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Top Tips for Traveling Internationally

Jan 5, 17 • Travel tips1 CommentRead More »

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Traveling abroad truly requires the most careful of preparations. Whether you are going as a tourist or for business purposes, there are certain things you have to keep in mind as you visit different countries.

This is a short list of some essential things you should not forget to bring as you fly to a foreign land.

1. Passport. First off, be sure to bring our passport along with several copies of it. Accidentally losing your passport can be a difficult experience you should always try to avoid. You may keep digital copies of this important document for backup purposes, too. That way, you will have no problems returning back to your country once your trip is over.

2. Cash. Bringing cash is also a must as you go for international travels. It can be a good idea to check about the monetary conversion so you can prepare the right amount. Take note that not all establishments accept credit cards that’s why carrying local cash can go a long way.

3. Guidebook. Staying in an unfamiliar place doesn’t have to be a headache with the help of a nice guidebook. This one provides you with maps and information you can use as you move from one location to another.

4. Adapter. You might as well bring an adapter for your electronic devices. If you can research about what plugs and voltage are allowed in the country you’re visiting, then that will be for your best advantage. That way, you can be sure that your gadgets will be charged whenever the batteries run out.

5. Extra clothes. While traveling “lightly” is always highly recommended, never make the mistake of bringing lesser than what you actually need. Moreover, you may consider putting your extra clothes inside your carry-on bag. This is a safety precaution that you can do to make sure that you have something to wear just in case your luggage is inadvertently lost.

6. Snacks. This advice specifically applies if you are someone who’s not too keen about trying out foreign foods. Yes, you may stumble upon good restaurants sooner or later but until then, having snacks from home is always the way to go to satisfy your hunger.

7. Medications. Make it a point to take good care of your health while you are away. Bring enough quantity of your medications because some of them may not be available outside your country.

Other than having these must-haves at hand, you also have to observe certain precautions in order to avoid any problems. For example, you should obtain as much information as you can about the country such as its local laws, culture, weather conditions, and more. This will allow you to fit in and make any necessary adjustments. Also, try researching about the safety of the specific area you will be visiting. You have to know which locations are safe or not. If you can find out about common crimes and scams, then you have higher chances of avoiding these risks.

When going outdoors, try not to wear expensive jewelry because they are very attractive to thieves. The same rule applies for displaying high end gadgets such as cameras, smartphones, laptops, and others.

 

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One Response to Top Tips for Traveling Internationally

  1. Pax says:

    I travel a lot, mostly for business, but the same rules mostly apply.

    I’d like to add some comments.

    1. NEVER use other than official taxi’s, even if there is a long line of people waiting and someone comes to you and tell you they have a great offer for you and you can get a taxi at once. There is a reason people are waiting in line, and though you would mostly get where you want to, you will pay several times what the official taxi’s will charge you.

    2. Use TripIt on your smartphone. First of all, it’s great because you have everything neatly in one place, and I use it a lot at check in at aiports, at hotel check in, and also when showing the taxi driver where I want to go. It saves you from going through a lot of papers and even if you should lose everything – you can still log on to TripIt from any computer to retrieve your information. It is also extremely useful when taxi drivers don’t really know where your hotel is, as you can start the GPS and maps with a few simple clicks (provided you have roaming on, but roaming costs are going down dramatically these days in most countries). It is amazing how many taxi drivers have an aversion to using GPS, and this has helped me many times to get safely to my hotel.

    3. Trip Advisor is also a great tool, and even if you don’t have roaming you can use it on the WiFi of your hotel, and you will find the good restaurants and places to see easily.

    4. When in Rome, do like the Romans. Blend in with the locals and bear in mind that the best restaurants are those where the locals go. You are visiting a different culture, so like they said in the article – be prepared and know the basics before you go there. A small example, if a woman greets a man in Spain, even for the first time, she will kiss you on both cheeks, in Portugal three times etc. Be aware of these things and if you are a woman you’re expected to greet people in a similar fashion. If you are unaware of these things you may end up looking like an idiot, or even worse, not expect the third kiss on the cheek in Portugal and end up kissing the lady on her mouth, which is extremely embarassing. Be humble, and know that you are in their country and have to adapt to that. Don’t expect to be treated like you are at home, and admit up front that you don’t know everything and people will in general treat you like family and try to teach you everything about their country and their culture. A wonderful way of learning and making friends.

    5. Restaurants. Never go to a restaurant in the tourist areas in any city. Get some blocks away and look for locals. If one restaurant is full of locals and the one next to it nearly empty you should go to the one that’s crowded. The food will be a lot better and cheaper. Another thing, any restaurant that has a menu more than two pages long should be avoided at all cost. No chef can master that many different dishes and they will all taste more or less the same and not very good. A restaurant that loves food will always have a short menu, but each and every dish will be cooked to perfection. And ask the waiter for advice, what’s the restaurant’s speciality – in 9 out of 10 restaurants this will be the perfect choice, and the best restaurants (and they don’t have to be expensive at all) will decide on the wines to accompany your dishes too. Never argue with them if they do, matching wine and food is an art, and they will know exactly what they are doing if they offer this.

    6. In nearly every country and city there are places it’s safe to go and places you should avoid. If you don’t know where these areas are ask the people in the reception and they will be happy to help you. It is better to ask one time too many than to end up where you shouldn’t be. In some countries I’ve ended up hiring a car and a driver when I know I’m in an area that is not touristic and where ther are some very dangerous places, this applies to some cities in Mexico for instance. I know this sounds expensive if you are young and travel, but the cost of a driver is not that high and can save you some very unpleasant experiences.

    7. Expired credit card. In some places I carry an expired credit card along with some cash in my shirt pocket. This is in case I am robbed, I can spare the money, but at least they won’t get anything from my credit card. Fortunately, after more than 200 trips abroad to around 35 countries I have never been robbed on the streets, but if I’m in an area that carries some risk I use this trick. I stuff my smartphone and real credit card and cash in other pockets where people usually don’t put smartphones and cash. Usually, if you’re not drunk or act like you own the world and expect anyone else to behave ‘your way’ you’ll usually be good. Be kind and polite, smile and embrace the culture. That keeps you more safe than anything.

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