Planning Guide



 
 
 
 
Planning Guide
'Think small, think smart and think safe'
An effective plan must include matters you have to do, items to carry along and things to keep in mind for the entire trip - before, during and upon your eventual return back home. This will ensure a ‘hassle-free’ excursion or holiday and one with the lowest chance of untoward incidents.
Itinerary
  • List all places of interest and intended visit
  • Ensure logistics covering all places are efficient and optimal in terms of timing and costs
  • Timing of events, activities, opening times of locales tie-in with timing of trip
  • Peak period (and hours) or expected season of bad weather conditions - avoid, if possible
  • Select time when best views (/pictures) can be secured at particular locales
  • Avoid arriving in places at late hours if travelling alone
  • Book accommodation and travel tickets in advance whenever possible
  • For package tours, check location of accommodation - safe and good locations allow for optimal use of ‘free time’ for shopping and other activities
Essential information on destination country
  • Visa including transiting country(s) and other entry requirements
  • Local socio-economic and infrastructure conditions
  • General level of security/safety standards
  • Health facilities and regulations on carriage or use of certain medicines
  • Any health and other hazards including those potential and suspected
  • Weather conditions (latest forecast)
  • Best and ‘bad’ time to visit, pros and cons
  • Airport location, terminals and regulations
  • Local currency and whether other alternative currency acceptable for example, USD
  • Communication - IDD codes, mobile phone and internet accessibility
  • Local culture, customs and traditions
  • Local languages
  • Tipping for services
  • Electrical power - voltage and necessary adaptors
Financial Planning
  • Suitable combination of options - cash, traveller cheques, credit cards etc.
  • Check exchange rates, financial market situation and moneychangers/banks to decide on ‘best time’ to buy and from the most competitive and reliable moneychanger
  • Budget to include cost of insurance, entry permits, airport and departure taxes and contingency
Insurance
  • Coverage for risks of losses of all valuables (including baggage), cost of flight delays, medical and hospitalisation
  • Additional coverage for adventurous activities and special health conditions
  • If in danger prone areas (natural and health disasters, political unrest) insure evacuation cost
  • Read small prints of all insurance documents
Health
  • If you have a medical condition, visit doctor for check-up and advice
  • If visiting countries with epidemic outbreak, seek medical advice and vaccination at least 2 months before travel
  • Do not carry medication (or drugs) to countries where they are considered illegal
  • Bring sufficient medication and hygiene items for duration of travel
  • Medical kit sufficiently stocked
  • Check latest news of epidemics (or potential outbreaks) up to point of travel
Safety
  • Split cash, travellers’ checks and credit cards (and others) for an estimated day’s use in the wallet and the rest kept in a separate concealed location.
  • Decide best location and method for concealing portion of cash, spare credit cards, etc. - a good place is a flat pouch worn beneath your clothes either around the neck or waist.
  • Avoid open display of wealth especially in criminally notorious places
  • Luggage tags - do not write home address together with your distinguished business title
  • Luggage tags - choose those with a flap so that your where about is not easily known
  • Label name and address also in the interior of bags
  • All bags to be securely locked, carry extra locks
  • Carry keys in safe, concealed place with you at all times
  • Carry security gadgets (not considered illegal) - whistle, alarm, torchlight etc.
  • Keep a photocopy of itinerary with a person at home so that they know where to find or contact you in an emergency
  • Activate global roaming function in your mobile phone
Important addresses, contact numbers and internet access
  • List important addresses and contact numbers in destination country
    • Home country embassy or consulate, if any
    • Credit card service centres
    • Branches of your same bank (international)
    • Travel agent representative
    • Airline if travelling independently
    • Insurance agent / representative
    • Recommended doctor(s) by insurer, if any
    • Police station(s) if travelling alone or backpacking
    • Hospital(s) and ambulance(s) if travelling with medical condition, alone or backpacking
    • Places where internet access is available
  • Keep records dry (wrap in plastic) and carry with you at all times
  • Maintain(/create) e-mail account where you can easily access and be contacted, especially if travelling alone or backpacking
Important documents
  • Valid passport, at least 6 months to expiry date. Apply for renewal in good time
  • Visa or other entry permits - apply at least 6 months in advance
  • Other supporting entry requirements in certain countries eg. translation of visa/entry permit to local language. Also obtain at 6 months in advance, there may be lengthy requirements and processing time
  • Check for changes in entry regulations up to the time of travel
  • Make at 2 photocopies of the following, especially when travelling independently
    • Passport
    • Visa/entry permit(s)
    • Other supporting entry requirements
    • Air ticket
    • Insurance policy and cardq
    • Medical certificate/letter, if applicable
  • Keep original with you, 1 copy in another location (bag) and 2nd set with somebody at home
Packing
  • Luggage size, contents and total weight to comply with airport regulations
  • Select suitable clothing – consider weather and also local religious and cultural sensitivities
  • Check-in luggage
    • Ensure appropriate and sufficient clothing
    • Sufficient suitable and comfortable walking shoes
    • Suitable clothing accessories – scarves, socks, hats, gloves
    • Toiletries and other hygiene items
    • Medical kit - headache and antacid pills, cotton, band-aids, bandages, safety pins, sunscreen. If there is a disease outbreak, include relevant medicine, antiseptic, rubber gloves and mask
    • Safety gadgets and other equipments including sharp objects - penknife, pins, nail clipper
    • Collapsible bags as spare and for contingency use (eg. bags-in-use get damaged)
    • Check final weight of luggage within limit
  • Carry-on luggage
    • Bag must meet size limit/shape requirement of airline
    • Photocopy of important documents
    • A set of selected clothing, shoes, basic toiletries, just in case check-in luggage goes astray
    • Jacket and scarf for cold weathers
    • Umbrella/raincoat for wet weather
    • Electrical accessories - battery charger, suitable adaptor and others
    • Check final weight of luggage within limit
  • Remember to carry with you at all times in a secure bag (and pouch) :
    • Important medication
    • Money and valuables
    • Original Passport, visa, entry permits and other relevant documents
    • Original insurance policy and card
    • Medical certification/letter, if applicable
    • Mobile phone
    • Cameras including sufficient memory(card) and batteries

The information and advise are intended to be a general guide for travellers only. While every care has been taken to prepare the information and make recommendations or suggestions, neither the publisher of Somewherefascinating.com nor its management or staff are responsible for any injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained therein.
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