Travel Tips

Traveling can be the time of your life, but it was also be incredibly stressful. Plans are at the mercy of things beyond your control, like weather or flight schedules or world events, and those can all change at a moment’s notice. Seasoned travelers know that the best way to prepare for the random challenges of wandering the world is to roll with the punches and have an easy-going attitude towards their trips, but they also follow some hard and fast rules to make sure they get the most out of the journey. Follow these 10 steps to have prepare for anything to happen, and to have fun while it does!

  1. Don’t assume that all you need is a valid passport to enter a specific country. Many require that your passport not be a few months from expiring, and some won’t accept it up to a full year before it does! Also, some countries require other paperwork like visas just to enter, so be sure you know the requirements for each location you visit.
  2. Check your cell phone and data plans to make sure you won’t rack up exorbitant fees for using it out of the country, and if you will, get a cheap pay-as-you-go phone for the trip!
  3. Don’t exchange your currency at the airport! Airports know that people hop off the plane in a new place and panic because they don’t have cash in their pockets right away, so they drive up the exchange rate. Unless you immediately need cash, wait to visit a bank or other exchange location.
  4. Know what the different airline policies of your trip are, so that you’re aware of how much it will cost you to change a ticket. You might have an emergency – or want to stay longer! – and you don’t want to end up paying a pretty penny to move your flight.
  5. Overpacking fees can be hefty, and there’s nothing worse than lugging a lot of unnecessary junk around on your vacation. Make sure you only pack what you need!
  6. Bring copies of all your important documents, and make sure you leave copies behind with a trusted friend. You never know what you’ll lose along the way.
  7. Make sure to tell your bank that you’re leaving so they don’t do that pesky (but important!) step of shutting off your cards because they think someone abroad is stealing your identity.
  8. Don’t overplan your trip. The best memories come from being able to explore a new place freely, and you can’t do that if you have to see every single landmark in the area.
  9. Along with #8, take time to chat up the locals and spend time in their establishments. You’ll learn the most about a place by talking to the people who really live there.
  10. Finally, research the local customs and traditions. It can be easy for inexperienced travelers to accidentally irritate or offend citizens of their host countries by making a rude hand gesture or offering to tip at a restaurant. Look up what’s polite, memorize the words for please and thank you, and remember, a smile goes a long way!