7 Tips For Traveling Abroad
Are you ready to travel? We know there are a lot of things you have to check off before you can head out of the country, starting with planning the vacation itself! Once you do know where you’re going, and the time frame, take these 7 steps to ensure maximum preparedness for this dream vacation abroad!
1. Check Your Passport!
This is the first and most important thing you need to check! Is your passport up to date? Can you leave the country -- or more importantly can you get back in! Don’t just check to make sure your passport is within date as of today, but check to make sure it’s good through your whole trip. Don’t get stuck abroad with an old passport, it will make coming home very difficult. You can renew your passport at your local post office or by mailing in the required forms found at government websites.
2. Pack Wisely
Plan ahead! Know what you’re getting into on your vacation. Research what sort of amenities are available. Will you be able to wash clothes while you’re away? Or do you need to plan outfits for the entire trip? The lighter you can make your traveling bag the happier you will be. Make sure to pack your necessities, versatile outfits that can transform into multi-day use looks, and a minimum of extra comforts like a computer, books, a neck pillow, etc. Pack an extra bag as well -- we all know shopping is more fun in other countries! And don’t forget a multi-country adaptor and a power strip so you can recharge your electronics.
3. Check Your Phone Plan
Speaking of electronics: make sure your phone plan works abroad. Some phone companies have packages for traveling out of the states, and some won’t work at all. Don’t be surprised by a phone bill with horrendous charges. Better yet, buy a disposable, prepaid phone once you arrive. This way there’s no hassle with checking with your carrier and figuring out something new or different.
4. Alert Your Bank and Credit Card Companies
Make sure your bank and credit card companies know you’re going to be heading abroad. This way when you’re making large purchases you won’t be denied because they think someone’s making fraudulent charges with your card. Ask about their policies on currency exchanges as well. You may be surprised with what you find out and be inspired to think ahead to the next tip:
5. Take Out Cash
Take out cash! Before you leave for your trip make sure to make out as much money as you feel comfortable carrying with you. This will save you so much money in the long run! Only use your credit cards for large or emergency purchases. With ATM fees and currency exchanges through credit purchases it’s best to have all the cash you’ll need on hand. For more savvy money exchanges keep an eye on the exchange rates the months leading to your trip. If they look like they favor the dollar buy when you can. You might be able to squeeze a bit more purchasing power with your money!
6. Download Travel and Translator Apps
Almost everyone these days has a smartphone -- so use it! Test out several travel and translator apps to see which one fits your style best and keep it on the ready. Technology has made traveling through foreign countries with different languages easier than ever. You can pack lighter, access information within seconds, and have confidence in conversations all with your phones.
7. Plan Transportation in Advance
Look ahead at the cities you’ll be staying in and see what sort of mass or public transportation is available. If you’re traveling through several countries look to the train systems to get you around, but if you’re planning on staying in one city maybe renting a bike is best. Maybe you’re heading to a special event and want a personal driver or limo -- you know, these are the things you want to look into before heading on your dream vacation!
I guess the best tip we can give you is to book with the best travel planners out there: FlyGrilTravel.com! We’ve been around and experienced traveling on a budget and offer these experiences for you too. Don’t let traveling be daunting. Once you’ve got a taste, you’ll find it’s easy to travel more! Take that first step and check your passport, then get down to planning that trip!