One of my recent travels to Krakow, Poland
As a student abroad in the UK, nothing thrills me more than the adventures and sights in Europe. It’s definitely a dream come true to have the opportunity to go to new places and learn about new cultures. However, travelling can sometimes be gruesome without proper planning and knowing where to get support from.
Here’s my compilation of things to consider and prepare for prior to travelling from my personal experience.
Do your homework
The image is taken from Forbes.
Before you travel, it’s definitely important to do your background check of the place or country you will be visiting. Read up and identify the key attractions of places to go and know what to expect at the location. One common way for me to do this is through Google Maps, which points out tourist attractions and places with high reviews to visit.
Especially in the pandemic, we need to make sure that the COVID restriction policy for both the local and place of the visit are not breached. For example, some countries require a private COVID test or might be in a lockdown.
It is also important to consider your travel routes when embarking on a journey especially when you are staying at multiple places. Understanding what you can explore at a location gives you a good estimate on the amount of time that you want to stay there, either would it be a good place to stay overnight, or it’s just a single attraction place where it’s worth spending only an hour there.
Besides that, you should be able to locate or plan where to get your meals, especially if it’s difficult to get a meal at the location of travel such as at the mountains or forest.
Knowing what apparel (upper & lower wear, gloves and shoes especially) to pack for your journey is important as well, considering the temperature and weather conditions, and suitability. Try not to underestimate the weather especially in cold countries for the best experience while travelling.
The image is taken from Securely Travel.
Make sure to bring your passport and BRP for travel. It is also important to check the charge ports at your place of destination especially around Europe as they might be different than in the UK thus remember to bring a universal adapter along. And don’t forget to bring extra masks and hygiene products especially if you are staying abroad.
Bringing cash is also important even though the location has cashless options in case of emergency and also to buy vendor food that sometimes does not use the cashless system.
If you are driving, make sure that your license is valid. For Malaysians, our driving license is valid for a year from entry to the UK, as of date. Do check with the local policies for further information.
The image is taken from Costa Rica Guides.
With numerous options for transport available, it is important to consider which mode is the most affordable and worth it. You should also consider based on the number of people travelling with you, as renting a car might be cheaper than buying multiple public transport tickets.
Personally, I would consider the cost and time of travel, as I find that it’s not worth it if the travel takes too long although it’s the cheapest as I value the time wasted on the travel which could be spent more wisely.
If you travel frequently in the UK, consider applying for a Railcard or National Express card for discounted fares.
Have a background check of the best food you can find as per your budget. Google Maps has been a big help to me in locating the best restaurants and their price range. Or just ask the locals 🙂
I usually go for Airbnb as they are more affordable than hotels or suites. An added benefit to that is that I can have more options on my desired location to stay, where I would prefer to stay at the local residence to get to know the local culture better.
Image of a recommended anti-theft bag by Big World Small Products.
I have personally been a victim of attempted snatch before, and I want to assert that it is the most important thing as we become good targets for scams and snatches as tourists. Personally, I bring a bag with hidden zips and also pants with zips so that my belongings are less likely to be reached, especially in a crowded area or public transport. Also, when travelling, make sure that you do not wander alone and keep your cash at multiple places as backups.
Also, don’t forget to bring face masks and hand sanitisers.
Help and support
Always locate where is the nearest help and know the helpline when travelling. Also, make sure to identify where is the nearest Malaysian embassy in case of any visa or passport-related issues emerge.
Travelling is fun and worthwhile. As a frequent traveller myself, my advice would be to plan ahead and understand that you are responsible for yourself. Hopefully, you will have an enjoyable experience travelling 🙂