My friends say I have absolutely the best travel luck because in my years of traveling I have never had a serious crisis while traveling — except that one time I was certain I saw Prince Harry on London bridge. That was the best screaming, exclamation-mark-abusing email I have ever sent in my whole life. Things have been known to go wrong, that’s why I’m always prepared each time I go on a trip.
Before I could even book my plane ticket the first time I traveled outside the country, my parents ensured that I had all the emergency numbers of the city I was going to. I stayed in a dinky guest house just outside of London with the sweetest lady and her knitted jerseys, my parent had that phone number even before I set foot in her house. Here are some important items on the travel drill my dad put me through:
I was to guard my passport and visa with my life but in the event that in the middle of my fun I forgot my daddy’s advice and somehow lost my paperwork the steps were to go to the local police station and report my papers missing, call my parents to have them fax me a copy of my ID and then take those to the South African Embassy and apply for temporary travel documents. This Jetsetting wisdom didn’t just happen all by itself.
Before you leave the country find out the documents you need to enter your destination, some countries don’t require you to have a visa to enter but please ensure you have a work permit if your intention is to go to a country and work. Better safe than sorry. If you are planning on driving in or to your destination you need a International Driving permit and your driver’s license.
Travel insurance is a very important element of Jetsetting, this protects you in the event that you get ill or need hospitalisation as healthcare is very expensive in many countries around the world. Should the unthinkable happen and you need emergency evacuation, your health insurance takes care of that. Also in the event that you die while traveling your insurance will pay to have your remains returned home (depending on your cover, of course.)
Learn some phrases in a local language if your destination isn’t an English speaking country. Have a plan and more importantly have fun. Always try to stay safe, it’s important that you don’t lose your wits. If a situation doesn’t feel right, it’s probably wrong.