Traveling abroad has a lot of elements that go beyond the research to find the ideal destination. or even get the best deals around. Once all is set and you are ready to embark on your dream vacation there are still a few steps you need to take in order to thoroughly enjoy it. It would be a shame to pay so much for a simple mistake. Some situations are inevitable but proper planning can make your life a bit easier in the long run. Lucky for you I have rounded up some hacks to save you time and effort.
Here are some of the travel hacks I found extremely helpful throughout all of my research. I will be doing all of these travel hacks to ensure smooth sailing for my upcoming dream getaway.
1) Travel Light
While it may be tempting to take epic vacation pics with an array of outfits for your social media feeds you need to be realistic. Be intentional with your items and only curate wardrobe pieces that can be worn more than once. Traveling abroad is a long journey that may require a several layovers and airplane changes. Best to pack light instead of having to haul around luggage from gate to gate. The longer the trip the heavier of a burden your luggage will become.
Make the most out of your pieces by choosing versatile pieces. I find that when I have too many options it will take me forever to get ready. Get creative and prep outfit ahead of time so you can focus on enjoying the moment and not stressing about your outfit. The last thing you want to worry about is creating an outfit when you can be enjoying your destination.
2) Catalog Your Equipment
The excitement of a trip abroad can be exhilarating. The sheer emotion of finally heading out on your dream vacation after months of planning can get the best of you. We may forget some essentials at home or even what we actually packed.
No problem, emotion can get the best of us but you can stay ahead of the curve. Make sure you plan for any unexpected situations by documenting what valuables you will be taking with you in case you need to file an insurance claim. Personally I prefer to travel with items (jewelry, shades, purses, etc) that are not expensive so if they get lost in transit I will not be crushed.
Take pictures and create a digital list of all the electronic equipment such as camera, laptop and any other device you will take with you. It is important to include any serial numbers or detail unique to that item. Keep a copy on your computer, in the cloud such as Google Drive or Dropbox and email the completed list out to yourself. This will not only create a time stamp to validate your trip by documenting ahead of time and but it will make filing your insurance claim as smooth as possible.
While your at it take a picture of your actual luggage and passport. This will come in handy if anything were to happen to either of these items. A picture of your passport should also be shared with a relative or you in case of emergency. Being prepared and thorough can really help you if you are in an unexpected situation.
3) Reach Out To Your Bank & Card Holders
Avoid any unnecessary money issues with your bank and credit card companies before you set foot outside your country. Make sure you call them ahead of time and let them know you will be traveling abroad. Share all the information regarding your trip including departure and arrival dates in each specific country. They will immediately be able to prep and make notes in the system so your accounts will not be flagged. The last thing you want to do is find yourself in a foreign country without any money.
Research international rates too during this call if possible to understand what charges you may incur when using those cards abroad. The conversation rates for purchases varies by card and date depending on the ever changing market. Your bank can provide the option to obtain the necessary currency before you even reach the airport. This process may take several days so make sure to call ahead to arrange this service. It may be easier to take some cash in the currency of your destination for smaller purchases. I strongly recommended you brush up on the particular conversion of that country so you know what to expect when making any purchases.
4) Call Your Cell Carrier
International calls are very expensive and can rack up that cell phone bill to a whole new level. Just answering the call to tell someone you can’t talk will cost you. Most cellphone carriers offer special text rates for international travel. This will at least allow for communication via if you prefer to use your mobile but I suggest using Whatsapp. This is a free app that permits communication via call and text message to others that have the app. It can be used with WiFi so it doesn’t require cellular data use. WhatsApp is a great alternative to spending money on a text message plan. Make sure your cellular data is shut off and your phone is only set to WiFi so you don’t end up using your plan. This can be an expensive mistake you don’t want to make.
5) Easily Communicate Everywhere
I discovered the Google Translate app which lets you decipher signs easily. I have yet to test this out but looking forward to using it in Greece and Montenegro. I suggest you download and install on your phone before you even leave your house. Take advantage of your WiFi network to get that done as soon as possible. Better to get that out of the way to make sure it is correctly installed on your device of choice.
Learning a new language can be difficult and time consuming when you are on a time crunch but at least take the time to learn the basics. Brush up on the most common phrases of the country you will be visiting. To complement the app I have obtained the tried and true phrases to use in these countries what will allow me to interact with the locals. Flat out excited about learning some new things 😀
The quintessential questions we all ponder is directly related to the bathroom, food, beverages or just directional. I don’t know about you but when you gotta go you gotta go so for me that is of the utmost importance.
All in all I am still getting some things out of the way but I still can’t believe I will be traveling soon. Somehow the trip doesn’t seem real yet. Expecting to receive some of the travel items this week such as the universal charger, the RFID wallets and external charger. Hope this trip finally sinks in soon but in the meantime I will concentrate on other items of my to do list to keep my busy.
Join me on my journey!