Friday, May 28, 2010

~ Travel Preparations ~

THREE more days to our family trip to Shantou. I finally took the long weekend to start packing our luggage for the trip. (Still in the midst of packing though)

There are always a lot of things to prepare since we are travelling with children. Hence, Hubby and I will always try to work things out so that everything will run smoothly.

After deciding on where to go for the holiday, here are a couple of things that we will check through and decide.

1) Free & Easy or Package Tour
Generally we prefer to go on a Free & Easy tour simply because of the following advantages
- Freedom (Own time own target)
- More flexibility (We can plan/change where we would like to go anytime, anywhere without much dependency)
- Lesser time wasted on waiting (E.g. full attendance of the tour group and visiting those jewelry or factories where we have little interest of)

But that doesn't mean Package Tour is not good. Package tour provides
- Guided Tour with explanation giving a better coverage of the country and places. (This is especially important if visiting a foreign country where language is a barrier)
- Planned itinerary (lesser headache on researching where to go)
- Transportation and ticketing to the various places of interests
- Convenience

So it boils down to which is more suitable at the end of the day that will brings the best for this trip. :)

2) Choosing the Right Hotel
There are a couple of consideration when trying to decide which hotel to book. Basically here are our topmost priorities.
- Location
- Price
- Quality (How many stars)

Reading reviews on Trip Advisors and other websites always help us have an idea on how other travellers feel about the hotel before we decide to lock on with our choices.

3) Checking your Passport Expiry/Visa
It's always good to keep note of the expiry date on your passport and make sure your travelling period is not withing 6 months of the expiry. If not, you will need to renew or make your new passport. Also keep in mind if the country you are visiting requires a Visa and how long it will take to apply for one.

4) Planning the Itinerary
Ironically, this is one of my favourite. :p I love to do my research on the Internet to help me determine where we can go or what we should do by listing down the MUST see, MUST do, MUST eat (to my best effort). Next is filtering the options available based on the number of days/time we have, pricing, whether it is child-friendly and then working out what's best. I always have my excel spreadsheet (with all the details) to help me with my planning. :)
Within the spreadsheet, I will also list down the flight details, payment, items to bring and other information or website that I gather about the country. (Unfortunately, I didn't save my older copies that I did when we went on our trips a few years ago.)

5) Changing of currency
Our favourite location to change the currency is at Suntec City although many others have suggested that there are other money changers offering better rates. (E.g. Chinatown, a shop near Mustafa etc).

6) Checking the local weather
Prior to our trips, I will do a weather forecast so that we will be able to anticipate the local weather and temperature.

7) Purchasing Travel Insurance
This is really important especially travelling with elderly or children. Hubby will always purchase travel insurance for the family before we go on our oversea trips so as to take care of any emergencies we might encounter.

8) Medicines
Taking the children to visit the family doctor is a usual practice that we do prior to our trips. We will always bring along their usual fever, cough, flu medicines in case they fall sick during the trip. Hubby & I will also bring along our medication so that we will not panic when we start to feel unwell. It's also a good idea to bring along your Vitamins to build up your immunity and health for your trip. :)

9) Packing the luggage
I try not to do last minute packing especially since my children is travelling with us. This will give us ample time to look through our items that we need to bring for the children in case we miss out any.

10) Resting well before the trip
This probably is difficult since there are so many things to do before the trip. Nevertheless, a good night rest before your flight is advisable so that you will be ready and energise for your holiday.

I am still going through my checklist and hopefully will be ready to GO! ^_^

1 comment:

Unknown said...

A well-prepared travel plan is highly recommended especially when you've got kids with you. Checking out the weather conditions on the target date is very important to avoid bad weather conditions. to conclude, great top 10 travel tips :)

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