Traveling to a new country can be one of the most fulfilling experiences of your life. Unfortunately, simple mistakes can make the experience one of your worst experiences as well. Traveling is also quite expensive, so not enjoying the trip would mean that you’ve wasted a lot of money. Instead of repeating my mistakes, it would be better to learn from my blunders. Here are some useful tips that will ensure your next trip is even more enjoyable:
Heavy luggage and large, crowded airports are a bad combination. It is a well known fact that we often pack far more than we need. Travelling light makes it easy to navigate strange new environments. Purchasing smaller suitcases will force you to be disciplined and scale down. A simple rule of thumb is to ensure you pack items that can be worn or used more than once. Plus, you’re on vacation! You can totally recycle your outfits.
2.Check Travel Restrictions
Getting checked at the airport is enough of a hassle without you accidentally packing restricted items in your luggage. Many have missed their flights or have been significantly delayed because of this simple mistake. Don’t assume that you already know the restrictions because you have travelled to that destination before. These restrictions change quite often. Also, even if the item is prohibited in one country, does not guarantee that your items will not be confiscated elsewhere.
3.Have an Emergency Fund
Always prepare for the worst. Your luggage can get lost or you may have to fork out a little more for transportation than you expected. The last thing you want on your vacation is to run out of cash. An emergency fund or an extra card can save you from a lot of inconvenience and embarrassment.
4.Talk to Your Bank
Banks have been stepping up how they monitor our cards in order to protect us from cases of fraud. Credit and debit card fraud is on the rise, so banks go all out to protect both themselves and their customers. Unfortunately, banks usually flag any transaction that is done outside your country. This could mean that your card could be blocked if they notice that you have suddenly started to buy a lot of food in Mexico, although you live in New York. Simply advising them that you will be travelling will ensure they do not become alarmed when they notice your purchases outside the country.
It is also good to speak to your bank about the additional fees that will be incurred when you travel. Purchases in some countries may attract a lot less fees than they would in other countries. Some new travelers have actually maxed out their credit cards on bank fees. Please don’t let that happen to you.
5.Be Careful with Your Valuables
Getting robbed will certainly put a damper on your trip. Sadly, thieves seem to prey on tourists. Oftentimes we get so caught in the beauty of the destination, that we forget that not everyone we meet has our best interest at heart. Avoid keeping all your money in one place and don’t even think about wearing a money belt. If you must travel with cash, carry only what you will need for each activity. Use your credit or debit card as often as possible and keep your cash out of view. Hotel safes may be a good idea but finding unexpected ways to hide your valuables would be best.
6.Learn the Basics of the Language
This might seem like an extra chore, but emergencies can pop up at anytime these days. Even if you intend to visit a country where English is widely spoken, in an emergency, you may find it very difficult to communicate or get assistance. Learning the basics of the language is also a great way to make new friends wherever you go.
7.Be Careful While Roaming
Nothing says vacation like being hit with a ridiculous phone bill after returning home. Roaming rates are usually a lot higher than your usual rates but you can easily avoid the excessive phone bill if you turn off your data. Spend some time researching free Wi-Fi hotspots so that you will still be able to keep in touch.
Traveling can be a fun and exciting way to experience new sights and cultures first-hand. It can also be a somewhat stressful event, especially if you feel under prepared. Keep the tips above in mind as you get ready for your next trip to keep it as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.