Sightseeing Like a Pro

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Pre-departure planning is important. Here are certain things you should watch for and plan for.

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Visas

Check with the appropriate consulate or embassy in your country to find out if you will need a visa to visit the country of your destination, especially for an extended period of time. Some countries have extremely detailed and complicated entry/departure laws, and treat one or two week visitors differently from those who opt for a longer stay.

Money

If you’re traveling to one area, check the cost of living there. If it’s high you’ll probably want to budget more carefully and save some money before leaving. The lower the cost of living the less you’ll have to save, but be sure to have a back – up plan in case of an emergency.

General Tips

Talk to other people who have the same or similar travelling experience.

There may be sights and attractions you have never heard about. A rough outline of your trip might have three or four targeted points and a variety of ways to get to them.

Plan big and loose. Read everything you can about the area.

There may be sights and attractions you didn’t know about. A rough outline of your trip might have three or four target points and a variety of ways to get between them.

You don’t want to find out that the weather isn’t what you thought, or the web related info was incorrect!

Some trips will leave you more free time than others. Travel plans in Zagreb can often be made day-by-day while summer travel in Dalmatia should be organized at least a few weeks ahead, unless you’re prepared to hunt around for hotel rooms and train seats.

Set up a pre-trip time-line so you don’t end up with a full todo list your last week of work or school.

Things to consider are doctor’s visits for a check up, inoculations, and prescription refills; purchasing plane tickets; renewing passports and obtaining visas and other documents.

Check your insurance coverage abroad and purchasing additional travel insurance if needed. Don’t forget visiting friends and family members!

 

Stick to the absolute basics and know what you can and cannot buy at your destination(s). There’s no point in bringing 6 months of toothpaste to Croatia or buying a cologne at home to take to Dalmatia. If you are visiting several citys, try to arrange it so you visit the less populated places first and most populated last. That way you can do all the sightseeing without pressure.

A good rule of thumb is to bring one outfit for the hottest day you’re likely to experience, one for an average day, and one for the coldest.

Make sure everything goes with everything else (if that’s important to you), and remember that layers are always best.

Prepare yourself for some uncomfortable trips. You’ll often find yourself in  busy, cramped spaces or travel in economy class. All that could last for  hours – especially long flights.

If you want to arrive at your destination refreshed and able to enjoy the sights, then try a good quality travel pillow to support your head, some ear plugs to block out the screaming babies, and an eye cover to block out the sun or cabin lights.

Just avoid those cheap U-shaped pillows from airport shops – your head drops forward and you wake up with a stiff neck.

Make contact with the locals before you go.

Maybe you have a friend-of-a-friend or a foreign exchange student from high school you remember, or just found a friend through a travel web site; almost everyone is happy to welcome a foreign visitor to their home town. This might be as elaborate as a home-stay for a few weeks, or just coffee in their home town or dinner at a locals restaurant.