Relax, yes.. let’s take a break, it’s end of school terms anyway… hoooray!!
Top2ToeStyliesta was away at the Immigration Office today to renew our passports.
We’ve been wanting to travel badly since our last trip to London & Paris in July – but this trips to Europe was incomparable to most of our yearly US trips 😛
Why ? US is more happening, cheap, i love their Premium Outlets (super crazy markdown!), most are friendly and customer oriented people, food are super cheap – ice creams – Haagen Dasz priced at US$2.5 , chocolates at US$1.5- US$4 which priced here at RM30 above! We definitely missed grocery shopping at Walmart and Albertsons and cooked our meals like we used to do here in KL. Yeah, i know – tell me about it, Heaven!
Ok, ok . that’s not the main thing here. This sharing is mostly about my previous travelog & prep travelling tips which could be useful for your next journey !
Through some research, Top2ToeStyliesta found this Packing Checlist – a truly HELPFUL guide to most travellers like ME and YOU! ❤
Let’s take a look
Wow, quite a complete checklist isn’t it?
I know , as a mother, wife, A-Z holiday planner, we need this kind of checklist to help with our planning!
We have traveled to destinations that requires a straight 22 hours journey, so you could imagine how zombie we were by the time we arrived? And what if you missed out anything important? Especially mothers traveling with infants – oh i can’t imagine. Really.
Throughout the past 8 years, we’ve traveled to these destinations…
Taj Mahal , Delhi | Surfers Paradise , Brisbane | Ho Chih Minh, Vietnam | Padang & Jakarta, Indonesia
Disneyland and Hollywood, California | New York & New Jersey, United States
Phuket, Thailand | Singapore city | Las Vegas, Nevada | San Francisco, California
San Diego, California | Henley on Thames , Oxfordshire | London city & Paris
To be honest, year by year, we learnt through experiences, we did (well, I did, ehem..ehem) everything on my own, A to Z from planning, research after research ! I used to prepare our trip 3months in advance, but after being an expert here (the only expert in our family.. lol!) , well, usually 1months to 2 weeks would be ample to check everything out
Here’s what I did
3months – 1 month before
1.Flights confirmed – NOTE : Ensure the time and date to and fro are correct at time of printing
2. Passport still valid – DO NOT travel if your passport expired in the next 6 months!
3.Visa!Important – Do check if the country you visiting requires a visa. Do check or confirm with your travel agents prior to traveling date
4. Lodging – well this is interesting. Normally, I know my ex-colleagues they love to booked through Booking.com / Agoda.com / Hotel.com / Expedia.com. As for our family of 4, we love somewhere that would be our next 2nd home – so we chose an Apartment instead. In these sites, they don’t have much choices to offer with, so since 2010 when we were in Las Vegas, we booked through Airbnb.com which was truly the best and way good price compared to what you guys experience here in Malaysia . Then , another site, you could try – which i did when we traveled to San Diego and London – Wimdu.com. It is just perfect for our dream vacation. Super good price, friendly owner, we love every location, and yeah, we could even cook our special meals at it feels like home!!
5. Browse for the interesting places to visit –
- If bringing kids 5years > , definitely Themeparks / Waterparks /Zoo/Aquaria / Science Park
- Beaches / Art Museum / Parks (the list continues..)
6. Shopping! Yes, shopping is a MUST activity – so here we go – look for shopping malls or Outlets at each country. Our best bargains always be at the Premium Outlets in US > the largest Premium Outlet we’ve been was at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets with over 220 outlets okay! We spent 3 days 3 nights, 7 hours to 9hours walking EVERY day – but you could never, never complete them all within the days..Then the other Outlets we visited are …
Woodburry Common Premium Outlet – New York | Desert Hills & Camarillo Premium Outlet , California
Las Vegas Premium Outlets , North & South | Town Square, Las Vegas | Las Americas Premium Outlet border of San Diego & Mexico
Not in the pictures – La Vallée Village Outlet, Paris & Bicester Village Outlet , London
6. Transportation –
- Driving through the city / cross country ? Better get ready with a preloaded Garmin map onto your GPS, dear! We’ve done that for most of our US and Europe trips. Awesome! We never request for any travel tours/agents – the itinerary are 100% ours and we choose where we wanna go, simple and easy!! And don’t forget the law enforcement – driving rules (left or right handed), parking restrictions
- If you relying on the public transportation – then start doing research from today. Do check the safety around the area you are planning to go! Always!!
7. Customs Restrictions of Foreign Destinations – What you can’t bring to other countries (food, diary products, meat, vegetables/plant..etc)
6. Amenities –
- Nearest hospitals & clinics in case of emergency
- Places of worship, prayer times (for Muslims and Qibla compass to ease the travellers)
- Groceries / Flea market – like Sunday market, Walmart, Albertsons, Carrefour
- Personal coverage insurance – make sure you have this while abroad
- Know the nearest ATM machine/banks that allow you to withdraw money in case of emergency >Don’t forget to make a call to your local bank and inform you are traveling (duration dates) , should you need to withdraw money at their country
7. Weather forecast for the next 10 days or 1 month (you could print this out from weather.com). Read and be precaution of travel warnings and travel alerts.
8. Last but not least, If you decide to take your pet with you when you go abroad, check with the embassies of the destination countries as to specific requirements that must be met before a pet may be brought into the country. Many countries have strict health, quarantine, agriculture, wildlife, and customs requirements and prohibitions. Also, don’t forget to call your local Airlines rules and regulation on traveling with your pet!
To be continue…in our next travelog
However, we do hope ..you will now , have some ideas what to prepare before your next TRIP!