This is travelling, Dieya’s style.
T - 9 months
Several months since my last holiday. Itchy for the next. Come out with a shortlist of destinations that I wish to go to.
T - 8 months
Do background research on the destinations i.e. flight schedule, interesting spots, connectivity (by plane or train or boat or road), weather, happenings on local calendar.
T - 6 months
After two months of research and doing all sorts of analysis known to humankind (i.e. pros & cons, financial impact, geographical spread), make a final decision on where to go. Convince someone to tag along. Usual suspects - my single girl pals, my mum and my brothers. My dad? He’s always busy travelling for work. If he has the time he’ll tag along at the last minute.
T - 5 months
Firm up the dates. If the trip covers several cities, decide on how many days to spend at each city. Do flight and hotel bookings. As for other modes of transportation (i.e. train or boat), bookings usually can’t be done until 2 months before travel date, but timetables are there to assist planning.
T - 3 months
Prepare visa if required. Think of what to do and where to go in each city. Search for halal restaurants.
T - 2 months
Borrow travel books from the library. Buy a map. Get more ideas of what to do. Do daily itinerary. Book tickets for other modes of transportation.
T - 1 month
Do shopping for additional things required (i.e. winter apparels, additional undergarments, spare camera battery). Activate mobile phone’s international roaming. Check value added tax (VAT) refund procedures. Check solat times. Find out what kind of power adapter used (i.e. 2 pins or 3 pins, square or rounded, what’s the voltage).
T - 1 week
Call credit card company to inform that the card will be used at destination. Print booking confirmations, itinerary, maps, solat times and other relevant documents. Bind everything into a nice book.
T - 3 days
Start packing. The earlier I pack, the earlier I realise what is still needed. Usually it’s toothpaste, toothbrush or sanitary pad. Change currencies. Store important numbers (i.e. hotel, embassy) in mobile phone.
T +/- 0 day: D-day
Activate out-of-office (OOO) and out-of-blog (OOB). Off we go!
P.S.: I’m now at T - 2 days. Still need a new toothbrush.