Ten top tips to ensure a successful trip this summer

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Thinking of travelling over the summer holidays? Here are 10 tips to get started with planning your adventure, and also things to look out for while on your journey.

1. Good planning is always a key to travelling, if there are sights and places you want to see, map out your journey in advance, so you don’t miss out on anything, or have to double back or happen to run out of time while on your trip.

2. When booking flights online, be mindful of suspicious, third party websites who offer flights at an extraordinarily low price. Because most of these websites sell tickets on behalf of the airline, if things go awry with the booking, the airline is not liable to issue you a refund. Consider booking directly with the airline itself, the price might be slightly higher, but you are reassured that nothing (at least on the booking side), can go wrong. Check out sites like STA travel which offer fares that are cheaper if you are a student. Cheaper flights often leave on weekdays, specifically Monday- Thursday instead of weekends.

3. Travel light – a good indicator of what ‘light’ is, is to set out everything you want to bring and lay it out on your bed. Then halve it. That’s light. Try to avoid bringing expensive, fancy things, especially if the destination you are travelling to is not that kind of scene. Ask yourself ‘how crushed would I be if I accidently forgot this and left it behind?’

4. If you are planning to travel somewhere you have never been before, and cannot speak the local language, it would be a good idea to invest in a good travel guide book, or download the app into your phone, so that you are not completely lost and unable to communicate. Consider also investing in a portable charger, just in case you run out of battery. You can then charge your phone on the go.

5. Always be aware of your surroundings and belongings. When carrying a backpack, make sure you don’t keep valuables in pockets that are not in your direct view (ie: behind you). When carrying a suitcase, make sure it is always locked especially if it is not within your sight.

6. Keep track of your finances (ie: tabulate your money every night or so) so you don’t lose track of your spending, and to make sure you
haven’t lost any money either. Some even recommend spreading out your money, the saying ‘don’t keep your eggs in one basket’ comes to
mind. In the event you lose your wallet or debit card, at least you still have some money tucked away in your knickers.

7. Write all your important name and numbers down on a piece of paper and keep it with you at all times, just in case you lose your friends, or phone, or even run out of battery, you are able to reach them.

8. Be watchful of shady characters trying to sell you something amazing at a very low price that involves taking you somewhere or placing some sort of deposit. Check out Lonely Planet’s ‘Thorn Tree’ forum for scams that have been reported by previous travellers, or if you would like to report one of your own.

9. Your passport is the most important document while travelling, ever. It basically legalisesn your entry, exit and permission to be in that country. Keep it on you at all times, except of course, if you go swimming.

10. And lastly, enjoy yourself, absorb the experience. You’re in this beautiful foreign land, live it up. Don’t be too caught up with taking pictures, but instead focus on making memories. Have fun, and stay safe.

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