The day has finally come. You are taking that trip you always planned on but never expected. You are finally getting to go overseas, whether it’s a journey across the pond to the United Kingdom. Or deeper into Europe to such places as Prague or Germany, Italy, or Spain. You are destined for the trip of a lifetime. The world is now your playground. But first, you must make sure you take care of the essentials.
Taking that journey is an important aspect of life. It tells us the entire world is not right outside our doorstep, but rather all around us. It makes us appreciate the finer things of culture and the past, historical information, and even current events. Leaving your familiar surroundings puts things into perspective. Smart worldwide roaming, however, is a must.
Before You Leave on Your Trip:
Before you leave for your trip overseas, there are some essential tasks to take care of.
Passport: Make sure it isn’t expired. You will want to bring copies with you (just in case it gets lost or stolen). And also have an extra backup. Leave a copy at home with someone you trust or store an electronic copy.
Check with your insurance: make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations. Also, you want to make sure your insurance provider covers you when you are overseas.
Check for travel advisories and warnings: register with the embassy just in case there is an issue when you are in the country. This will make it easier for your government to contact you and get you to safety.
Money: Contact your bank and let them know you are traveling overseas. Check the monetary conversion before you leave on your trip. Prepare your finances by making sure you understand the currency exchange rate. You will also want to make sure your credit card will work in the country you are visiting. Most places have switched to a more secure chip-and-PIN technology, and fewer places are accepting outdated cards with magnetic-strips
Avoid the conversion center at the airport (they tend to rip you off). Instead, go to a bank or ATM in the country you’re visiting. They will charge you fewer fees, and the conversion will be exact. Always have cash from the country you are visiting. Some places will not take credit cards. Lastly, see if the country you are visiting requires an entrance or exit fee.
Electronics: Get all of the necessary gear for your electronics and make sure your cell phone is set up for international calling or texting. Bring a charger that will work in the plug in the country you are visiting. Most other countries have different sizes of plugs and voltage. Activate your phone’s global capabilities, so you don’t get charged a roaming fee.
Mail: Secure your mail by contacting your local santafe post office. You can set up to have the post office hold your mail while you’re out of the country. Then have a regular mail service resume once you’re back.
See What the World Has to Offer:
Take in what the world has to offer you. There are millions of things to see outside of your normal life. Check out the vast array of botany in the world, including flowers you have never seen before. Beyond what the world is offering, perhaps you want to see something more seasonal. Check out the best way to enjoy your seasonal vacation, such as a winter getaway.
Before traveling overseas, you might want to do some local research.
Buy tickets in advance for places you want to visit or see. This will allow you to skip lines, and you might also be able to find deals.
Invest in a guidebook or two. Guidebooks will have maps and give you detail about the best places to eat, attractions to visit, etc.
You should also look to see if any events are happening while you are there. See the best the city has to offer and enjoy local festivals, ceremonies, or other activities.
Before you head out on your trip, you want to make sure you are fully prepared. This will start by packing everything you will need on your journey.
If you are checking luggage, you will want to back an extra set of clothes in your carry-on (just in case your best checked luggage gets lost or delayed!)
Decide if you are going to check bags
Every airline has their own set of guidelines
Check to see if there are extra fees for checking luggage or weight restrictions on the plane you are flying on
Pack snacks: traveling to a foreign country can be challenging if you are unsure what to eat when you are there. Pack some extra snacks just in case!
Knowledge is the key to enjoying your next vacation, and nothing is more important than preparation. When making the list of the things you need to do before leaving for that once-in-a-lifetime trip, make sure to always be checking. Don’t expect to head into a trip with one-day preparation time. It just won’t happen that way. You need to spend time and make a journal of everything you do throughout the day. This way, when you start purchasing items for your trip, you have some idea of what to include.
Final Thoughts: Live in the Moment
Think about being put in a situation where you have no clue as to what to do, and you’re in a location where you know no one. What would your first move be? What you would purchase? These are the things you want on your list. Start putting yourself in different situations.
Perhaps you’re at a restaurant where they are serving things you’ve never heard of before. Beyond a language barrier between yourself and the servers, you have to understand what the food is. It’s always a great idea to understand the language before going to a location. Read up on the country. Learn what it has to offer, and you will find yourself a much happier traveler.
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