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“Five essentials when planning a trip abroad”

I am currently in the process of planning a trip abroad and if all goes according to plan, it will be a magnificent eight days touring four beautiful cities, with a close friend of mine.

Before I bask in the glory of this upcoming expedition however, there are a few hurdles I must overcome. Read on for the five essentials that I think are worth pointing out to anyone else out there that is planning a trip abroad.

Visa – for destinations that require an entry visa, make sure that you go through the tourist visa requirements beforehand (either from the respective embassy or online portals provided), and make sure to have the requirements in order before you pay for your trip. Certain countries have a more straightforward visa application process while others might require a little more time. The idea is to make sure that you are not in a situation where you have paid for your flight, accommodation etc., only to be denied entry to the country. Of course if you do not require a visa at all, then you are in luck.

Vaccines – many countries will require a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Because this vaccine is administered only once every ten years, it is easy to forget when your next shot is due. Check your certificate and remember that you must have received the vaccine usually at least ten days before you travel. There are four approved vaccine centers in Kampala, Uganda and the prices vary depending on the location, ranging from 100,000 UGX to 150,000 UGX for the shot.

Flight – book your flight early and compare airlines, dates and itineraries.  Several websites like Kayak (open) and DreamTrips (members only) can help you do this. Sometimes, booking a multi-city ticket is cheaper than booking a round trip. Other times, one-way tickets work out cheaper. Explore multiple options, get creative and be flexible.

Accommodation – this is probably the most flexible part of your travel as multiple options are available. I personally never shy away from negotiating anything because the one sure way to not know or not receive something is not to ask. Take advantage of off peak seasons when traffic is low.

Activities – lastly, research the area you are visiting and make a selection/book your top priorities (don’t just go with what someone else has suggested). Also, don’t put too much activity in a short trip. You can read more about making the most of a short holiday here.

Thoughts? What has been your experience? I look forward to your comments in the reply section below. Xx.

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2 COMMENTS
  • Elaine

    8 months ago

    I think you have more less covered most of them, just to add on with my experience.

    Flights – i have always found that booking directly from the airline and especially online is cheaper just be sure to read the FINE PRINT before you actually press the ‘PURCHASE’ button.

    Accommodation: – using online accommodation website eg. booking.com to view and look at different options and price range always helps with the planning and budgeting stage. Its always better to also visit the actual hotel website selected to see if they may have any discounts or better still email them and ask for any offers and discounts. Like you said you never know if you don’t ask.

    Another interesting accommodation option that has come on board (though am yet to try it out) is airbnb.com. i have listened to some interesting testimonies but am yet to try it out myself.

    Finally i would add DO YOUR RESEARCH – from visa requirements, to activities, to security in your proposed country of travel, the culture and language where your going, currency used and also plan to have some emergency cash over and above your planned budget…

    But the trick is plan early and plan smart and you will enjoy you travels on a budget.

    Travel safe…..

    • khukyenda

      8 months ago

      AUTHOR

      Thanks Elaine for those insightful additions.
      I couldn’t agree with you more – I’m also yet to try out airbnb, do let me know about your experience once you try it out!
      Thanks again for stopping by. Xx.

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