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Planning & Preparing For An Overseas Holiday

  • October 11, 2018
  • By 50 Shades
  • 18 Comments
Planning & Preparing For An Overseas Holiday

More and more of us are travelling overseas these days, and it’s not just to Bali or Fiji. We’re venturing further afield to the continents of Europe, North and South America and even to Africa. We’re jet setting off to exotic destinations that some of us never dreamed would be possible. However when it comes to travel the exciting part, but also the most difficult part, is planning and preparing for an overseas holiday.

Back in the olden days we would seek the services of a Travel Agent and they would arrange everything from flights, accommodation, car rental, train tickets, visas to group tours. However these days with the assistance of the internet, Google and the plethora of travel booking sites, many of us are making our own travel arrangements. The advantage of this is that it can give us better deals, more flexibility and the ability to plan our own travel itinerary.

Here are my tips for planning and preparing for an overseas holiday:

Booking Flights

Planning and Preparing for an Overseas Holiday

Once you decide on a travel destination you can either spend hours looking at individual airlines or search for the best deal on flights with an airfare comparison website. The beauty of this is that the site looks for the best deals on air fares and allows you to compare, combine and book the best domestic and international travel flight deals. Also some of the sites offer great travel package deals.

Booking Accommodation

Planning and Preparing for an Overseas Holiday

Decide on what type of accommodation you would like and work out your budget. There are plenty of options to choose from including, Airbnb rooms or apartments, hotels, holiday apartments, B&Bs, holiday home rentals, guesthouses, house swapping, housesitting, hostels or motorhome rental, if you want to move around.

If you’re on a strict budget you can look at house swapping or housesitting, where the cost of your accommodation is nil. There are plenty of reputable websites that provide this service. I personally know of a couple of housesitters that have travelled all over the world utilising this option.

Otherwise if you want the flexibility of moving around a particular country or countries, with both transport and accommodation combined, then a motorhome may be a good option for you.

Once again, there are plenty of accommodation booking sites that compare hotels, but I would also consider getting a price directly off the hotel, because they can be more competitively priced.

Booking Travel Packages

Planning and Preparing for an Overseas Holiday

If you’d prefer packaging your overseas holiday, with everything included, like air fares, accommodation and tours, then there are some fantastic Webjet exclusives travel packages available. The beauty of this is that it takes the headache out of making all of the decisions and arrangements yourself. Generally travel packages are first-class and offer luxury accommodations, flights with reputable airlines and the best tours and attractions.

Preparing for Your Overseas Holiday

Planning and Preparing for an Overseas Holiday

Once you have all your travel plans sorted, type up an itinerary and ensure that there are no gaps in the dates and that they correspond with the dates on your airlines tickets and accommodation booking confirmations.

Other things to be considered prior to overseas travel include:

  • Is your passport up to date? Most countries require that your passport is valid for at least 6 months.
  • Do you need a visa for the country you’re visiting? If so make sure you apply for a visa in plenty of time prior to setting off.
  • Do you need any vaccinations as a precaution for the country you’re visiting? Check if these are required.
  • Check your luggage restrictions and weights prior to packing. All airlines differ.
  • Organise your money so that you have some cash in the local currency and/or a travel cash card.
  • Check dress standards for certain countries and also the weather forecasts to ensure you pack the appropriate clothing.
  • Arrange travel insurance as you never know what may happen.
  • Book car rentals and train fares at your destination if you’re intending to travel between cities in the countries you’re visiting. Anyone hiring a car abroad should be aware of overpriced additional ‘excess’ charges from car rental companies. You can save up to 70% if you purchase independent Car Hire Excess Waiver Insurance.
  • Ensure you have all of your travel documents in order and with you in a folder or travel wallet.
  • Prepare yourself for a long haul flight ensuring you have all your necessary items like, mobile phones in custom phone cases, a warm jacket, socks, small amount of toiletries to freshen up, medications, sweets, water bottle (refillable), book, magazines, etc to get you through the flight.
  • Once you arrive at the overseas airport you may require transport from the airport to your accommodation. It is sometimes easy to jump on a train or bus, or otherwise book a car with a reputable company. Having a driver waiting for you at the airport is a blessing in disguise.
  • You can pre-book tours at your destination prior to travel, however I prefer waiting until I arrive as it gives you the chance to shop around.

When You Arrive At Your Destination

Planning and Preparing for an Overseas Holiday

Once you get off your flight, get your luggage, jump on your transfer transport and check into your accommodation, but don’t go straight to bed if it’s still daytime. I know how tired you’ll feel after a long haul flight and jet lag may set it, but try to stay up and awake to reset your body clock to the local time. Take a short stroll and explore your area, have a meal and plenty of water, (as you may be dehydrated after the flight). Getting your body moving after being sedentary for such a long length of time is one of the best things you can do.

The thrill of arriving in a new overseas country is incredible. It’s a whole new world opened wide for you to discover. It’s new smells, new sounds, new sights, new textures and new flavours! With good planning and preparation it can be the holiday experience of a lifetime.

This article is a Webjet paid promotion and was written in collaboration with Webjet. As always, all opinions are my own.

This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who love to promote a Lovin’ Life mindset.

The Lovin’ Life Team includes:

Lyndall from SEIZE THE DAY PROJECT
Deb from DEBBISHDOTCOM
Min from WRITE OF THE MIDDLE.
Leanne from DEEP FRIED FRUIT
Jo from JOANNE TRACEY
and of course me, Kathy from 50 SHADES OF AGE


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By 50 Shades, October 11, 2018 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 18

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

18 Comments
  • Min @ Write of the Middle
    October 11, 2018

    These are some great tips Kathy – thank you! I will refer back to these whenever I finally get my next overseas trip (need to renew my passport first!) – hopefully next year. I haven’t travelled much when it comes to overseas travel so any tips are most welcome! #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      October 11, 2018

      Thanks Min. If you’re going to take the plunge of planning and booking your own overseas holiday there’s a lot to consider. But it can save you money and make the holiday more flexible if you do it yourself.

  • Natalie
    October 11, 2018

    All very useful tips, Kathy. They’re what I’d do to plan for trips to foreign countries.#TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      October 11, 2018

      Thanks Natalie. It’s always good to have a “to do list” to refer back to. #TeamLovinLife

  • jodie
    October 12, 2018

    It is amazing how much is involved in this. I can see why using a travel agent would be easier, yet to me, part of the fun of our trip is the planning!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Kathy
      October 13, 2018

      Yes Travel Agent’s certainly are easier, but planning the trip yourself gives you many more choices and flexibility. I love the planning part of a holiday! #TeamLovinLife

  • Joanne Tracey
    October 12, 2018

    Great tips. Especially the one about booking tours on the ground over there. I like to do my research here & then see what’s on offer once I get there. Another tip I’d give is to not program every spare minute of your day.

    • Kathy
      October 13, 2018

      I’m exactly the same as you Jo. I’ve booked tours previously and been very disappointed with them. Sometimes just doing the hop on hop off bus is just as good as doing tour in some destinations. Plus they’re a whole lot cheaper. I agree that travellers do try to fit too much into their holidays. I like the idea of having down days when you’re travelling.

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    October 12, 2018

    I’ve never booked a travel package. Ever. That I can recall. I tend to do it all on my own. My parents hadn’t either until recently, now they’re doing quite a few!

    • Kathy
      October 13, 2018

      The only organised holidays that I’ve been on are cruises and a couple Luxury Escape deals. I also like to plan our holidays myself and do heaps of research prior. To date this has worked perfectly for us.

  • Natalie @ Be Kind 2 You
    October 12, 2018

    There are some great tips in here which I have saved for my up and coming quick trip tp New York with my daughters. Thanks for the great advice.

    • Kathy
      October 13, 2018

      Thanks Natalie. You will love New York. It’s an incredible holiday destination. #TeamLovinLife

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    October 12, 2018

    Great tips for travellers of all ages, Kathy! I’m already planning my first few trips for 2019.

    SSG xxx

    • Kathy
      October 13, 2018

      Thank you. We have one holiday planned to Bali in March 2019 so far, and I’m currently looking at one to Sri Lanka. Planning is the exciting part! #TeamLovinLife

  • Deborah
    October 14, 2018

    Sadly this is a little too late for me Kathy (!!!) but all very good points.

    Fortunately my travel TO Italy recently ended up being overnight so though I’d travelled for 31hrs – by the time I got to Sorrento (my final destination on arrival) it was evening and I was stuffed so able to sleep and my body clock adjusted really well.

    As you may recall I was very slack in getting around to booking accommodation and travel, but as it was the first time I’d travelled for a couple of decades there were some obvious lessons (things had changed since I’d last travelled) and some of that preparation up-front is so important.

    • Kathy
      October 16, 2018

      I’m glad everything worked out for your trip to Italy Deb. It looked amazing. Planning for a trip is very daunting, but when it all comes together it makes it so worthwhile.

  • Jan
    October 15, 2018

    Lots of good advice here Kathy, particularly your checklist. I am constantly amazed that travellers don’t realise they need 6 months on their passport. We are just beginning to plan our travels for next year. The Lonely Planet on Ireland is by my bed :-)

    • Kathy
      October 16, 2018

      Thanks Jan. You will love Ireland – it’s a beautiful country. I will need to pick your brain about Spain and Portugal as it’s on our radar. #TeamLovinLife

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