September 12, 2019

Memoirs: 7 Questions To Ask Yourself When You’ve Booked A Trip

Please note, this is a collaborative post with e-Visa; all views are my own.

The more I travel, the more I become a better traveller or I would like to think so. But that got me thinking, when I’ve booked a trip, what questions does one need ask themselves once they’ve hit the ‘PAY NOW’ button. 

DID I GET MY CONFIRMATION DOCUMENTS? 

Check your emails, check them again and check your junk mailbox. Make sure you have everything you need to stop you stressing out as it edges closer to your departure date. 

Names names names

It may also sound stupid but mistakes happen. Ensure you have spelt your name correctly and any of those in your party. Some airlines allow you to make changes to your booking for free during a set timeframe (e.g 24 hours to 72 hours after booking) but anything beyond this will cost you. Sometimes it’s cheaper to book a new flight than make an amendment.  

If I’m booking a solo trip and I unfortunately spell my name wrong I would need to seriously question my intelligence. However this has never happened, well so far. However, I have had to book flights for a big group before and that can be a little daunting if you hate doing admin tasks. The best thing to do is to ask each person to send you a scan or photo of their passport, that way you’re holding yourself accountable if you get their name spelt incorrectly. And of course, don’t forget to double-check the spelling (and date of births) before you hit the pay now button. 

DO I BUY INSURANCE?

The amount times I have heard the phrase ‘I don’t need insurance, nothing is going to happen to me’ from friends and family when they have booked trip is pretty scary. Of course you need insurance. It’s almost tempting fate if you don’t buyit. Travel insurance covers you if you have an accident, fall ill, lose any items or if they’re unfortunately stolen. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. As much as you might think you might haver stress-free trip – accidents happen. Unfortunately on my 2017 trip to Vegas my friend’s drink got spiked meaning a $3,000 visit to the hospital. Thankfully she had insurance and was able to claim it back a few months later. If she hadn’t I wouldn’t know what to think the cost would have been.  

You can read about that infamous Vegas trip here and here. 

DO I NEED A VISA? 

Now I don’t mean your credit or debit card (of course you will need that) but that special permit that gets you into  another country. Depending on your passport’s country of issue you may be granted a certain amount of time in another country visa-free. For now, I can comfortably travel around most of Europe visa-free until Brexit kicks in.

But that means you can’t overstay your welcome, you will need to come home at some point no matter how much it may pain you. Take the ETA Canada for example, this is a a mandatory travel authorisation to travel to Canada without a visa. Best of all applying for an eTA takes about 5 minutes, and the cost is £19.95 per person.  

Research is key. You don’t want to get on a long-haul flight, land bleary-eyed with jet lag  in a new country only not to be allowed in. Rookie mistake. Don’t be afraid to reach out to travel bloggers either, I am sure they’ll be more than happy to help. 

Another important point to remember is having enough passport pages available, if you’re running low it’s best getting a second passport. But do this way in advance of your trip. 

DO I NEED NEW CLOTHING? 

The answer is probably no. Only unless you’re going to an extremely cold climate or doing a particular activity like skiing. In an age of sustainability and trying to save the planet we need to be conscious about what we’re buying and the impact it is having on the planet. Isn’t it more fun to browse in the depths of your wardrobe anyway? Or if you really need something *new* consider borrowing from a friend, buying second-hand bits on eBay and Depop. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as ‘they’ say.  

HOW AM I GETTING AROUND? 

Getting around usually depends on the destination type. Cities, in general are much more accessible than a remote countryside destination but that isn’t true in all cases. In Los Angeles for example, it’s much easier to get around with car as than using their public transport system. In London it’s the exact opposite, driving here is expensive and you’ll spend most of your time stuck in traffic so it’s best to stick to the tube.  

The same goes for country hopping and making sure you have the right documentation, visas and permits where necessary.

WHAT KIND OF TRIP DO I WANT TO HAVE?

Do you want to see the sights? Eat your way through the destination? Or perhaps you want to slow down and take it easy. The kind of trip you want to have ultimately depends on you (and the people you’re with if it is a group trip). You may travel to a wild destination like Las Vegas but actually want to relax when you get there. It’s all down to you to seek out the experiences you wish to have (or not if you’re slowing down). And if you’re wondering you can find peace in Vegas, just wonder over to Canyon Ranch at The Venetian Hotel. 

You can read about making the most of your annual leave here. 

HOW MUCH DO I WANT TO SPEND?

This is a tough question because you probably did a lot of research before booking the trip. When it comes to money and travel, its a compromise. How much are you willing to part with? Do you want to live lavishly? Or do you want to spend less, cut corners but still experience a new culture? I always say meet in the middle, don’t bankrupt yourself for travel. Live within your means, ask for a discount and make sure you have an emergency safety net if funds are running low.

They say preparation is the key to success and having a plan in place when it comes to your travels will make the whole process a little less stress free and give you that smile full of glee. Just don’t forget your visa otherwise you’re going to be staying at home!

Char xo 

Please note, this is a collaborative post with e-Visa; all views are my own.

One response to “Memoirs: 7 Questions To Ask Yourself When You’ve Booked A Trip”

  1. Pat says:

    Very good questions. I always make sure i have insurance when i travel. I do not travel without it.

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A Little Bit About Me

Welcome to my little space on the internet, known as Memoirs and Musings. I’m Char, short for Charlotte and my blog/website/diary is dedicated to documenting my Memoirs and Musings, hence the name. I wouldn’t say I was your ‘typical’ blogger either. I don’t care about getting the perfect flatlay or feeling bad for not posting, I just enjoy writing. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Anyway, I love to travel, indulge in a glass of white wine, when plans are cancelled and purchase overpriced make up.  I guess that’s me in a nutshell, trying to figure out this thing called life, have fun and never lose sight.