Tips for a Well Prepared Trip Abroad

3 Mar

There are lots of websites that offer tips on what to do to prepare for a trip and what to make sure you bring when you travel. I like to think when I took my first international that I did research to see what kinds things are important to know and what types of things I needed to bring. I felt like when I got there a couple of those items fell short. I know everyone is different too and a lot of things that people bring are going to be up to the individual. But here are a couple of things that I wish I would’ve brought or known about when I traveled internationally and plan to be aware of and bring on my next trip.

Need to remember to bring:

  1. Bring a watch. If you’re anything like me you use your phone for the time. When I was traveling I didn’t even want to see my phone because I really wanted to just be on vacation and, well, not be on my phone.
  2. Bring snacks. Visiting another country can be very exciting but at the same time eating out EVERY meal can be a little much and cost a lot of money. Having power bars or something to hold you over, can help for in between meals. Not to mention, there’s nothing quite like eating food you’re familiar with when you’re used to trying new things almost every meal.
  3. Sleeping pills can really help get much needed sleep, either on the plane or once you land. Jet lag is a true reality when traveling to another country and having sleeping pills can help you get into a routine quicker than not having them.
  4. Wash cloths. This may seem like a weird one, but I’ve heard in most European countries wash cloths aren’t customary (and they weren’t in Ireland). So if you’re someone who likes to use a wash cloth every day I recommend bringing some with you.
  5. Plastic bags and plastic baggies. These can come in handy with dirty clothes (and wash cloths for that matter). I recommend the plastic baggies for toiletry items and ensuring you’re keeping liquids separate from the rest of your things.

Need to know:

  1. Be aware of currency conversions and keep an eye on how it changes prior to your trip.  I recommend converting your money (possibly through your bank) before your trip because you may find yourself paying conversion fees in the country you’re visiting. There could be the opportunity to save some money.
  2. Research, research, research. This one is pretty obvious, but I think it’s important to have a general idea of where and what you want to do, so you’re not wasting a bunch of time figuring out what you’d like to see when you’re there. At the same time, asking locals wherever you’re traveling is a really great way to find great things to do that might not be easily found on the internet. We did this in Ireland and it REALLY paid off when the B&B we stayed at recommended traveling on the Burren coastal highway. It was one of the most beautiful areas in Ireland we saw.
  3. Lastly, call your bank and let them know you will be traveling and give the dates and where you will be visiting, this way they don’t cancel your card because they think your purchases are “fraudulently charged”. We did this before we left but they still cancelled our VISA debit card. So my recommendation is to bring another card, such as a credit card as a backup. I know some credit cards offer points for purchases, which might be nice to buy everything from your trip on that card and just pay it off when you’re home. This way you are getting all those points for your next trip!

Hope you find these tips valuable! And thank you for reading! Please follow me on Twitter @LindseyAgrellas and follow my blog for more information on international travel.

Image

Told by Irish locals to drive the Burren coastal highway. Glad we did – it was beautiful!

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One Response to “Tips for a Well Prepared Trip Abroad”

  1. Tatiana Chaker April 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    These tips will definitely come in handy the next time I travel! The advice you give about calling your bank and letting them know is something I forgot to do when I went to Spain and my credit card was blocked. Now I know better for next time!
    Thanks for the tips!

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