No matter where you're going, this list of useful tips will ensure that you're ready for anything that comes your way!
Make sure you know where your passport is, and that it's not out of date. A simple thing, but an absence of passport can mean that you get no further than the airport. Because it can take up to a week to arrange a new passport, it's a good idea to check that you have it and other important documents well in advance of your trip.
Losing stuff is a part of life, but you don't want to lose your important documents while you're on holiday as it can cause all kinds of problems. Photocopy your passport, tickets, travel insurance certificate and any other important documents, and keep them in a safe place. Consider leaving another copy with someone at home. Remember that InsureandGo Ireland cover the replacement of lost or stolen documents.
Long haul flights can be boring, uncomfortable, and never-ending. Sitting on a cramped airplane for eight or more hours is nobody's idea of a good time, so if you've got a long flight coming up be prepared. Get yourself a good book, a couple of magazines or newspapers, some music, anything that will help you pass the time. Most long-haul flights will offer an in-flight movie, so bring a set of headphones to avoid being charged for a pair.
Long flights across several time zones can give you jet lag while your body adjusts to the few more hours of light or dark it encounters. You don't want to be feeling tired at the very start of your holiday – the best way to combat jet lag is to get to bed an hour early for a few days before you leave if travelling East, or an hour later if you're going West.
Just after take-off, and just before landing, many people feel their ears pop as the air pressure changes quickly. While this can be uncomfortable, chewing gum, sucking a sweet, or even yawning will alleviate the pressure in your ears.
Know what is acceptable and what is inappropriate public behaviour in the country you are visiting. Countries (and regions within countries) have their own way of doing things, and you should try to understand those ways in advance of going.
Nobody enjoys packing, but if you're going away for any more than a week it makes sense to get it right. Try to leave some space for souvenirs and any shopping you may do while on holiday, and look at ways of packing that will make more space. For example, rolling up your clothes will make more space, while also minimising creases in your holiday outfits.
In many destinations, mosquitoes are everywhere and you need to be aware of this before you land, or you run the risk of being swarmed upon! Insect repellent and bed nets always help, but avoiding pools of still water (where mosquitoes like to lay eggs) and wearing dark clothes in the evening can also keep these infestations away. Mosquito bites are irritating, but prevention is always better than cure.
We all love to do a bit of sunbathing, but there's something about Irish skin that doesn't like long exposure to sunlight. We've all heard (or experienced!) horror stories of sunburn, and there's also the risk of skin cancer from the sun's rays. Make sure to apply a sun cream with a sufficiently high factor for your skin colour, and make sure to apply it regularly. Also, try to gradually expose yourself to the sun – don't spend 10 hours sunbathing on your first day or you'll regret it.
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