Once you have decided to tour your dream destination, you need to know the different procedures of how to go about doing things so that you would have an enjoyable stay. Below are 50 pre travel tips check list to help you ensure that you have a great holiday.
Moreover you need to know the list of things that are most essential during your visit. You also need to remember that the less baggage you take, the easier it is to travel around. The only things absolutely necessary during your visit needs to be carried. Here is an essential list of things which you must have all the time.
1) The most important thing is to select your tour package and determine the destinations and objectives of travel. For example you may be looking for a shopping tour in Kuching, Miri, Sibu or Kuala Lumpur. You may also want to visit a particular place for a historical or sight-seeing tour or just for a holiday.
2) The next thing you need to work on is deciding on an arrangement that suites you. For example, you may need the services of a travel agent who helps you in arranging for air tickets, accommodation and return tickets. If you are looking for package tours, this comes handy as travel agents arrange for a tour through the city. You may wish to have a Free Independent Travel where you are free to meet friends or visit places as you please without having a schedule. On the other hand you may also want to have a group travel where air fares, accommodation, transportation, meals and a tour to various places of attraction are included.
3) The next thing you will want to know is price. It is advisable not to go for cheaper rates. Be sure to check the tour components which include air passage, hotel accommodation, meals, ground transportation, tour itinerary and gratuities.
4) Donâ€™t ever forget to check and verify the authenticity of your travel agent. All travel agents must be licensed to the Sarawak Tourism Board. Check if your agent is affiliated to professional bodies.
5) The next thing to be checked is the tour packagesâ€™ terms and conditions. Some things that should be kept in mind are cancellation charges, amendment fees and refund fees.
6) Check if all the information is recorded correctly. The names should be spelt in accordance to your passport. The age of each passenger should be mentioned correctly such as adults over the age of 12, children below the 12 years and infants below 2 years. name of the tour should also be mentioned and should correspond with the tour code which should reflect in the booking form.
7) You need to check the entry requirements for destination and transit countries. Some nations need the passport to be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival. For more information you need to visit the embassy of the countries you intend to visit. Your citizenship would determine whether you need visa for destination and transit countries. You need to verify that with the respective embassies.
8) The booking form should reflect the total fare and how it has been broken down. It includes price of the tour package, surcharge during peak season, breakdown of taxes and service charges.
9) Check the terms of contract. They are a set of terms and conditions under which the merchant agrees to work with the customers. There may be many forms of standard term contracts like passenger statement, tour booking form and an invoice. Once you make a partial or full payment, it indicates that you have accepted the terms and conditions and as such they would be binding on both parties.
10) If you and the travel agent have agreed on something important to you, but are done verbally, make sure that your agent spells them out in the standard terms of contract.
11) In case you want to cancel the tour package, usually some kind of charges is levied and this depends on the notice period given depending on the conditions of booking.
12) If you are concerned with the security of the destination, verify it from the National Tourist Office.
13) Check if the travel documents are in proper order like service vouchers, air tickets, contact details of local operators and visa details. Moreover you also need to find out if there are prohibitions on certain products from the travel agent.
14) If you have requested for some special benefits make sure that you remind them once before your departure. Though they may not be able to confirm such requests as they are subject to confirmation by principal suppliers, such requests would be met in case of availability.
15) You need to inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs detailing our travel schedule to the nearest mission so that consular assistance can be availed of in case of emergency.
16) Travel insurance is the last thing that comes to our minds while we plan our travel. Even if we have a full-proof plan for our visit, we have to take care of unforeseen events. Accident, illness or deaths are sources of controversies between agents and travelers for compensation, refunds and cancellations on travel packages. Travel insurances can minimize such financial losses.
17) It is highly recommended to carry a medical kit along. A medical kit contains medicines that you use commonly, articles of first aid like antiseptic for grazes and cuts and calamine lotion, bandages, cotton and band-aid. Some airlines prohibit carrying tweezers, shavers and scissors and so they should be carried separately.
18) Before leaving for a trip, make sure that you research on the place you want to visit. Make a note of all important telephone numbers like police stations, pharmacies and hospitals. Take a print out of route maps using internet mapping.
19) Carry tissue paper or wet napkins in your bag as they are useful while you are traveling around.
20) Check the accommodation grading of your hotel with the local tourist office.
21) Before you board the plane make sure that you have an idea of the type of plane you will be boarding. This will give you an idea about the carryon items that fits the cabin.
22) Before leaving, make sure that all personal papers are safely kept. In case a tragedy happens, your heirs and family should know the whereabouts of the insurance papers and keys of safe deposit boxes.
23) Ask for the permit while choosing the adventure guiding outfit. There are several guides around who donâ€™t have permits to operate in a particular area.
24) Make sure that you have several single dollars with you so that you can tip the service persons endless courtesy busses, hotels and airport transfers. Not giving a tip is considered extremely rude.
25) If you are on a vacation and are visiting a popular tourist destination make sure that you have enough camera films before leaving for your favorite destination or battery life if you are using digital camera.
26) Be careful with travellers cheque as more and more issuers are refusing refunds in case of lost cheques.
27) If you want to be in touch with your near and dear ones when you are on a holiday, make sure that your phones work overseas. Plan that in advance as you may not be able to avail of satellite phone services at the last moment.
28) Before you leave, check for accommodation facilities in the place you want to tour. Information about the adjoining areas and weather conditions can be easily availed of.
29) Make sure that you have confirmed your reservation or else you may be left with no reservation. Even if you send an email sending your dates and other information, it may so happen that you have not confirmed your visit and so the hotel authorities have confirmed another person for that day. so it is necessary to confirm the visit.
30) If you donâ€™t have all the time for reading, you can have loads of information from the consulate offices. They are more than happy to send additional information required as it increases their business.
31) While taking credit cards on your way out shopping or sight-seeing, make sure that you donâ€™t take more than one credit card at a time. Moreover important phone numbers should be noted down so that you can use it in case of an emergency.
32) Some countries levy departure taxes, so you need to find out if there is any such tax. If you donâ€™t pay such taxes you are not allowed to board the plane. Make sure that you have some cash in hand for paying such taxes as credit cards are not accepted.
33) It is necessary to duplicate both front and back side of every important document and make sure that you have two sets of those. One set should be at home and the other set should be kept safely in your suitcase. In case your wallet is stolen, you will have the telephone numbers and other important numbers to cancel credit cards with you.
34) If you are moving around by car make sure that you have extra supply of food, water and road flares.
35) A cash card will be handy if you are planning a long stay. When you are outside your country, a cash card helps you to not only withdraw money periodically but also save a lot on exchange rates.
36) An international driver license is a must if you are planning to hire a car for moving around.
37) If you are travelling in groups make sure to tie a same colored ribbon or band around each ones luggage as it helps in spotting each otherâ€™s luggage.
38) Be sure to find out the terminal from which the plane will depart as large airports have a number of terminals and large airlines are stationed in more than one terminal.
39) While traveling in groups give the other people in the group the itinerary of the days programs in the form of a printout or note cards.
40) Get a brief idea of the places you are visiting and read as much as possible on that place. Learn about the culture and history of the place you intend to visit.
41) Carry a money belt where you can keep all your essential belonging be it cash, credit cards, debit cards, plane tickets, passport or cheat sheet. You need to wear it all the time.
42) Have a cheat sheet always with you. A cheat sheet lists all the important information like all information about the hotel, important phone numbers and directions. In case you canâ€™t recall the place you are staying, this cheat sheet will come in handy. It also serves as a reference to show to the taxi driver in case you donâ€™t speak the local language.
43) Learn a little about the destination you are visiting, not in terms of attractions but in relation to the transport facilities for moving around the city.
44) Carry a small bag along where you would have the guidebook and some money so that you donâ€™t have to flash all your cash in public.
45) Carry a yellow highlighter so that you can use in your maps.
46) A small magnifying glass comes in handy when you have to read small characters in a map.
47) Carry some sticky notes so that you can leave a message or flag things in the guidebook.
48) Carry a notepad so that you can write a few words of a foreign language rather than speak them and make a fool of yourself.
49) A dictionary of foreign language helps you to understand few words of the local language so that you can comprehend things spoken.
50) Last but not least, remember to stay humble and Smile !