Preparing for trip – dream or nightmare?

 In Journey preparation

The time to our next trip was getting closer and I started to feel butterflies in my stomach. This is EXCITEMENT. IT HAPPENS EVERY SINGLE TIME, no matter how many trips we have done. So what exactly excites us? Apart from the obvious: we are going to a new place. But what about preparing documents, planning, organizing. It is daunting, isn’t it? Don’t have to be! Trip preparation can be just as fun, I promise. Here are some tips that might come handy.

5 trip preparation things that REALLY EXCITE me about an upcoming journey : 

1.Packing bags

My favorite part (after all who likes unpacking them?). Choosing clothes for a trip is equal to go shopping to me. Haha I know weird, right! Well, my little (secret) hobby includes buying some new clothes to bring along or wear during the transition. Somehow obtaining new clothes, even the daggiest (you know something comfy to hop between the airports) makes me really darn happy. Yes, call me a strange one! We don’t always plan our getaways with the inclusion of a local shopping –  it depends on a destination and a trip duration –
so I get my little sidekick out of a “tiny” shopping prior to departing.  2. Loading money onto a cash travel card

 This is my favorite travel TOOL. OK, what can possibly be more real than knowing your finances are figured? I love and trust travel cards for their flexible options and simplicity to use. It is always good to see the amount we allocated and saved up for a trip, safely stashed in one secure place. In the majority of the destinations we have been to, this is the preferable way of paying in cafes, restaurants, airports, or major shops, but I always carry cash to use for getting around, making small purchases, paying and everyday meals. Do you have to get one? Of course not, although every experienced traveler will suggest you to. These cards are great as backups, you can always reload them online free of charge.3. Preparing tools and documents. This obviously is the most important step but for the majority of people can be daunting. But don’t stress- things prepared well before hand will save you a headache. My tool list normally includes: a camera, a couple of memory cards, a tablet or a laptop(depending on whether we travel onboard luggage only), chargers and plug converters. Just by holding my camera, I get a physical sensation of an itch in my hands..imagination takes me places I know I will capture forever and I can not wait to start to photograph them!

My list of documents(varies from a country to country): passports, visas, airfares bookings, hotels confirmations, travel insurance booklet, activities and excursions information. I print EVERY SINGLE piece of booking we do! It is best to have them in the original language along with the English version. I would not trust to keep all this electronically, it is not reliable, so paper version saves the day.

4. Discussing the trip with a family !!! You know that feeling when you are super pumped up about something and can not help but talk about it? I love love love savoring every single detail of our trips with my boys. Although they are much easier going whereas I am the one that needs to be like super organized, we still must prepare and plan together. I refuse to be the only one responsible for the whole journey. More we talk the details, more it settles in the brain for future references. Our memory works magic if we keep feeding it a repeated information over and over. I never rely on remembering everything so I need for the boys to hear the details too. We can talk over our excursions for hours letting our imagination run wild. We establish an emergency plan in case of delays or an unexpected sickness. I like to have a solid program, Steven likes “play as we go”. So generally, our agreements balance themselves out.

5. Researching a travel info onlineThis is where I spend hours just finding and researching information on the destinations. And again, just by seeing pictures I start feeling that familiar butterfly effect in my belly. I do generally like browsing through reviews on hotels, food etc, although prefer not to rely on them completely. What suits you, might not suit me, right? Doing a lot of reading and making your own judgments are healthier options in my opinion. It is very exciting to see gorgeous photos of towns or beaches looking professionally done(just so we tourists, get blown away by the visual facts) but that is probably when other travelers genuinely uploaded photos come to the rescue. Yes, to some destinations it is better to acknowledge the reality than being fooled by a photoshopped beauty of the surf net pages. Well before we leave I study on the climate, weather at the time of our staying, local traditions, general language phrases(if other than English), food and drinks options(important to learn for intolerances or sensitivities), country safety net, currency matters, transport choice and so forth.

What is your favorite part of travel preparation? Share in comments!

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