It’s officially summer folks, which means a lot of us are traveling. Having recently come back from an extensive overseas trip, I have some valuable tips that I want to share with you if you are planning on traveling this season:
Don’t forget your passport. This is probably the most important identification you will have for your trip. Make sure you allow enough time to get a new or renewed passport if need be.
2. Pack Light
With the hikes in baggage prices, avoid overpacking your bags.
3. Exchange your Money before you Leave
The exchange companies overseas will charge fees like you have never seen before. Please avoid them by all costs (pun intended). Also, get a list from your bank of their affiliations with any other bank in the country you are traveling to so you can easily retrieve money without high-cost fees and exchange rates.
Do your research on any country you are visiting. I can’t emphasize this enough. A lot of countries all over the world operate differently from us in the United States. There are so many blogs, book stores, google maps, and review sites like Trip Advisor and travel agents out there that can assist with all the information you will need for your upcoming trip. Use these resources; it’s so vital.
Probably the most important piece of paper you will have is an itinerary or a breakdown of how your trip should go (even though a few changes may occur). Make sure to have a list of places you are visiting, dates, hotel names and addresses, phone numbers, confirmations, etc. Everything you will need to survive while out of the country should be included on this list.
6. Download Important Apps
There are amazing travel apps out there for smartphone users. On my recent trip to Europe, I downloaded “What’s App” as a means of texting and MagicJack to make international phone calls to my family for free. It’s amazing what you can discover on the App Store.
7. Know the basics
If you are traveling to a country that speaks a foreign language, know the basics words such as hello, good-bye, how much? Where’s the bathroom? So you can communicate with the locals
8. Maps of Train Systems
I think it’s very important to get familiar with different countries’ metro systems (before traveling) so you won’t get lost or overwhelmed. Also using the trains can help save money on otherwise expensive taxicabs.
9. Beware of Pickpockets and Robbers
It seems as if tourists have an invisible sign on their forehead which says “ROB ME.” Some people can spot a tourist from a mile away and with that being said, it’s always wise to be cautious of your belongings, your purse if you are a lady and your passport. You would never want an ideal vacation to go sour because something was stolen from you…what a nightmare.
10. Be Open-Minded
Indulging in another culture unlike your own could be frightening. However, you have to go into an experience wanting to take it to the fullest. Let your hair down and enjoy the lifestyle of foreign cultures. Try different foods, dance in the streets, sleep in, relax and just enjoy life. You never know what you will learn and you may also discover, people across the world are just like you in a lot of ways.