"It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn."
These series of articles/post are not a definitive guide to traveling the world. But advice, tips, hacks, and words of wisdom that I have picked up over the years, of travelling for business and pleasure. The aim is to help you make yourself a better you.
I have travelled the world for business and pleasure. Through North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. And I have done this via train, plane, boat, ship, motorcycle, car, bus, horse, and camel. I have flown on the world’s best airlines and stayed in some pretty questionable accommodation. Seen some of the wonders of the world, made unforgettable memories, met incredible people, and eaten some pretty strange things.
Traveling is what you make of it. I have learnt that it is rare for two people to travel the world the same way. And that is perfectly fine. That is why this is a just a guide and not a set of rules.
1. Do your research pt.1
The idea of grabbing your passport, a bag and jumping onto the next flight to anywhere sounds amazing to some. But that is where you can get into serious trouble.
Researching where you are going to go, how you are going to get there, and what you need to get there is the most important part of your journey. And that has been more evident in recent years. At the time of writing this some countries will only allow residents and citizens in. Some require a negative PCR test to enter and to leave. Others will allow in tourists but, you cannot deviate from a predetermined itinerary.
But let us start simple. Do you need travel documents? If you are traveling within the same country and not going international, then you should be ok. Should you carry some form of ID? I would recommend it. The last thing you want is going somewhere to find that when you get there, they require a form of photo ID to get in somewhere or to buy something. I always carry one form of photo ID in English or the local language wherever I go. It just keeps thing simple and avoids any unnecessary headaches.
Travelling internationally? Then I would recommend a passport. There are certain cases when you do not need a passport, but it is always good to have one. There are things you still need to check though – is your passport valid? How long is it valid for? Some countries will not allow you to enter unless you have three or even 6 months validity on your passport. Do you have empty pages on your passport? I was once held by immigration when I tried to leave a country, as I did not have two empty pages facing each other in my passport. Even though this was not a requirement for the country I was flying to, I was almost not allowed to leave, as this was the policy of the country I was exiting.
It is always good to check both entry and exit requirements of wherever you are traveling to. Most people think of entry requirements and not many people think about exit requirements.
Do you need a permission of any kind? Check to see if you need a visa. You can always find the entry requirements of the country you are traveling to on their own government website, national airline carries(sometimes) or possibly even your own country’s foreign office website (it is always best to go direct to the source and use the website or the embassy of the country you are traveling to for the most up to date info).
Plan. Some visas can be gained online within 15 minutes, some on arrival and some you need to make an appointment for at the local embassy, which could be in a different city and could have anywhere up to 12 months waiting time!
Do your research before you start planning you journey; a few hours can save you a lot of headaches.