5 mistakes that can cause unnecessary drama during your time abroad
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The deposit is down, confirmation is through, your flights are booked and you'll soon be embarking on your dream travel adventure. Going travelling can be such a liberating experience: you can remove yourself from the stress of work/university and are able to embrace a whole new window of exciting opportunities and experiences. This can also be slightly daunting, as there are so many things you will need to think about and take responsibility for prior to and during your trip. Whether you are about to set foot on your gap year global expedition, reaching the far perimeters of the Earth, or even just jetting off for a short European city break, you will have a long list of preparations,which, if comprehensively covered, will ensure that you have the best time whilst away! Being a student, one of your finest qualities is probably being able to carry out anabundance of research in a short space of time. Therefore, why don’t you put this trait to good use and create your own mini studies on the countries you intend to visit during your travels? Research into your chosen destinations’ current circumstances can be carried out using a range of different online sources – see the Foreign Offices’sTravel Aware page, which contains the most up to date and relevant information, covering issues such as safety, security, country entry requirements, travel warnings and health. In the meantime, take a look at five of the most minor, yet very common, mistakes people make before going abroad, which often cause them significant issues when they are away from home. You can then use these in the future as a basis for your own travelling preparations. 1. CHECK YOUR PASSPORT IS IN DATE Check your passport is in date, way before you set off. In 2008, my parents decided to book a week-long winter break to sunny Cyprus. However, absurdly, they only just remembered to give a quick once-over of our passports two days prior to embarking on our journey. To their surprise, my passport was well out of date and therefore invalid, as it had expired a whole three months before. If I had endeavoured to board the plane in the next two days, I would have been rejected and sent straight home! Luckily, my parents discovered the issue in just enough time. We had booked to stay in a hotel in Gatwick the night before our flight, so instead, we drove up early that day and took a detour into London Victoria to visit the Passport Office for an instant renewal. This was such a frustrating mistake, calling for a completely unnecessary journey which could have quite easily been avoided if more care had been taken and more preparation had been done in the weeks leading up to our holiday. 2. TAKE OUT COMPREHENISIVE TRAVEL AND HEALTH INSURANCE Wherever you go, always make sure that you have taken out comprehensive travel insurance! Last year, I set off from London Heathrow with two of my friends from university to volunteer in the highlands of Viti Levu in Fiji for an entire month. Our 24-hour flight had a quick hour and a half change over in Hong Kong scheduled. However, our first flight was delayed by three quarters of an hour, meaning that when we arrived at Hong Kong airport, we were unable to board our connecting flight. Instead, we were rescheduled onto a flight to Sydney and then from Sydney to Nadi, instead of flying direct.
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