Planning an International Trip During the Pandemic? Here’s What You Should Do


The first thing Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected is international travel. While most European countries and the US have been opening up their borders as per the government-issued guidelines, some like Australia and New Zealand have completely suspended international travel and tourism. But, as mass inoculation takes place the world over, there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. Experts predict that by early 2022, we’ll see a semblance of normalcy return, and that international tourism will be restored to its former schedule. so, if you are wondering, yes, you can start planning your international trip now. This guide will help you prepare!

Planning Your International Trip

Planning an international trip can be an ordeal, especially if you are travelling for the first time. However, with this guide in hand, you need not worry at all.

Before planning on visiting, check the visa requirements of the country and be sure to read the travel advisory for the pandemic, and all emergency protocols. This will be especially important in times of any crisis or emergency border closures.

Here’s how you can be all ready!

Deciding On Which Place To Visit

The first step is to decide where you want to go. For this look at travelling deals online and/or consult a travel agent. If you are going to the preferred destination for the first time, it’s better to read up on it and book a package which will allow you to explore the most places in the shortest amount of time.

The Duration Of Your Trip

International trip: Choose your destination

When planning a trip, it’s best to think of it in terms of days and nights, and then break it down further into your travelling time. Your actual duration of the trip will be the time you spend not travelling.

To make the most of your trip, this will help you plan your activities and sightseeing effectively.

Money To Carry

Each country has its own currency, however, if you are anywhere in Europe, you can easily carry Euros. As a tip, always think of your expenditures in terms of the foreign currency of the country you’ll be visiting. This will help you better plan everything. Moreover, you can always use American dollars in most parts of the world. So you can exchange your Pakistani currency for dollars as you depart, and then change it back when you land into the new country, provided this new country’s currency is not readily available, such as that of Central Asian Republics. 

Exchanging your currency for dollars will easily help you to spend during your transit. Here’s how you can keep your money safe while travelling.

Packing Accordingly

If you are a shopper and you’re going somewhere where you’ll be going out shopping, it’s best to pack lightly. This is because on most international airlines no one is allowed to carry more than 30 kg in baggage, and 10 kg additional in hand carry. If you want to bring back some stuff, you should have more space in your luggage even before you depart.

Check for weather updates not just for the coming days but try to understand the pattern of the previous weeks as well, to get a better understanding of how the temperature can change. This is especially important for areas that are arid, such as the Middle East or tropical countries like Malaysia.

If you are an explorer, be sure to pack your sneakers.

A tip, for a longer layover, no matter the weather, carry a light jacket or shawl because the airport can get too cold.

Here's how you can pack efficiently for your international trip.
International trip: Pack efficiently

Read Before Planning

Now that you’ve decided where you want to go and for how long, the next step is to read up on the place! Scroll through Instagram to find the perfect spots you would want to visit. Again, discuss these with your travel agent so once you land at your destination, you don’t have to worry about transportation to your preferred spots.

In addition, read about the weather, food, and language. Understanding the weather pattern will help you pack accordingly so you’re neither too cold or too hot. The best way to go about this is to log on online chat rooms and ask the locals directly, since Google can’t always be trusted.

If you have specific food preferences or are allergic to some foods, it’s best to find out the local names of those foods so you can order comfortably. This, of course, applies if your destination is a country where English is not spoken widely. As for the language, install Google Translator if you haven’t already. It’ll be your best guide when all else fails, dialect wise.

Acquaint Yourself With The Law Of The Land

As a tourist, it is absolutely essential that you understand the Do’s and Don’ts of a new place, beforehand. This will help you acquaint yourself with what’s legal and what’s not in the country you’re visiting, so you don’t break any law and can have a fun time.

In addition to understanding the law, be mindful of the cultural values of the people as well. As a tourist, you should be aware not to inflict any kind of harm on the citizens through your actions, but rather have an immersive experience through which you can learn more about the unique culture and people.

Travelling During Covid 19

Planning the perfect getaway during covid.
International trip: Where are you headed next?

Now that you’re fully prepared for an international trip, you need to account for Covid-19 as well. Be sure that you’re fully vaccinated and have the required Vaccination Certificate. Despite being vaccinated, carry a sanitizer, gloves, and do not remove your face mask under any circumstances.

At the airport, be sure to maintain social distancing. Throughout your trip, keep monitoring your body temperature, and see a doctor if you have any of the coronavirus symptoms. If you have seasonal allergies, it is advisable to carry your prescribed medications, with a prescription so you are fully prepared. Check out this guide on travelling safely during covid.

If you are looking to travel inside Pakistan, check out this guide. For solo female travelers, these are the safest destinations.

With this you should be prepared enough to head on to your favorite vacation spot. Where are you headed next? Write to us at if you’ve been travelling during the Pandemic, let us know your tips and tricks that worked by commenting below. For the latest updates, keep checking Pakistan’s largest property blog, Zameen Blog.


Types of Urban Structures in City Planning


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We often wonder about the layout of a city whilst travelling across it and viewing the passing commercial areas and residential neighbourhoods. We wonder if there is any particular model it follows or planned haphazardly as different land uses emerge.

Today, will introduce you to the three main models of city structures so you can always map them out in your mind. 


What is an Urban Structure?

The urban structure is an outlay or arrangement of a city as a result of a land-use plan. In other words, it is the outcome of the land-use plan designated for a city. It pinpoints the location of business centres, residential areas, hospitals, and other structures within a city.

The urban structure also denotes the amount of required land and its consequent uses. There is an intrinsic interrelationship and dependency between urban structure and the land use of a city. If a city’s government changes its land use, the urban structure would also have to be changed.

There are multiple elements that urban structure covers, such as the associated land use, city typology, transportation plan, residential units, city growth pattern, commerce and industry, business centres, geographic constraints, and livelihood patterns.


The Three Models of Urban Structure

Urban models are particular arrangements of a city’s structure that plan out where the city’s residential areas and business centres will be situated and at what distance.


Burgess Concentric Zone Model

Ernest Burgess was the first person to introduce the burgess concentric zone model in 1923. It is one of the earliest urban models that formed part of urban planning studies. In this model, the city is shaped in consecutive concentric rings, or circles, or zones with a business centre in the middle. So, if you were to zoom out on a zonal city’s map, it would look like a bullseye. Burgess explained that the citizens’ socio-economic status depends on their distance from the central business district (CBD), which is present at the centre of the bullseye.

Ernest introduced five zones in this structure as follows;

a) Zone 1: This denotes the city’s business centre where most businesses, companies, and skyscrapers are located.

b) Zone 2: It is located right outside the previous zone and is marked with factories and manufacturing plants. Hence, most of the city’s goods are manufactured here. Together with zone one, this zone employs the significant workforce of the city.

c) Zone 3: This zone is a neighbourhood of the working class encircling zone two. The majority of the workers live in apartment buildings.

d) Zone 4: This neighbourhood is associated with the middle-class. Therefore, the zone is marked mostly with modest houses instead of apartments.

e) Zone 5: The outermost zone is an upper-class neighbourhood comprising the wealthiest areas with luxurious houses and facilities.

Example: Chicago city, which Burgess studied to formulate the zonal model.


Hoyt’s Sectoral Model

Homer Hoyt developed the sectoral model in 1939 as a follow-up on the concentric model. Hoyt studied that the city expanded not in a concentric fashion but in a sectoral manner. The growth patterns in the cities follow wedge-like patterns that extend from CBDs and the relative distance with the major routes of transportation in the city. More of the population is situated near highways and railroads. y. Hence, CBDs are not the only determining factor. It is the transportation flow that determines the crowds.

As a result, the growth is outward in wedges extending beyond the concentric model’s bullseye. It’s also associated with Strip or Ribbon Development. Along with the wedges, the residential units and commercial activities will mushroom. Lower-income households are also present that skirt the commercial areas

Example: Islamabad, Karachi, and Amsterdam are some examples of the sectoral model.


Multiple Nuclei Model

As the title suggests, the multiple nuclei model consists of multiple nodules with one CBD at the centre of each. The greater the growth of the city, the more nuclei would emerge. The nuclei stand for small CBD around which other land-use arrangements align. The model was proposed by Edward Ullman and Chauncy Harris, who observed that not all cities fit the centric or sectoral model. Instead, cities consist of multiple regional centres.

The main factor for such nucleic growth is the ease of transportation. More significant movement in the city enables various regional centres to become specialised with their business centres, residential units, heavy industry, etc.  Like in the sectoral model, manufacturing and wholesaling activities are also located near main transportation channels. The heavy industry is located on the outskirts marked by low-income households. Overall, each nucleus attracts population from the surroundings, grows in size with time, and impacts the surrounding land’s value and the mushrooming of commercial and business activities.

Example: Los Angeles and Bahawalpur in Pakistan are some examples. 


Islamabad – A Sectoral City

Islamabad is a sectoral city with five zones and multiple sectors identified by alphabets like I, H, G, E, D, etc. There are four different sub-sectors within each industry, at the centre of which is “Markaz ” aka business centres. However, in this sectoral city, the land use planning has largely avoided housing planning for the low-income groups, the by-product of which is “out-of-the-plan” settlements – slums and squatter settlements. Moreover, if you look at Islamabad’s growth pattern, there is a more comparative increase in population and housing near the main Srinagar Highway and main urban road. Therefore, city planners need to assess the needs of a city properly to apply the best urban structure model for the city. 




Why Town Planning is Important?


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Town Planning is one of the important features of urban cities. As the influx of people in the cities is increasing, the significance of town planning is being felt like never. We are residing in a world where mass consumption, increasing population, shrinking space on the earth, and insensitivity for the water bodies have taken everyone by storm. In the purview of these growing concerns, urban centers can become a suitable tool of inclusive development by incorporating small yet effective strategies in the development of cities. From the earliest period of civilizations, town planning has always remained at the core of the city’s development. through this blog brings forth the significance of town planning in the development of the cities. Cities are the engine of growth, without proper planning, the same urban centers can pose major socio-economic, and environmental issues. 

Town Planning

The concept of Town Planning can be elaborated as a process in which land resources are managed efficiently; the concept of town planning rests on long-term policies which can cater to the needs of the people for a long period. The concept of town planning is not only about managing the physical features of the land rather but also about uplifting the social development of a town.

Before the development of towns, certain predetermined goals are set for making the lives of people convenient and providing them with the liveliest lifestyle. The strategy as determined under the town planning can help to achieve these predetermined goals, thus making cities more open to the latest developments. The following factors will enable a reader to quantify the significance of town planning.

Availability of Amenities

The foremost aspect of town planning is that basic amenities and utilities are easily available. The towns developed in harmony with the rules and regulations have easy access to the public service. This makes a town or a city a more suitable place to live and a desirable place to live. The basic amenities overall define the living standards of the people therefore amenities are amongst the important aspects of town planning. The amenities also correlate with the real estate prices, it has been observed that the prices of those areas are higher that provide basic amenities to the residents.

Impact on Real Estate

Areas that are developed with proper planning and consider the modern techniques are more valuable and offer higher returns on the investment. The investors are keen to invest in those areas where all the merits of town planning are met. Hence, making real estate sector one of the beneficiaries of town planning. Since land management is of utmost priority in town planning dedicated spaces are given for recreational activities, for commercial and residential places which enhances the value of a place. In the same fashion, the planned areas increase in the country, which the government can easily regulate.

Controlled Development

The growing population is exhausting the resources across the world. As Pakistan is already facing a shortage of houses owing to its growing population, town planning as a strategy can help to meet the requirements of the masses most properly. It has been observed that the areas that do not cater to the housing and building regulations often face issues of congestion and unsavory surroundings. This creates problems for authorities and creates hurdles for the government in raising the living standards of people. Moreover, planned towns can accommodate a finite set of people, thus compelling authorities to develop more areas to meet the needs of the growing population.

Disaster Resilience

The impact of natural disasters can be unprecedented, towns that incorporate precautions of natural disasters in their planning are more resilient to natural calamities. Such areas not only protect the precious lives of people rather they also extend a safe investment opportunity. Depending on the climate of a region and its topography, a town planner particularly pays heed to these factors to avert and minimise the impacts in case of a disaster. Particularly in the monsoon season, many urban areas of Pakistan that do not fulfill the criteria of town planning often get flooded. To avoid the impacts of a natural disaster, town planning can prove handy.


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