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11 Vital Essentials To Do Before Traveling Abroad

11 Vital Essentials To Do Before Traveling Abroad

When it’s time to travel, most people just focus on where they’re going and how they’ll get there. However, to ensure that you have a safe, fun trip, there has to be some preparation done beforehand. Generally, you’ll be able to get basic necessities while in a new place, either in markets or shops in the airport. However, even before you set foot in the airport, you’ll want to ensure you have everything you need and prepare for the worst. Here are eleven important things to do before you start your journey traveling abroad:

1. Get Your Passport

This one’s pretty obvious, but you can’t leave your country or enter another country without your passport. You’ll need to double check the expiration date, too. Make copies of it just in case it gets lost and also have a digital backup saved either online or on your laptop to cover all of your bases with ensuring you have the proper documentation readily available.

2. Make Sure You Have the Right Visa

Your passport won’t be enough to get you into every country. Research what the requirements are before you arrive so that you have the necessary documents depending on how long you’re staying. For example, if you’re moving to Canada, you’ll need to register for an Express Entry Visa. Likewise, countries like Cuba require special visas for visitors looking to travel to their country too. A tourist visa lasts for a single traveler for up to 30 days and proof of a return ticket must also be provided.[1]

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3. Tell Your Friends and Family

Before you walk off into the sunset, let your loved ones know where you’re going. Letting people know where you’ll be will help if you get into any trouble and need their help. You can use social media to update your locations or even start a travel blog so they can share your experiences with you.

4. Have Your Medications and Vaccinations Ready

If you’re the type who needs allergy medicine or any kind of medicine really, you’ll want to pack it. You can also look into which remedies will prevent illness for where you’re traveling to by using the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. Also bring some generic medications for headaches, stomach discomfort or nausea, and colds.

5. Have a Working Credit Card

Traveling with a large amount of cash is not a smart idea. Credit cards are great because they’re small and can be carried easily. Make sure your cards will work overseas. You’ll also want to alert your credit card company and bank that you’ll be traveling. If you don’t, they might freeze your account.

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6. Get a Guidebook

You don’t need to master the language of the location, but it definitely helps if you can say basic things like greetings or ask for directions. A guidebook will also help point out attractions and details about how to get around.

7. Have the Right Adapter for Your Electronics

So you’re traveling and want to share your photos and stories online, but how can do you that if your electronics run out of juice? Different countries use different adapters and it’s best to buy one before you leave so the cables work at both ends.

8. Verify Your Travel and Health Insurance

Make sure that your health insurance includes international coverage.[2] If it doesn’t, discuss the option of adding short-term protection just for the duration of your trip. Travel insurance will provide the necessary protection if you need your money refunded or if you had to shorten your trip for a number of reasons, like delayed flights, cancelled reservations, etc.

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9. Bring Snacks

While it’s great to have an open mind when traveling, sometimes you’ll need a little piece of home. Having your own reserve of food will make you less dependent on trying to find every corner market. They’ll also help curb your appetite while you search for that one great meal or if that food cart nearby looks a little suspicious.

10. Pack Extra Clothes

Whether you’re using an actual small suitcase or a backpack for your carry-on, you’ll want to keep at least one extra outfit in it.[3] This is because luggage getting lost or delayed across flights is a very routine thing and can be both costly and inconvenient. You don’t want to rely on the souvenir t-shirts from the gift shop for a makeshift outfit to wear for a few days while things get sorted out, so plan ahead.

11. Buy Tickets Before You Get There

When choosing what to see and do, see if you can get tickets online. Sometimes you can get better seats or even discounts just for buying before you arrive. There are also sometimes tourist-only deals for shows and exhibitions.

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Featured photo credit: Markgraf-Ave via pixabay.com

Reference

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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