullover always gives a hard time for me, just because it takes more time to be taken off for security checks. The same thing goes to wearing boots, watch, or belt.
Make passport ready. Passport literally becomes your life when it comes to traveling abroad. Almost everything in your trip requires it: from checking-in, tour-booking, to shopping. So it's important to make your passport always ready, but also be secured too. Use a small bag, or wallet, that comes in so handy to keep all the important travel documents with you always.
...and other travel documents. Always make sure you have the required visa for all through your trip. This is actually the thing you should've done weeks before your trip. Also, don't forget to get your insurance sorted. If necessary, check for any transport pass or card and have your transport problem solved before you even set a foot on your destination.
Figure out airport transfers. Whenever you plan a trip, don't forget that the thing you must do before visiting the city is getting out from the airport. This is the thing that I tend to forget and always ends up making me all confused. Airports often have dedicated train or coach to the city centre. Head over to the information desk or just Google up to check whether it's the most efficient and inexpensive option for you.
Use the app. I don't know why travelers often underestimate travel-related apps, when actually those are the real heroes. Among other things, I personally like to use official apps by airlines which I've booked the flight. Dedicated apps like that always make everything easy, from checking-in online, to accessing information regarding your flight, and even the rest of your trip.
Check-in early. To save more time and settle in with very little fuss, do check-in as early as 24 hours before the scheduled departing time. I always opt for online check-in even though I can wait for the first counter opens at the airport. Early check-in will reduce nearly 90 percent of the hassle in a flight trip (kidding, I just made that up), because you don't have to go through a long queue, which always be the most irritating thing. Especially if you have many baggage with you.
All photographs by Ruth Vania Christine