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Travel Smart: How to Prepare for Your Big Trip

With summer coming up, the time for the escapes are here! Are you looking to hop around on weekend trips? Or maybe you’re in the midst of planning a big, backpacking adventure—or even an extended work trip? Whatever the reason, it’s important to prepare for your trip ahead—make sure you do these 10 things before you travel.

 

Dreaming Stage: 3-5 weeks to go

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With the destination picked and flights booked, now’s the time to get excited, and get learning.

Consider – What kind of a trip you want to be having. Is this going to be a beach trip that leaves you refreshed and tanned, or a cultural one, where learning is the objective? And are you going to be painting the town red until dawn, or is dawn around when you’ll be getting up to start exploring? Consider carefully—how you answer will determine how you plan.

Read Up– On the culture of the place you’re going. Understanding the history, background, and lifestyle there will make the trip all the more enjoyable. Included in this stage might be getting into the culture and art. Are there famous books, movies, or songs about this place? This is a great way to get excited.

Research – On where you’d like to stay, both the neighbourhood and type of accommodation. Make a list of must-sees and then maybe-sees. The more organised you are now, the more effortless the actual vacation will be. Plus, some attractions may need advanced booking—now’s the time to make sure.

Learn – At least a little of the language. Not only is it respectful, but the language of a place really gives you a window into that culture. Who knows, you might even meet some locals, who will make your trip magical! (If you already know the language, now’s the time to brush up and maybe practice with a language buddy.)

 

Planning Stage: 3 weeks to go

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Now that you have a better idea of what your trip is going to look like, it’s time to start turning those ideas into reality.

Book – Accommodation, car rentals, museum or experience tickets, any transport to and from either airport, tour guides and anything else that might come up.

Make Appointments – For any visas you might need to prepare for your trip (note: you might need upwards of five weeks if sending your passport off is part of the process)

Buy –Those travel essentials, from sunscreen, travel insurance, sunglasses, good pocket guidebooks, and books to read on the beach. Keep in mind, though, what things might be cheaper in your destination city—and what won’t.

 

The Details Stage: The night before

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Pack – Everyone’s not-so-favourite step is also, obviously, the most important. But while squeezing your stuff in, it’s typically more important to consider what not to bring. Do you really need that second pair of sandals? A bathing suit for a cultural vacation? A second book when you’re only starting the first? Weight restrictions are getting stricter all the time—pack with caution.

Download – Any travel apps that will be helpful (language apps or dictionaries, as well as a reliable maps system like City Mapper). And the entertainment: ebooks and Netflix series for long plane rides in particular.

Sleep –It’s the best time to do so, considering the plane and packed schedule won’t make it easy. Showing up at your destination well-rested will be key to a fantastic trip.

There, you’re ready! Where are you going? If you’re headed to either London or Manchester (and good call either way), why not give Supercity a try? Prepare for your trip by giving Templeton Place in Chelsea, The Chronicle in the City of London, or Church Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter a look!

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