Our Travel Tips

International Travel Tips

Tips for the first time traveler travelling abroad or maybe you are a seasoned traveler just in need of a refresher: here we go….things you should do and things you should take along during your trip.

Money Matters!

  • Look up the monetary conversion before you go. Make sure you do your math before you travel to get a sense of where the conversion rate is at and how much cash you will need to cover your round trip.
  • When you arrive in the country of your destination, go to a bank or ATM in the country you’re visiting. The conversion centers in the airport or around the city tend to be huge rip-offs. You won’t get charged as many fees at the ATM or the bank, and the conversion will be exact.
  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards, especially public facilities like trains or buses and most local restaurants….if you want to dine like a local.
  • Call your bank or credit card provider. Sometimes banks think that fraud maybe occurring if transactions are suddenly happening in Johannesburg when you’re from New York, and they will turn off your card as a security measure. So inform them about the destination you will be travelling to.
  • Check the country’s entrance/exit fees. Some countries require travelers to pay in order to enter or leave the country. These fees are not included in the price of your airline ticket, and can range from $25 to $200.

Your Health & Security!

  • 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. Also, ask your medical insurance provider if your policy applies overseas for emergencies. If it doesn’t, and you want to add extra coverage, consider supplemental insurance before you leave your home country.
  • Bring copies of your passport. If your passport gets stolen or lost you want to be sure that you can still get back into the country, or be able to prove your citizenship.
  • Leave a copy of your passport. For extra backup, leave a copy of your passport at home or with someone you trust. Consider making an electronic copy you can store in your email account as well.
  • Register with your embassy. If there’s a problem in the country, this will make it easier for your government to contact you and get you to safety.

Do Local Research!

  • Research events going on while you’re there. This will help you make sure that you’re not missing the events going on in the city. Fun things like festivals, ceremonies and natural events. Also be sure to research a few national dishes to try. You don’t want to leave the country without experiencing what it’s known for….and of course, more memories from your host country.
  • Get guidebooks. Guidebooks usually include maps, key words or phrases, and give you enough detail on certain sites that you won’t need to purchase the pamphlet at the venue.
  • Download apps before you travel. Avoid downloading charges from your wireless carrier and get your apps before you leave.
  • 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.

Your Electronics!

  • Bring a charger adapter. Countries have different size plugs and voltage. So if you want to use your iPod, make sure you can charge it.
  • 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.
  • 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 hit with if you don’t.

Your Luggage!

  • Pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on bag. You will be thankful you did this once you realize you’ve reached your destination and your check-in bag got forgotten at some other foreign Airport or worst case scenario….your luggage is lost.
  • 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 additional fees.
  • Bring snacks. Travelling abroad is fun, but eating in a foreign country can sometimes become a task. Bring small snacks that will tide you over until you find that perfect restaurant or food cart.
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