When travelling abroad, it can be handy to make a list of all you need to do in preparation. Having a checklist of what to pack in your suitcase is one thing, but have you seriously thought about the extras you will need to organise, in order to ensure that you have an enjoyable time and stay safe?
We’ve put together some handy tips, to help you get started with the process of planning the trip of a lifetime:
It can be difficult to calculate how much money to take with you when going abroad, but going prepared can make for a more enjoyable holiday. It’s not too difficult to do some research, before you go, and plan your expenditures. Look at the cost of activities, food and travel, in order to give yourself a sufficient budget. Don’t forget to leave yourself some leeway for shopping, as you’ll most likely want to bring back souvenirs for friends and family, not to mention yourself!
It’s also worth bearing in mind that these days you have options, if you run out of physical cash. You can either find somewhere to exchange any sterling you have brought along, or most UK banks allow you to use debit or credit cards abroad in certain countries. Either way, you will have to pay some sort of fee. You face either an exchange rate or an admin fee for paying by card abroad.
No one expects you to become fluent in another language in between the time you book the flights and when you arrive, but it’s worth putting in the effort to familiarise yourself with a few words and phrases. Not only is it polite to be able to say please and thank you to waitpersons and cashiers, but also you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience, being able to understand signs and menus.
There are various apps available to download to your smartphone or tablet for free, which will give you a great starting point for learning a new language. Duolingo and Babel both provide highly rated apps, with a range of languages available.
It may seem like going on a comparison website and opting for the cheapest suggestion is enough, but consider this one carefully. The cheaper the insurance, the narrower the cover you are likely to get. The prices comes down to where you are going and what you will be doing whilst away, as well as personal health factors, so you will want to make sure that you are protected.
Reading the small print can be arduous, but it’s the only way to know for certain exactly what you’re getting. Otherwise, if there are certain activities you expect to be taking part in, you can always contact the insurance provider and ask them directly. Doing so via email will result in written confirmation, which is handy to have, in case of any disputes later on.
You may be surprised at exactly what is and isn’t covered by some providers, when it comes to travel insurance. As such, you will want to be careful that you don’t get caught out and left stranded in a foreign country with mountainous hospital bills and no way to pay them. Not every country is furtunate enough to have a system in place like our NHS. For example, many travel insurance policies specifically state that they will not cover medical bills for injuries caused by quad biking incidents.
It’s worth taking some time to consider and compare your options, as it may be that what you feel to be necessary cover is not actually included in the cheaper policies. Wide cover can provide you with better protection, along with peace of mind whilst travelling.
Depending on where you go, the food may be different to what you’re used to. We always believe in making the most of a travel experience, and trying as many new things as possible. If possible, try to go off the beaten tourist track and find somewhere more authentic. The general rule tends to be: if the locals are eating there, then it must be good!
Getting involved with the culture of an area can be a massive eye opener. You may find yourself returning home a new person, with a wider view of the world. Allow yourself to be exposed to these new experiences, and grow as a person. By visiting local festivals and events, you’ll be building your understanding of those around you, as well as increasing your appreciation for what you may have been taking for granted at home.
There’s every chance that, after your travels, you find yourself drawn back to a certain area, either as a place to permenantly relocate to, or as a recurring holiday destination. If you happen to fall in love with such an area, to the extent that you decide to invest in a home abroad, don’t forget to look for the appropriate home insurance! We specialise in Overseas Property Insurance for expats who either live permanently abroad or own a property overseas and need Holiday Home Insurance.