Have a safe, healthy, and memorable vacation
by Rochelle del Callar
The next few weeks of summer are a great time to have a vacation. But before you pack your bags and head to your favorite vacation spot, here are some things to remember to ensure that you have a safe, healthy, and memorable vacation.
1. Plan ahead.
Planning makes all the difference. It allows you to get great deals and save a lot of money. Plane tickets are much cheaper when you purchase these in advance. Planning ensures that you have a nice hotel room to stay in rather than be stressed because you’re on a waitlist. Planning also allows you to arrange your schedules and avoid last-minute and sometimes expensive cancellations. And the best benefit of planning is that all the things you need are packed. Just imagine a vacation without your favorite swimwear or worse, a winter vacation without your winter gears.
Planning ahead also allows you to budget your money wisely. Because you have made the reservations and advance research on the costs of your trip, you are ensured that you do not go overboard and tap your life savings by mistake.
2. Dress nicely.
Whether you’re a first-time traveler or a seasoned one, make sure that when you go to the airport or even the pier, you dress nicely. With so much paranoia and heightened security, immigration and security personnel look for suspicious-looking characters and it won’t do you any good if you look like a goon.
A nice suit for men will do while a conservative pants-blouse combination (or a pretty dress) for ladies is fine. The key is to look inconspicuous so that you do not attract attention. You don’t want any delay when traveling or, worse, start your journey on the wrong foot.
3. Open your bags.
All airports conduct security check while some security personnel may ask you to open your bags for inspection. To avoid delays, open your bags right away. When you do this, the security personnel would feel that he has no reason to suspect you of any wrongdoing because you are readily volunteering your bags for inspection. Of course, you really are not doing anything illegal but your objective is to avoid unnecessary delays in your trip.
If it’s your first-time in another province or country, ask security personnel or immigration for directions whether you’re looking for the exit or wondering what’s the next step. From my travels, I have observed that plane travelers who tend to just go through inspection and immigration without so much a glance at security or immigrations officers are usually stopped or at the very least, eyed suspiciously.
4. Bring medicines.
Bring enough medicines just in case. Essentials are anti-diarrhea medicines like Diatabs, antacids like Kremil, paracetamol like Biogesic (good for headache and fever) and anti-dizzy drug (Dizitab). Optional would be anti-cough/cold medicines especially if you’re traveling to a country in wintertime.
Be sure to bring enough medicines for your trip. If you’re a lone traveler, three to five tablets per kind is acceptable. If you’re traveling with family, just multiply it by the number of people you’re with. Be reasonable with the quantity unless you want to alert authorities and think that you’re planning to sell these abroad.
Also, people on vacation are more adventurous. They want to try the local cuisine and they eat without a care in the world. You don’t want to ruin your vacation because you have stomachache, indigestion or worse, diarrhea. When you try out the local cuisine, make sure you eat in moderation.
5. Be creative.
There’s nothing more challenging than traveling with kids. They have the shortest attention span and they always want to be entertained. Make sure you have their favorite items unless these take up too much space. Books, small toys, portable games are great items to make sure that they are continuously amused and keep you sane.
6. Bring camera.
There’s nothing worse than a vacation without photos. If you’re traveling alone, make sure you take photos of the places you visit even if you’re not in the photo. The important thing is you have souvenirs from your trips and not just a keychain to show for. If you’re not shy, you can always ask passersby to take your photo. 99 percent of the time, they will agree.
7. Watch your documents.
This is SOP for any traveler but you would be surprised by how many people still lose their passports, wallets, and other important documents when traveling. To avoid major stress when traveling, make sure your travel documents, other important items, and even your cash are packed in just one bag.
And it is equally important that you bring your bag with you at all times. Your travel documents and IDs are the most important thing you need when traveling and it will not do you any good if you spend the rest of your vacation in the embassy because you lost your passport. And make sure you have a copy of important numbers like the embassy, the local police, immigration, etc.
Vacations should always be a memorable time for anyone. With careful planning, a little creativity and some precautions, you are guaranteed to have memories to last a lifetime. Have a happy summer!