The more you travel the better you get at it - from reading insurance fine print to learning not to overpack. If you’re new to overseas travel or just want to find out how others master the art then this is the checklist for you. Here’s some advice from seasoned travellers on how to ace your next overseas trip.
Before You Go
Secret Planning Tips
You’ve settled on a destination but how do you find the best spots without relying on generic travel guides? The internet is full of information that isn’t always easy to sift through. From major players like Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor to niche travel bloggers who write on every topic you might want to know. A picture speaks a thousand words, so they say, and over at Experience Oz they like to use social media to enhance their trip planning.
“Planning an overseas trip is no easy task, from booking accommodation, figuring out your transport once you get there and knowing all the great spots to visit only a local would know can be tricky. We’ve found that making good use of Instagram is a great place to start curating your own itinerary in a foreign country and discovering travel bloggers who have gone ahead of the path before you.”
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We can’t stress this one enough - only bring the size of suitcase you will actually need. You think that all the extra space is going to be useful for souvenirs later but there are two major mistakes here. First, not packing your things tightly will lead to them moving around in the case and this is how toiletries are often broken. Even under a layer of clothing won’t work if there’s a sneaky gap for them to wiggle into.
Second, many soft cases these days come with expanders for extra packing space. You shouldn’t need to leave more than a few inches at the top of your case to begin with if you know you have more room later on.
If your luggage isn’t looking up to scratch check out a new set from MyDeal home and garden.
Leaving your home unattended for long periods of time is a side effect of overseas travel. There’s a lot of options at your disposal here. You could ask family or friends to check in on the place every so often or always hire a housesitter. But if you prefer peace of mind that doesn’t rely on other people then updating your home security is the next step. Motion sensors and security cameras are fast becoming an affordable and convenient option for homeowners. If there’s specific items you want to protect then a keypad safe will do the trick. Shop these options and more online at MyDeal.
Finding Travel Insurance
Did you know there’s a difference between regular travel insurance and cruise travel insurance? These days policies are becoming more specific so it’s not enough to go and pick up any cheap cover you come across.
Richard Laycock, Insurance Expert at finder.com.au gave us some advice on finding the best travel insurance for your trip:
“When taking out travel insurance it’s important to be familiar with the conditions of your policy. Exclusions may apply if you participate in extreme sports or even if you’re injured whilst drinking overseas, so read the fine print for clarity before you leave for your trip. Travel insurance for cruises or ski trips are also different to regular policies, so make sure your cover includes the activities you’re planning on doing. It’s a good idea to compare insurance online to ensure you get the best fit for your trip.”
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For The Flight
Eat Right The Night Before
Samantha Lippiatt from Health and Fitness Travel says it’s important to have a good meal leading up to your flight.
“The meal you eat the night before your flight is very important; your digestive system needs to have enough time to break it down efficiently before you jet-off. If you’re flying in the morning, a low carb meal eaten before 7pm the night before is recommended so that you have a good night's sleep and you're re-energised before you board your flight.”
Do Away With Jet Lag
Another tip Samantha swears by is setting yourself up for a good sleep schedule.
“Jet lag is a common adversary on long haul flights but there are ways to help reduce or prevent it: Sleep—get plenty of sleep the night before your flight and limit your caffeine intake so you can get some rest during the flight. Also, when you can, take a few strolls around the cabin and do some stretches, which can help prevent body ache or avoid deep vein thrombosis.”
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Be Kind To Your Gut
Bloating and gut discomfort are common complaints on long-haul flights. The higher up we get the more gases in our bodies expand and the less wonderful we feel. Here’s travel blogger Monika Pietrowski’s tips for a healthy guy in every stage of travel:
“One thing that is often overlooked when travelling is maintaining good gut health. But it can make or break your trip. Here’s how to keep your gut happy while traveling.
1. Probiotics - these are key. Begin taking one week before your trip
2. Drink plenty of water - during your flight aim for 200 mls for every hour in the air
3. Don’t neglect exercise. Here are some great ways to keep fit on your travels!”
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Once You Arrive
House Sit to Avoid Paying for Accommodation
Brittnay Sharman from The Travelling Housesitters has been successfully travelling on a budget for years and here is how she does it:
“Even if you stay in a hostel rather than a hotel, it still will be one of your biggest expenses. Eliminating this will open up your budget to be able to experience so much more. It also allows you to also shop for local produce and cook at home. You may even get access to the homeowner’s vehicle so you can save on transportation as well. It can be a complicated process to get started, research first and see how to become a house sitter so you can save those precious pennies for the good stuff.”
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It’s a perfect technique if you’ll be staying longer than expected and find the housing costs are eating away at your funds.
Make The Most Of Your First Day
Marine Raynard from The Frenchie Escapes likes to plan her first stops well in advance so she doesn’t waste any time on her trip. Here’s how she does it:
"Before I travel to a new place, I always do a quick research on what I need to settle on the first day to have the smoothest arrival, more time to relax or go visit straight away! So when I recently travelled to San Francisco, I already knew where to get my new sim card and what plan I needed, where to catch the free 2-hour walking tour as an introduction to the city and meet some locals with the best tips on what to do and where to eat, etc. Knowing all of this arriving made my first day of travelling truly awesome and not like a big blur on where to go or what to do!"
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The overseas travel secrets are out of the bag but we don’t mind sharing them with you. We only ask that armed with all this great info you go forth and conquer the world.