20 travel tips and advice to make your foreign travel effortless
While I was in the process of researching and planning a big trip to Eastern Europe and traveling all the way to Turkey, I spent a lot of time planning and researching for this trip and learning many things to make sure the adventure was going to be smooth and effortless in spite of the different logistics and challenges in this journey. In doing the research, I’ve also compiled a few great travel planning and tips for foreign travel that can be used as a guideline every time I travel abroad.
I typically go through this as a checklist when I travel to a new destination or a remote foreign location. Hopefully this will give you some good pointers and you may also do your own check list.
In no particular order, here are some of my travel planning and tips for foreign travel:
1) Any and all documents for travel including itinerary, passport copies, flight information, hotel reservations, car rental or transport reservations and related documents are stored into a hard copy disk and on my cell phone. I also have copies on my laptop along with saving this on my email account to use remotely as an additional back up.
2) For foreign travel to remote places or trouble prone areas, I usually would register with my local embassy so they can have any contact information and my where-about in traveling to that destination. Also copies of my itinerary are given to close family or friends to keep track of my locations and as above are copied to my disk and online sites to send to anyone quickly. last, I check out various online sites for current country developments or typical problems to look out for when traveling to a specific country. Last, leave copies of your itinerary, visas and passport with someone that you can trust and they can be contacted for an emergency.
3) Get your finances set up including notifying your credit cards of where you are traveling and getting those approved, calling your bank about using your ATM and charges for foreign debits, also find out the conversion rate to your destinations and last, decide if you want to get travelers checks for your trip.
4) Check on any vaccination requirements, contacting your medical provider for insurance coverage for your travel. Also, check for current prescriptions if you plan on using them abroad.
5) Make sure to check for that particular country’s entry requirement or restriction getting a visa and check for the maximum length of stay per country. If a visa is required, make sure to have ample time to process the Visa or find out where an on site visa can be acquired and if local currency is required. Last, check to see if there is entry and exit fee, you may need the local currency to pay for those charges before you enter or exit that country.
6) Start researching places that you will be visiting and buy tickets in advance for popular attractions, group site visits or city visits so you can get discounts purchasing in advance and you will also be saving a lot of time from waiting in long lines at the site. This also includes your lodgings, transportation locally and food/restaurant venues. Try to book most of these in advanced so you can save time and money on your travels.
7) Start to download the travel apps that you would like to bring with you so you will not need to download them when you are abroad. It’s better to have the apps available on your device instead of downloading in the foreign country and paying roaming fees. Here’s a list of popular travel apps to have on your trip.
8) In searching for cheaper flights use international consolidator search sites like Kayak.com, Travelzoo and Skyscanner. When you enter your flight requirements, the search will feed out to other search engines to find the best price. Also register with your airlines frequent flyer program to find out on special deals or cheaper that may be offered to a place you might consider traveling to.
9) Along with researching online for popular attractions, look for any interesting events that maybe happening, cultural programs that you would like to see or a specific hobby or interest that you might like to visit while you are at that destination. Check out the tourist boards to see what popular events might coincide with your particular visit to that location and try to arrange to include this in your itinerary.
10) Check in with all the airline guidelines for checked baggage and carry-ons, weights, total size and allowable quantities and other restrictions. Look at all the fees airlines charge to decide if you should use a discount carrier or the national carrier which usually offers more services and amenities. Check for entry requirements and any transfer details if you are changing to a regional carrier.
11) Make sure to have all your electronic gear and accessories in order. placing most of your accessories like battery chargers, cables, adapters, media cards in one case is ideal. Make sure to pack these into your hand carry. Also check for local voltage for your electrical devices.
12) Look at travel insurance, most people don’t consider this but if there are accidents or circumstances that need immediate attention while you are travelling then having travel insurance is a good thing to have.
13) Try to get immersed in some of the basics of that particular country by learning some easy phrases, popular dishes and maybe pick up a historical or current book about that country to understand the culture and traditions of that country you will be visiting.
14) While researching your country, make sure to familiarize yourself with local conditions, traditions and laws. While you are visiting that country, you are subject to its laws.
15) For cell or tablet use abroad make sure you activate your global capabilities or find out if there are any special programs offered with your provider. Check to see if you can use a local sim card from your provider. For wifi access, check which popular travel sites that may offer free wifi when you travel. This includes many international brands like McDonald’s, 7-11 and Starbucks. Try to find out ahead of time what the access requirements are for wifi services at these fast food establishments or if you just need a password from that establishment.
16) In packing for a trip always decide on which items should be on your carry-on, including an extra set of clothes. Decide if it’s worth having checked suitcases or just a carry-on for your travels. Bringing some snacks for the trip is always nice to have for long trips and for sharing with new friends.
17) If you are driving at the foreign destination, find out if you will be required to have an international driving license or if you can use your current license for a short timeframe. Find out I your local insurance or any credit cards covers foreign travel and if it is worth the extra cost or extra coverage.
18) On the home front, save energy by turning off those appliances or electronics that use energy even while they are not actively being used. Put devices on an electric strip that you can control. Make sure to plan on any house sitting, lawn mowing services or just asking the neighbor to pick up your letters and watch the home while you are traveling.
19) Learn about the local transportation methods in the country you are visiting. Understanding the trains, metro and bus services will save you money and time if you get to research this in advance. It’s also fun to master a local transportation method and hang out with a lot of locals in one spot.
20) Dress well, whether at the airport, checking into a hotel or dining out, it’s nice to have something nice to wear. You will be more respected and occasionally can get upgraded for your dressed performances in any venue you visit.
If you use this as a checklist for your travels abroad, you will have covered the basis of planning for your foreign travel abroad and be assured that you have covered most of the major details. If you follow these 20 travel tips, you can rest assure that most of your travel plans will go off very well. If you also have any more tips and details, please do share them with my readers in the comments section below.
Here’s to a fantastic and safe travel adventure filled with gorgeous sunrises like the one below!
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