Travelling is so much fun. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love it! At least up to the point when you’re all excited about going on your holiday, you get to the airport & realise that your passport expired in January (and it’s August), the destination airport is 4279323km from your resort (and there are no pre-arranged transfers) and you forgot to feed the cat (who are you even?!). Today I’m talking 7 little things that will make your summer travels easier. Those that might just not be as obvious as you’d think but definitely ones that will crop up at one point or another of your stay abroad.
✈️ HOW TO MAKE YOUR SUMMER HOLIDAY LESS STRESSFUL
📍 The 7P’s of travelling
Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Painfully Poor Performance. Repeat this daily at least for a week before your holiday until the point of check in. Some people are strictly against itinerary planning which I get can be a little extreme (my grandad used to be an absolute master of this – he’d always plan everything in his diary from what time we were to have breakfast to what time we should apply our sunscreen for optimum tanning). Nevertheless, a spot of planning & research can only make everything easier! Book a hotel in advance (you’d think that’s an obvious one, but apparently not anymore with the rise of Airbnb). Scribble down a list of a few restaurants where you might want to go (I do this for Prague all the time – not because there wouldn’t be enough places to eat, there are just too many!). Think what attractions you’d like to see. These 6 creative ways to make your holiday more memorable might be a good starting point!
📍 Beware of holiday wardrobe
Shopping for holiday outfits is sooo exciting, right? And don’t get me wrong – I love holiday shopping. You can get a new swimsuit (or even bikini because you didn’t skip whole MONTHS of BBG & the gym like me). A dozen of new floaty dresses that will make you feel like a real life mermaid. And those beautiful pom pom sandals you’ve been lusting over since last autumn. Now hold your horses – I don’t want to take away a single nibblet of that holiday shopping fun but for Pete’s sake please pack up some shoes you’ve already walked a few miles in. There’s nothing worse than having fully plastered up feet in your new rainbow pom pom tie-ups. Just trust me on this one and take those old stinky Birkenstocks with you. Please!
📍 The socket trap
I always feel like I’ve been cheated when I come to a different country with my 7P’s on hand and everything neatly folded in my suitcase just to find out that the sockets are different. I’m pretty sure that sometimes they avoid telling you just so that you have to buy adapters at the resort (and they can charge you 3 times more than what they would cost at home). A quick Google search will save you a good few minutes of swearing and where-and-how-do-I-charge-my-phone desperation.
📍 That airport that’s 43298km away from your hotel
Especially with no frill airlines, you’ll find out that the airport you’re landing at and the hotel/city you’re staying at might be a few hours of land travel apart. And that’s perfectly fine. I mean you did just pay £5 for your flight so don’t expect to have your resort served on a plate right in front of you. Do a quick research before your travel and book your transfer in advance. If you’re taking public transport then you can easily book a train ticket in advance which will save you some money too as they tend to be more expensive on the day. Even booking a taxi in advance will save you a lot of money! For instance booking a taxi in advance from Prague airport can cost you as little as £12. If you get it right outside of the arrival hall you could be paying up to £30. That’s exactly 18 pints worth of difference. Holiday priorities, right?
📍 Vrooming around the country
A general assumption about holiday car rental is just to pick up whatever is in your resort. That might work in Zante or Mallorca but travelling to countries like the Czech Republic or Poland and making your way around the country can be a little trickier. There will be a dozen or so car rental companies at the airport waiting for you to pick. But how do you know? Again – my favourite 7P’s come to play here but luckily you can do a quick search on your phone whilst having your my-holiday-just-started cup of coffee. Use Holiday Autos‘ search engine (click here) to compare availability, prices and pick up points in just one click (way more pleasant than talking to 434283 reps – trust me, I’ve tried). For example renting a little car in Prague costs only £60 for a week when you do your prep search. I once paid over £100 just because I didn’t know any better. But now you do – and you’re welcome!
📍 Strc prst skrz krk
Okay, you might not necessarily need to learn a tongue twister but it’s always useful to learn at least some basic phrases in the language spoken at your holiday destination. 27% of Brits believe that there’s no point learning any foreign phrases because everyone can speak English, right? Well, that won’t get you very far in the Czech countryside. For instance, Czech people tend to say hello every time they walk into a shop & goodbye when they’re leaving. They get that foreigners don’t know that so won’t necessarily think you’re rude – perhaps just a little ignorant. Learning those two little words will immediately put you in a friendlier light!
📍 Check that passport – again!
So many people are absolutely oblivious to the fact that passport can in fact expire. And you know how long it takes to get a new one? And how much it costs?! The gov website claims it takes 3 weeks but that is really pushing it. Mine took 6 weeks and that didn’t even take into account that I had to travel to London twice to apply for it. And to pick it up. A standard renewal is about £80. Slap on some extra admin fees just because holiday. Travel to pick it up. A day off work to arrange it all… Mate, we’re talking at least £100 and a day of your time. The sheer panic of not having a valid passport whilst you’re at the airport is so terrifying. Just check your passport is at least 6 months from its expiration date and you’ll save yourself a minor heart attack.