Ready for your first, or maybe your next river cruise? Before you pack your favorite clothes and leave for an awesome experience, there are a few things you should keep in mind. In fact, once you have booked one of these journeys, you should make sure you have everything planned to make the most of it.
Mainly your decisions and planning are predetermined by the destination/cruise of choice. Among one of the most loved river cruises in the world are Vietnam river cruises, river cruises in Europe, and the Amazon Rainforest. Once you decide on your preferred cruise destination you should match this with a suitable season.
Whether you are looking for an adventure, or you just want to relax and drink glasses of prosecco from dusk till dawn, you will surely find the right journey for you. Whatever your preferred choice of destination and type of cruise are, you should take a look at our list of things to keep in mind before you go. Why, you would ask? To avoid any trouble that might ruin your awesome river cruise trip. Let’s take a look!
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Determine Your Budget
Not all river cruises are pricey, but finding a good deal may not be as easy as it seems, especially in specific periods of the year. Before you book your journey, you should determine your budget. The final cost of your trip usually includes different factors, such as meals, complimentary excursions, Wi-Fi, airport transfers, and drinks.
In other words, you need to create a realistic budget for your river cruise, in line with your expectations: if you want to relax in a luxury cabin but you can’t afford it at the moment, you should wait for the peak season to pass.
Check with your chosen cruise line: they probably offer different options, from premium economy cabins to business accommodation. Don’t forget to ask if you can enjoy some extras (such as lounge access or a welcome drink) as a part of the line’s loyalty program.
Double Check Your Documents
When was the last time that you checked if your passport was still valid? Did you remember to add that additional bag to your flight ticket? What about your hotel reservations? Even though cruises usually don’t require other reservations, before you leave, it’s essential to make a thorough route with stops and transport choices all along the way to the port.
If your passport is expired, you will not be able to travel. Some cruise lines may accept a different type of ID, but, again, you must first check. If you are traveling with children, you need to make sure that they hold valid documents as well.
Don’t forget to verify that your name is spelled correctly on each of your reservations. Otherwise, they may not be valid. Any mistakes can jeopardize your journey, and be as problematic as costly. In some cases, you may ever end up delaying or canceling your trip entirely.
Time to Educate Yourself
For many people, traveling is a way to find out more about their favorite places. For example, if you are passionate about history, you will most likely book a Nile cruise in Egypt, an Amazon cruise, or Mekong River cruise in Cambodia, all of which offer rich cultural experiences. Nevertheless, even if you think you are already an expert on your chosen destination, you may still be missing something.
Before you leave for your cruise, it is recommended to buy a guide book and start reading up on the country you are going to visit. Even though you may have already booked a guided tour for when you arrive, knowing at least the basics in advance will improve your overall experience.
Grab Your Stuff (but Don’t Get Carried Away)
River cruises usually last only a couple of days until a maximum of 2 weeks. For this reason, you must resist the urge to overpack. Remember that your storage space is limited, and you will not need much of your stuff. Try to bring only one case and one smaller bag with you.
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Exchange Money in Local Currency
The majority of travelers tend to use their credit or debit card to pay when on holidays. However, it is always a good idea to get some local currency, since you may find places where only cash is accepted. You may also need some coins for tipping guides and drivers.
When in places like Europe or the U.S., you will need only one currency even when visiting more than one country. Besides, if you still have some foreign currency in your pocket at the end of your journey, you will officially have a good excuse to plan your next trip as soon as possible.
Having travel insurance is always essential, especially when traveling with children. Before you choose an insurance company, you should check if this service is not already included in your cruise package.
If you prefer, you can buy travel insurance which comprehends trip interruption, baggage loss, and even medical evacuation. You can also ensure your trips for high or low water events, weather events, or any other unforeseen circumstances that can impact your travel.