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To help you prepare for your journey we have put together information to assist you with your final arrangements. Whether this is your umpteenth trip or your first overseas holiday, there are essential aspects of the planning that will ensure the most enjoyable experience possible. This is our top 15 list of things to do:
1. Get moving!
We mean this literally. Traveling is one of the most rewarding activities you can do for the health of your mind and body. Although none of our tour is physically demanding, some of the sightseeing will be done on foot over cobbled/uneven ground and may include stairs and requires good general physical fitness. Also, you will need to embark/disembark various forms of transportation from coach, train, etc. We recommend a walking regime to ensure you have the energy and stamina before traveling – as you may be required to stand for a time while visiting museums, attractions, and at airports. Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
2. Leave a copy of important information with friends or family.
Leave a copy of your itinerary, insurance, emergency contacts, etc. with a member of your family or friends. We will provide you with a list of important phone numbers upon confirmation of your trip.
3. Bring comfortable walking shoes.
Your holiday is not a good time to break in a pair of new shoes! A good pair of walking shoes and comfortable socks will go a long way. Choose shoes with rubber soles for good grip. Keep the new dancing shoes for the evenings!
4. Don’t bring too much money.
We recommend that you carry minimal cash before departure. However, you may consider exchanging approximately US$200 before your departure in the local currency that you will be using for the first few days or currency exchange facilities available in the airport as well as cities where you will be visiting. Exchanging in local exchangers may have a better rate. This is to cover any service interruption with local ATM access and your cards. Advise your credit card and the bank that you will be traveling overseas and make sure that your cards are activated and are valid for at least 30 days after the date of return.
5. Limit your luggage.
Although porterage is included for your luggage, we highly recommend that you limit the weight of your luggage and the number of pieces you bring. This will guarantee less hassle for you and avoid incurring unnecessary costs. Generally, in economy, most airlines allow one piece of luggage no more than 160cm (63 inches), or weight of no more than 20kg (44 pounds). Each passenger is allowed one item of hand luggage that fits in the overhead compartment or underneath the seat. We recommend you contact your airline(s) or travel agent for specific information prior to departure, as size and weight limits can vary between airlines. A good backpack is ideal since it distributes the weight and your hands remain free.
6. Be efficient with the items of clothing you bring.
You are on holiday and therefore the dress code is relaxed. We recommend a mixture of light and medium weight clothing to accommodate changing weather conditions and include a waterproof jacket. Also, include several pairs of quick-drying socks and waterproof shoes if possible. For visits that include religious sites like synagogues, monasteries, mosques or churches we ask that you dress conservatively including covered shoulders, trousers, and/or knee-length dress.
7. Put a packing list together.
The following list may be useful when packing for your trip:
8. Leave your valuables at home.
Don’t bring any valuables that would be emotionally devastating should they be misplaced, lost or stolen. Crowded tourist sites all over the world are always a risk so always be on alert. Don’t carry too much cash or wear expensive watches and jewelry.
9. Create your own ‘medical kit’.
Although overseas pharmacies are usually sufficiently stocked, it is a good idea to pack your own personal medical kit should the need arises. Here is a basic list to consider:
Your preferred cold and flu tablets, throat lozenges and nasal decongestant
Painkillers like paracetamol and/or ibuprofen
Gastric upsets medication like gastroenteritis tablets, antacids, laxatives, anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea medications
Suppliers like adhesive bandages, blister bandages, dry-eye drops, earplugs, and small thermometer, small hand sanitiser and tissues
10. Visit your doctor.
Your doctor is your best source of information regarding advice on the medication to take and if you need any specific vaccinations. Bring a copy of your medical history and a list of your medications so they are available for any overseas medical emergency. Pack enough medication and in their original packaging. Keep your medication in your carry-on luggage when flying.
11. Pack your carry-on luggage carefully before the flight.
Your hand luggage is as important as your main luggage and meant to contain all the necessary elements that will make your flight a pleasant experience. Bring a change of clothes in case of luggage delays. Include earplugs, eye mask, inflatable pillow, reading glasses, and bacterial wipes. We recommend loose clothes and comfortable shoes when flying, but consider bringing flight socks to avoid swollen legs and feet and mitigate the risks of deep vein thrombosis. Limit caffeine and alcohol during the flight and ensure you drink plenty of water as its cabin air is quite dry. Pack hand cream, eye drops, and lip balm to alleviate some of the dryness. Restrictions are in place regarding gels, liquids, and aerosols in your carry-on luggage. The containers must be 100ml or less and sealed in a transparent, resealable plastic bag. You may carry your prescription medicines and non-prescription medicines that you need for the flight. Don’t forget your reading material!
Life is full of unexpected events and travel insurance will protect your party and travel investment in case of unforeseen circumstances. Although you probably won’t need it, it is a small investment to ensure your peace of mind. Look for comprehensive travel insurance that includes medical costs such as medical evacuation, and other travel cover like loss of luggage, cancellations due to natural disasters, strike, and other itinerary disruptions.
13. Reconfirm your flights and check-in with plenty of time.
We recommend that you reconfirm your flight details at least 72 hours prior to departure with the airline, your travel agent or with Evergreen Tours, Kathmandu. It is important that on the day of the flight to allow for sufficient check-in and security clearance. Arrive at least two hours prior to departure on domestic flights and three hours for international flights. Airlines may not be very forgiving with missed flights.
14. Check your passports
A valid passport is the one thing that will determine whether you can get on the plane or not. Your passport must now be valid for at least six months from the date you return to home. Always keep your travel documents including passport and visas (if needed) in your hand luggage with a copy in your checked luggage and a copy with family or friends in case of an emergency.
15. Read up on the places you will travel to.
Traveling offers so many varying opportunities to learn about people, their customs, what makes them different, and more importantly what makes them similar to us. It is invaluable to do a little research before your departure. Read highlights of the history, learn a few foreign words, familiarise yourself with some of the artists, writers, and architecture particular to the area. You will gain insight and a better understanding of the subtleties while on tour.
Think of it as reading the book before seeing the movie. Contrary to the usual opinion, we promise that the movie will be much better…
Contact us if you have questions on any of the information mentioned in this section.