Decide on your Destination
Imagine that your heart says to decide on ‘Europe’, but you still must choose between Paris or Madrid. In order to get a better insight and idea about the place, you can always consult a tour operator. There are many websites on the internet that you can trust. From the 200 odd destination guides that are available, you must choose between 4–5 websites and do a detailed homework on the place that you plan to visit.
Decide on Travel Duration
Once you decide on the duration of your stay, you must also decide when you will start your journey and when you will be back. If you plan to go abroad, you must pre-plan details like, which place you will go to first and from where you would start your return journey.
Plan Your Expenses
Decide on how you plan to go about with your travel. You can choose to ‘back-pack'—a term that is used by foreigners, or you can stay in a luxurious 5 star hotel with all amenities. Your tour operator can be of help when deciding on all these factors. You can also do a detailed research by buying tour guides which will be of immense help. For example, if you plan to visit Paris, you must keep in hand an amount of Rs 5000 to spend for a day. That will include accommodation, food, and metro travel expenses. Hence, you must keep an amount of Rs 50,000 at least, for 10 days. If you keep another 20,000 rupees for other expenses, then your budgeting is quite done!
Keep Money and Daily Use Products Safely
Maybe you plan to go travelling only after 6 or 7 months. But if you think that you can buy your water bottles, sleeping bags and thermal wears the day before travel, you are in for a mayhem. Make sure that you buy each product every month instead of rushing at the last minute. Save your money also on a monthly basis to avoid confusion.
Own a Travel Card
It is never safe to carry lots of money when you plan to travel abroad. Different types of travel cards are available; start your journey after making sure that 90% of your travel budget is saved in your travel card. Keep 10% of the currency in your wallet. Make sure that you choose a card with chip in it. In case the money in your card gets over, your friends or relatives at your homeland can recharge the card for you.
Book your air tickets at the earliest
If you book tickets early, you will get tickets for cheap prices. Do a detailed research on the internet by visiting airline websites. That way, you will get to know the airline connectivity to places. You can book tickets via internet or through travel agents.
Accommodation must be planned
Do your booking as planned. If you plan to stay in a star hotel, it is always better to do it through an agent because you will get cheap rates. Youth hostels, homestays, guest houses owned by different agencies, bed and breakfast are some of the facilities that are available. You can book them through the internet itself. In many foreign countries, visitors are expected to knock the door during check-in time only. Visitors must know when the check-in time is. It is always good to carry a print out of the e-mail that the hotel/hostel/lodge people have sent you while booking.
Your tour operator can advise you about insurance. Once you decide on the amount that will be spent on insurance, clear all formalities and keep the documents with you before travel. While travelling also, you must keep the documents safe with you. You can keep a copy of those documents in your office.
Decide on what must be seen and done
Decide on where all to go, and what all to see during the duration of your travel. There will be tips provided in tourism guides. For example, if you plan to visit the elephant sanctuary in Sri Lanka, decide on when you will reach and how much time you will spend there. Also decide on whether you would visit the place where elephants take showers, from where you will have food, and so on. Certain museums in Paris require you to stand 3 or 4 hours in the queue. So if you plan ahead, you can save a lot of time.
Prepare a ‘check list’ before you pack your clothes and other stuff. Pack everything at least a week before travel. Last minute packing does not help. If you are taking a flight, keep the ‘cabin baggage’ materials separately. Read the rules and regulations from the website of the airlines that you are travelling and keep all the products that are not allowed in ‘cabin baggage’ to your ‘check-in baggage’.
It is always better to buy a new international SIM card rather than activating the international call facility on your phone. International roaming SIM cards are available at Kochi International airport.
Visa On Arrival
There are nearly 50 countries that offer visa on arrival to Indians. Of these, there are some countries where tourism works full-fledged.
•Jamaica (2 weeks): This place is to watch out for, as it is Bob Marley’s birthplace! There are beautiful beaches here. Flight expense will come up to Rs 1 lakh.
•Jordan (2 weeks, with an amount of 3000 dollars in hand): Jordan boasts of a rich past, the ruins of which are still there. Flight charges come up to around 30,000 rupees.
•Maldives (90 days): This place is not too far from India. Beautiful sea sights are the main attraction here. Airline charges come up to 20,000 rupees.
•Seychelles (1 month): Sea is the main attraction here. Airline costs come up to Rs 60,000 roughly.
•Indonesia (30 days): Jakarta is a busy city, and Bali is a peaceful and beautiful place. The volcanic mountains are the main attractions here. Round trip flight charges come up to Rs 25,000.
•Thailand (15 days, 1000 Thai Bhats is the visa fee and it must be given at the airport): Tasty food, shopping, and adventure are a few things among many others guaranteed in Thailand. Flight tickets will come up to 20,000 rupees.
•Hong Kong (2 weeks): There is no dearth for fun at Hong Kong. There is Disney Land and Ocean Park for kids. A treat awaits food lovers at Hong Kong. Airline charges come up to Rs 20,000.
(In order to make the procedures for visa on arrival easy, carry your passport, passport size photo, hotel booking details, return journey tickets, foreign currency, and so on. There will be variations on a daily basis in the airline prices from the above mentioned ones)