Yawn, pre travel planning, sounds far too organized right? Wrong! If you get your planning and prep done BEFORE you go off on your travel adventure then you’ll be more relaxed and avoid any potential mishaps. Follow our advice and enjoy your time away;Plan Your Travel Adventure 1. Sounds obvious but check the weather in your destinations so you can plan your activities. Checking the climate also helps you to pack more efficiently. 2. Do as much research as you can using brochures, the web and good old fashioned guide books so you have a good idea of what you want to see and where. 3. Compile a rough itinerary of what to see so you don’t forget that all important must-see sight. 4. Make sure your travel insurance is valid for the length of your travels. 5. Either make sure your travel dates are firm or look for flights which can have the dates changed if need be. 6. Check out the visa and entry requirements of the countries you’ll be visiting and make sure your passport expiry date is not looming. Again some countries require a minimum period to be left on your passport before entry. 7. Take copies of all your documents – passport, insurance etc and keep a copy with you (separate from the originals) and leave copies at home. 8. Check if you need any vaccinations or top-ups before you head off. 9. Make sure that as part of your research you look into the local customs and etiquette to avoid a faux pas on your travels. You’ll get a much more authentic travel experience if you blend in more with the locals. Plan Your Travel Safety 1. Again do your research and find out about the cities and countries that you’ll be visiting and check whether there are any no-go areas or any situations you need to be aware off. 2. It is said that you shouldn’t arrive in a new city at night, which applies especially to women and solo travelers. 3. Likewise make sure your accommodation is booked for your first night at least. 4. Don’t keep all of your money in the same place and make sure you use a secure wallet or carrier for your money. If your accommodation is fitted with a safe, then do use it. Plan Your Budget 1. Try to get an idea of how much food, activities and accommodation will cost each day and allow enough money for the duration of your trip. Don’t forget to take a bit extra as a contingency fund and allow for any extra activities you may try such as ostrich riding or elephant polo! 2. If you think you might need more money then arrange for somebody back home to wire you more money. 3. Make sure your bank and credit cards work overseas and check what the fees are. If you will be using your cards abroad then check out the best deals or find fee-free cards. 4. Don’t rely on one source of money, take a mix of credit cards, cash and travelers checks with you. 5. If you intend on being in the country for long periods of time, then you will need to adhere to their economic rules, especially if you are working. For example, it is worth having a PAN card in India to make sure the right amount of tax is being paid. You can apply for one and find out about its uses at http://pancardseva.co.in/. Plan To Stay In Touch 1. Check your mobile phone works abroad or switch to a phone or a new sim card that does. Check out the cost for making and receiving calls and texts to make sure you get the best deal. Make sure you’re on global roaming as well so that your phone works across the world. 2. Keep a travel diary or online blog as you go along. If you update your social networking pages regularly you can keep in touch with everyone back home. If you also manage to catch some great photos or write some interesting articles then you can always submit them to travel sites and maybe earn some cash in the process. Check our further tips and advice articles to make your travels go smoothly.