Deciding on a location is just the beginning of the entire process when it comes to planning a travel itinerary. Whether you are someone that charts everything meticulously to the tee or a laidback individual that prefers to go with the flow, both veteran and new travellers alike know that planning is one of the essential steps to ensuring a great time abroad.
Afterall, you’re already spending time, money and resources to travel abroad – you might as well make the most out of this experience, right?
When it comes to travelling, deciding to go is only the beginning of the journey. As both veteran and new travellers would know, planning is key to smooth and hassle-free travels. From knowing what to pack and where to lodge upon arrival, there are certainly plenty of essentials to take care of before getting on the plane.
But while superficial research is often enough to ensure things go as planned, for the most part, it generally does not suffice to get the most out of the experience. However, looking into your travel destination more extensively provides a bigger payoff as expected, such as gaining a better understanding of the region, things to expect and what to avoid, and even attractions not found in guidebooks. Below, we go over four reasons why extensive research is a must before officially setting off on your future travels after the pandemic.
1. Time spent planning is time saved during the trip itself
Knowing the fine details beforehand, such as the current events in the destination, closed routes and unavailable modes of transportation, allows you to make more knowledgeable decisions during your trip. Rather than wasting precious time (even maybe a trip to search for WiFi and directions from locals), your preparedness will ensure that you spend most of your time doing what tourists should do – enjoying themselves.
Learn about your travel routes and possible restaurants you want to visit. Come up with back-up plans and wet weather programs. Traveling for a festival? Check to see if there will be closures or if special arrangements need to be made at specific times of the year and make sure you pack some travel essentials required for your trip. Being a step ahead with your backup plans would mean that you can’t be fazed because someone (hopefully, you) came prepared.
2. Discover hidden gems that personalise your travel experience
There is nothing wrong with wanting to see world-famous tourist attractions with the help of tours and guides, but keep in mind that doing so will not make your travel experience much different from others, and it won’t be personalised either.
Doing extensive research of all the must-visit locations in your chosen destination provides you with the insight you need to map out your own route as well as discover hidden gems that are typically not on most tourist’s radar. By not needing to rely on someone else to show you around, you can visit both the popular and less-known places that interest you at the pace you feel comfortable with, making your experience wholly unique, exciting and worthwhile.
3. Better understand and appreciate the destination’s people and culture
The world is full of diverse people and customs, and those differences are something that travellers already expect upon stepping foot on foreign soil. However, there is a big difference between simply expecting the change and knowing how to adjust and use it to blend in with the crowd.
For instance, a better understanding of the region’s culture, in this case, its social norms, will undoubtedly come in handy to avoid awkward situations. Going beyond that and learning a bit of the local language will also aid in minimising the language barrier and make it easier to get what you want. Knowing important customs such as dress codes for given occasions will certainly be vital to avoid offending anyone on your trip, a top priority for anyone visiting other lands.
4. Safety is key
Besides knowing which attractions to see and other places to visit, travellers should also prioritise looking into places to avoid during their journey. Since it can be surprisingly easy to get yourself in risky areas in a foreign destination, having this prior knowledge can mean the difference between a safe and uneventful journey and a disastrous one. As a rule of thumb, spend as much time researching these danger zones as you did with your tourist attractions to clear yourself from trouble.
Planning for high risk activities? Plan and inquire about medical assistance services abroad beforehand to guarantee that everyone, yourself included, will be safe and sound. The best travel experiences are those you come back safely and can share a story or two from.
Like in other disciplines, knowledge truly is power, and that statement is truer than ever when it comes to travelling. With extensive information about your travel destination, you can easily locate the places you want to visit and make your journey (as well as subsequent visits in the future) unique and personal only to you. As a final tip, always prepare as best as you can for the unexpected, and guarantee your safety by getting coverage for medical evacuation in Singapore prior to every trip.