Planning a holiday can take weeks, maybe more, and there are numerous aspects for you to consider. Learning a few details about your destination is always advisable - but just what should you know before you set foot on the plane?
Where are you staying?
Unless you're being really adventurous, it is usually a good idea to have booked a place to stay for at least the first couple of nights and have all the information related to its location noted down. This should prevent any issues getting from the airport to your accommodation and ensure the start of your holiday is stress free. If you book through an organisation like the Co-operative Travel, you should be able to request all of this information up front.
What are the local customs?
Knowing a little about the local customs and culture before you depart can go a long way to making your stay that much more enjoyable and also prevent any unfortunate and unintended lapses in manners. Make sure that you have identified any massive departures from your normal customs and try to adapt to these changes in behaviour as much as possible. Knowing a little of the language, even if it is just a few words, will help too.
What is the currency?
A great many expensive mistakes have been made by people who haven't quite got their heads wrapped around the exchange rate of a currency or are mistaken about its worth. This problem can be exacerbated when you are regularly using large denomination notes.
Try to have a clear idea of what the exchange rate is before you arrive and take the time to work out exactly what you should be paying for everyday objects. Though tourists will often pay a slightly inflated rate for certain goods, you don't want to find yourself ripped off.
Where shouldn't you visit?
If you're going on holiday to a large city, or area that may not be as safe as you are used to so it is worthwhile working out exactly where you should and shouldn't be visiting. Many urban areas contain districts or neighbourhoods that aren't suitable or safe for foreign tourists but which could be simple to just stumble upon.
What are the dangers?
The great thing about travelling is getting the opportunity to experience something new and exciting. However, this also means that they'll be new dangers and threats to your safety, many of which will be unique to a specific location or simply more prevalent.
Consequently, it is important that you any dangers unique to your destination are identified before departure. These could include illnesses, bag-snatchers, common local scams, pickpockets or dangerous wildlife.
*Image from kootation.com