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How Long Do You Usually Prepare?

Discussion in 'Asia' started by DreamingOfCherryBlossoms, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. When it comes to preparing for traveling to another country, how long do you prepare ahead? Do you spend a couple months learning the language or just a couple weeks with a focus on important phrases? What is something you wish you knew when you first started traveling and you always do now?
  2. Ava

    Ava Member

    I used to advise gap year students on their travels and most would be planning a year ahead. These days it's much easier with the internet and up to date information. I've been traveling independently for a couple of decades now, but you learn something new on each trip. Usually I print out everything, because having hard copies is easier and then I can physically see the dates and places I will be.

    I do keep my plans open though, but check bus times and train schedules in the area if things don't work out. In terms of packing, I pack light, and always carry snacks with me as you never know if shops will be open. If I do need to know another language, I write down key phrases on sticky notes and keep those handy in a plastic wallet. I've always been a sensible traveler and the only thing I wish I had done was bring rehydration salts with me when I was trekking, because another traveler had them and gave them to me, which saved me life. Always take medical supplies, and don't skimp especially if you go off the beaten track,
  3. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I'm a planner, but I'm not much of a foreign language learner - I do usually try and have a few phrases under my belt, but anything more than that tends to just fall out of my brain...

    My planning tends to come with what sights I want to see. I'm the kind of person that will plan a year out if I've booked a vacation. I love knowing about interesting places that perhaps other tourists don't explore - I always try to go for authentic experiences but naturally some of the things I want to see in a country will be touristy. I like planning accommodation, too...for me I like knowing where I will stay and ensuring that's booked in. A lot of my friends feel comfortable winging it when it comes to accommodation but I always like that to be a definite thing!
  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    We buy our plane tickets in advance, sometimes 6 months before the actual trip. This also gives us enough time to save money for the trip because we always book into a hotel and we eat in classy restaurants most of the time. But with the preparation of things to bring, I already have a list since we are frequent travelers. It's easy to gather everything from toiletries to phone chargers not to mention the clothes, socks, hankies, and other personal belongings. This year we had been to Bangkok in March and in Hongkong in June and this month we are going to Singapore. Basically, what we brought in Bangkok will be the same in what we had brought in Hongkong and for Singapore as well.
  5. I think six months is a good time frame to prepare for going somewhere in a foreign land. I am assuming that the trip is a once-in-a-a-blue-moon kind of thing. The first thing to plan is the itinerary. Then matching funds to costs. After that, for me, learning the local language is a must. I can do sign language, if I have to, but I feel that I would have a better holiday if I can converse in the local language.
  6. reverserewind

    reverserewind Member

    1. I'm earning the amount of money sufficient to make a travel happen. If you don't have money = nothing is going to take place

    2. I book the hotels to make sure that I'll have a place to stay

    3. I book flights If I choose going there by plane

    On average, 3-4 days are enough to get the stuff arranged.
  7. reverserewind

    reverserewind Member

    Someone's writing about the language. Sure, it's some kind of preparation, too. However, I mostly go to the countries where most people are able to converse in English. It's just a convenience.
  8. It's convenient to go to a country where they speak English. However, to go to a country where they don't speak English would be a real challenge. I feel that I am fortunate to be in ASEAN. Now I am in Malaysia. The local population speaks Malay. I can speak Malay without any problem. Just a bit up north is Thailand. In Thailand, very few people speak English. So learning to speak Thai adds to the list of interesting things to do. Last night, I was talking to a friend who is married to a Vietnamese. That's not too far away. By bus, it will take something like three days and three nights to get there. By plane, it's just a couple of hours. Vietnamese sounds quite like Chinese to my ears. It's a rather musical language. That would be an interesting language to learn.
  9. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    That is true, we also have to earn the money before we make plans although sometimes we anticipate the money like the end of the year bonus which can be appropriated for such travels. As an executive in our company, I have profit-sharing during the month of August and that's our budget for our travel to Singapore later this month of October. But planning for us takes time and we could never travel on a week's notice unless it is just a provincial trip. For abroad it would take a month of preparation at least so we can fix our work schedules.
  10. expat007

    expat007 New Member

    I have never really thought about preparation for learning the language, etc because I depend on my husband who frequently travels on business trips. So he already knows the whereabouts and the do's and don'ts in the countries we've been to. Like when we went to France, my daughter who knows some French for taking it in school, was our spokesperson and the one who read French words and signages. She and her dad are fantastic at tracking down places so I never really have to worry about that.
    If there's something I need to prepare, it's usually our clothes and other basic stuff. And it is not really a complicated deal since we travel light.
  11. Valentino

    Valentino Member

    It shouldn't take too long to learn the language of a place you'll be visiting else the whole thing gets to be more like a chore. Takes all the fun out of something otherwise should be enjoyable. That's why I never take too long to learn the language or a little about the culture of the country I'll be visiting. A month or less (for preparations) is good enough for me. And I'll buy a phrase book I'll consult in case I forget some words I learn.