DOs & DON'Ts itemised

There is no question that there are some definite dos and don’ts for travellers and a few more of each for Senior Citizens. I have prepared some ideas in the table below but would appreciate any that you, the reader and traveller has to share.

ACTIVITY

DO

DON'T

PREPARATION

  1. Start well in advance of your trip
  2. Use worksheets for keeping a record of  expenses, bookings etc
  3. If you expect to be walking on your holiday, start a bit of regular walking a few months in advance
  4. Read and look on the internet about the places you plan to visit
  5. Check on visa requirements and costs
  6. Pack a journal and write an opening to your journal. (While travelling write in your journal EVERY DAY and, including the weather is such a reminder when you read it later)
  7. Pack a small towel in your on board/hand luggage so you can freshen up at an airport or train station
  8. Get digital literate. Booking in for flights is all self-service using ATM like machines. (There is always someone on duty to assist)
  1. Pay any money until you are sure of a booking and know the cancellation policy
  2. Forget to read all FINE PRINT
  3. Expect porters and lots of staff at hotels that are not at the very top of the range. Self service is how things are going everywhere.
 

DO

DON'T

FLIGHTS

  1. Be at the airport at least 1 hour before departure on a domestic flight & 4 hours before departure on an international flight
  2. Allow a minimum of 2 hours between connecting flights
  3. Have your passport available at all times
  4. Elect to travel assisted if you have any physical difficulty which may impede your moving through airports. It is a great help
  5. Keep Boarding Passes until you reach your accommodation destination
  1. Necessarily choose the cheapest option. These are often flights which have long stop overs and usually at night.
  2. Book on different airlines when you have connecting flights. If the flights are delayed different airlines will not hold a flight for one another whereas the same airline will hold the flight or book you on the next available flight free of charge
  3. Discard any documentation until you reach your final destination or home.

 

 

DO

DON'T

LUGGAGE

  1. Keep it to a minimum. Whether travelling by air, car, ship or train you have to carry your own luggage at some stage of your journey
  2. Pack it yourself and know what is in your case. 
  3. Pack only clothes in cases which will be in the hold or out of your sight
  4. Place valuables in your hand luggage but no liquids in excess of 100ml
  5. Shrink wrap if possible but this is at a cost, currently R50 per item in SA
  6. Mark your luggage clearly so that it is easy to spot when collecting; eg a bright orange ribbon, colourful stripe on the side etc
  1. Put any liquid container which can hold in excess of 100mls in hand luggage. It will be confiscated even it there is less than 100ml in the container.
  2. Pack unnecessary items which will add weight for you to carry
  3. Pack jewellery, camera, cellphone, hairdryer etc in cases which go in the hold
  4. Agree to assist a friend or another passenger by carrying a wrapped item which you have not seen before wrapping
 

DO

 DON'T

IDENTIFICATION

  1. Have a printout of your personal details and who to contact in an emergency on your person at all times
  2. Keep your passport on you wherever you go
  3. Have a printout of your personal details and medical issues in your car when travelling by road
  4. Include your insurance details and towing requirements in case of an accident and you are not able to communicate
  5. Check that there are sufficient blank pages as reqired by the country from which you will be applying for a visa
  1. Keep your money, passports, driver's licence and credit cards all in one purse or bag. If that gets lost or stolen it can be a real nightmare for you.

 

DO

DON'T

ITINERARY

  1. Make copies for at least 2 family members or friends as well as a copy for yourself to keep in a place separate from your working copy
  2. Include contact details of the tour operator, hotels, B&Bs or any other relevant person 
  3. Carry a detailed copy yourself at all times
 

 

DO

DON'T

LANGUAGE

  1. Learn some of the local lingo; it is appreciated
  2. Knowledge of some local terms is very helpful eg laundromat = laundrette in UK; twin room and double room not the same in UK & Europe. Be specific
 

 

DO

DON'T

MEDICATION

  1. Keep medicines in your hand luggage
  2. Keep at least 2 days worth on yourself in case of delays
  3. Have enough for at least 4 days more than you will be away from home
  4. Have a letter from your doctor detailing your chronic conditions
  5. Have a copy of prescriptions and generic names of medicines
  6. Have a copy of contact details of your doctor on you at all times
  7. Inform your medical aid if you will be out of the country
  1. Put any meds in your cases which go in the hold when flying
  2. Pack any medicines that you are not sure of its use or 

 

DO

DON'T

MONEY

  1. Take sufficient cash in the relevant foreign currency for tips and emergencies
  2. Use a money belt which is worn under a your clothing
  3. Be aware of exchange rates
  4. Use the safe facilities provided in hotels
  5. Keep cash and credit card separately so that if one is lost you still have the other in emergency. (My husband carries our cash & I the credit card)
  6. Inform the Card Fraud Division if you will be out of the country (Even if you have done so, they will probably calll to confirm your first transaction)
  1. Leave money in a hotel or you B&B  room 
  2. Keep your cash all in one place
  3. Keep your credit card with your cash
  4. Allow others to see how much cash you have – there are pickpockets all over the world

DO

DON'T

PAPERWORK

This includes passports, visas, tickets for flights & trains, hire car papers, travellers’ cheques and anything similar that you may have acquired in your preparation.

  1. Make 2 copies of everything and leave 1 set with a contact at home and the other in your luggage in a place separate from the originals.
  2. If in a foreign country, record the contact details of your nearest home country embassy and keep on your person
  3. Make an appointment with the visa issuing agency.
 1.Just arrive at the visa issuing agency without an appontment. You will have to wait until all those with appointments have been assistd.

DO

DON'T

 

 

PACKING 

  1. Pack as minimally as possible. Remember that in almost every country you have to carry your luggage on & off trains, buses, boats etc.
  2. When you travel people do not notice what you wear. For 3 weeks, ladies, 2-3 pairs of corduroys, denims or shorts, 6 tops  to mix & match and 1 smart outfit. Guys, pack similarly.
  3. Take the right type of clothing for your destination. Get to know the weather, clothing culture and anything which may help you decide on what to take.
  4. Take lightweight and non-iron clothes.
  5. Include some packets/bags to separate dirty washing. 
  6. Have a full set of change of clothes in the backpack or similar. accidents and delays do happen.
 

DO

DON'T

SELF-CATERING

  1. It is also helpful to pack as lightly as possible as you have to carry everything to your unit. 
  2. Plan meals before leaving home so as to ensure that you pack everything you will need
  3. Remember the small things - seasonings, oil, tea & coffee etc
  4. Pack a First Aid pack and small sewing repair kit
  5. Pack your favourite kitchen utensils - can opener, vegetable peeler, sharp knife, oven gloves etc.
  6. Include dish washing and drying soap and cloths
  1.  Invite guests to stay overnight without informing the Lanlord or Resort Manager. Units have limits on the number of persons staying and you may be heavily charged.

 

DO

DON'T

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Ask for Senior Citizen prices. Most places around the world have special prices for us. It is important to check what age is considered as Senior - usually 60 or 65
  2. Pack a set of fresh clothes in your carry-on luggage or daily backpack. If not big enough pack at least a clean set of underwear.
  3. Have your medication for at least 2 days easily available at all times
  4. Carry your basic toiletries at all times as well. 
  5. Take one of the small torches, 7.5cms (3ins), with a poweerful LED light. It is a veryuseful item, especially if you have to get up in the night.
  1. Take photos of people without their permission. Remember, even if they say you can they will possibly expect payment.
  2. Ask a Muslim woman if you may take her photo. The answer willl be no and it is an embarassment for her

 

   

 

 

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About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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