So you’re finally going on a trip, eh? You’re finally leaving your comfort zone. Well, good! The world’s your oyster, one that you open with your passport. There’s plenty to discover and more to experience.

But before you fly off to lands unknown, learn a few things first; for knowledge is power, and it may well save your life.

Here are a few crucial things that you should know before you travel the world.

Check Your Gear

Prep time is half the fun of travelling. There’s a certain kind of excitement that experienced travellers get when browsing stores for stuff they’ll bring on their next trip. You may feel that too, once you rack up some mileage on your visa.

That said, prepping your gear isn’t just for fun. It’s also for your own good.

You’ll be a stranger in an unfamiliar land, and the commodities and conveniences of home will no longer be within your reach, particularly when going to areas untamed by civilisation, to meadows and groves where you commune with nature and soul.

Often, you’ll have just yourself and your favourite weekender bag, and its contents, to rely on.

Thus, make it a habit to check your gear, days before your trip. Go over your pack, and review what you need and what you don’t need. Packing too much can unnecessarily burden you; packing too little may leave you stranded somewhere without even basic necessities like food or water and without the hope of rescue.

Check the Culture

One of the many things that can fumble a traveller’s stride is the culture shock. It’s usually the first gale that greets one so used to the comforts of home. The impact can strike so overwhelmingly and so frustratingly that one can become homesick in a matter of days.

Experiencing how other people live in other parts of the world is part of the fun in travelling. But if you don’t do your research in advance, you could be on the receiving end of sudden culture shock. Then all your preparations will be for nought as you hurry to book a return flight home.

What you see in the movies isn’t always the truth; it’s often embellished by false fluff for production value. You expected the romances of Casablanca but then get chased by bulls in Pamplona. You expected Mickey Mouse, but it was actually Dio.

So be a smart tourist. Be informed. Do a quick search about where you’re going. Read up on the news from your destination, and set proper expectations so you’ll be prepared for the reality.

Check the Weather

Lastly, check the general weather and environment of your itinerary. It’s not always sunny in Philadelphia; storms can come a-knockin’ too. That’s part of life. But if you don’t prepare for such times, it may be the death of you.

This may seem like it’s part of common sense, but it’s still too vital to be left unsaid. Not anticipating bad weather can ruin a good time. Worse yet, your chiselled-for-the-beach body may get wet not because of the sea but because you’re sweating under the 34.4 degrees Celsius average temperature of Ethiopia.

Keep yourself up-to-date on the weather around your target destination/s. Download an app so that you can check anytime and make adjustments accordingly.

Envoi: Bon Voyage!

The fundamental point of all these things is to be prepared. As mentioned earlier, prep time is half the fun of travelling.

Be a smart traveller and prepare well. Check the three items noted above, and you’ll get the most out of your time abroad.

Author

Melvin is an experienced Swimming Coach, Outdoor Teacher, and Youth Leadership Trainer with more than 8 years of experience. During his free time, he enjoys a healthy dose of reading, travelling and writing.

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