1. Prepare At least a month before you travel, ensure you have all visas, vaccinations, medication, prescriptions, spare credit/debit card, tour details, and information about the country you are visiting. Exchange foreign currency as required. While convenient to pay by credit card, some places only accept cash, and cash is essential for purchasing daily items such as water, newspapers, and bus tickets.
2. Travel Lightly
Lay out everything you want to take with you on your bed, and then only pack half of it. You will buy things to bring home, so pack lightly, mix and match outfits, pack comfortable shoes and easy to wash and dry clothes, and leave the hairdryer at home.
3. Copy Pack a copy of your passport, travel insurance, tour details, important phone numbers at home and overseas, addresses, and in case of emergency contact details. Leave a copy of these details to a trusted person in your country of residence, and register your details and travel plans at the Smart Traveller website.
4. Research Learn about the country you are traveling to. Find out what to see and do, but also read about the culture and people, and learn a few phrases in the local language. This will make your travel experience much more rewarding.
5. Organise If travelling for an extended period of time, contact the post office to hold your mail, set up automatic debit payments for any bills, arrange for a trusty house/pet/plant sitter, turn off appliances, and empty out the fridge.
Travel wisely, responsibly, and have respect for people, culture, and the environment.