Before You Leave Home To Go Roam
If this is your first time traveling abroad, or maybe you just need a refresher here’s a list of 20 tips you should do or bring on your trip. Sometimes the most obvious is the first thing you overlook.
Security & Health
1. Be patient and learn to go with the flow. Seriously - your trip will be much more enjoyable if you just roll with it. Yes an itinerary is important but don't hold yourself to the second. Take the day as it comes.
2. Make copies of your passport. Doesn't hurt to have a copy or a photo saved on your phone of your passport in the event you lose it.
3. Check-in with your doctor and insurance carrier. Double check and make sure that you have all of the proper vaccinations and that you have renewed all essential prescriptions.
4. Bring a lock bag or something to secure your valuables. We picked up a Loctote Flak Sac before a recent trip to Tulum, MX and couldn't have been happier. We were able to lock the bag to trees or beach chairs and enjoy the water not having to worry someone would run off with our bag full of cash, phones, and passports.
5. Look up the monetary conversion before you go. Knowing your exchange rate helps the shock of understand the cost of a bag of chips being 500 pesos.
6. Let your bank know you are traveling. We’ve been in areas of no cell phone coverage and our credit card get denied for ‘fraud’
7. Exchange your money before you go. We are not fans of big banks but one plus side to some of the larger banks is they offer a free currency exchange if you order in advance.
8. Cash is King - always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards. Especially less developed countries. Places like trains, buses, and cabs may only accept cash.
9. Research your destination. Don't rely on just one website. Fully engulf yourself in trying to learn as much as you can about the area you are traveling to in order to maximize the time there.
10. Check the weather. Contrary to popular belief it is not always sunny in California. There is a rainy season and it can reach 40 degrees at night.
11. Buy tickets now for places you know you want to visit or see. By buying in advance you’ll be able to skip more lines, and find more deals targeted toward you.
12. Plan to wake up early. Yes - EARLY... Its not what you may think of when it comes to 'vacation' but getting an early start to the day will help avoid the tourist crowds. We had gone to see Chichen Itza ruins at the crack of dawn. There was no one around - no one in our photos & we had the best time being able to explore without bumping into people or waiting in a line to take a photo. On our way out (about 10a) there were 14 coach busses arriving unloading passengers.
13. Research events going on while you’re there. This will help you make sure that you’re not missing the best events going on in the city — fun things like festivals, ceremonies and natural events. Also lets you know what areas to avoid if you don't want crowds.
14. Bring a charger adapter. Countries have different size plugs and voltage - best to check before you go
15. Check the voltage of your electronics. From my own experience I know that nothing is worse than having an adapter and still not being able to use a blow-dryer or a straightener because the voltage isn’t high enough for that country. Also, who wants to carry around that extra weight?
16. Activate your phone’s global capabilities. There’s usually a charge for doing this, but it is much less than the roaming charges you’ll get if you don’t.
17. Download Google Maps app. You can pre-download maps of a region you are traveling to in the 'offline mode'. This way you know where you are going without using your data.
18. Pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on bag. Lost luggage does happen especially on tight connections.
19. To check a bag or not to check bag. Each airline has its own set of guidelines as to how many bags can be checked or carried on for free. Make sure to look up what your airline’s rules are to avoid any incremental fees.
20. Bring snacks. Traveling abroad is fun, but eating in a foreign country can sometimes become a task and hard on your stomach. Bring small snacks that will tide you over until you find that perfect restaurant or food cart.