Thursday, November 3, 2011

Top tips for International travel

If your bucket list of places to visit includes any countries outside the United States, here are some tips to help make your trip more manageable and enjoyable—wherever you go.

·       Pack light. You can check one bag free on most airlines for international flights and still take a bag onboard.  Just be sure you can easily handle everything going and coming. 

·       Take even less. If you can, pack everything in your carry-on and supplement with a large purse or backpack.

·       Pack extra batteries for cameras and other tech equipment unless you know for sure that outlets for charging are available.

·       Remember to take appropriate adapters for the region you’re visiting.

·       As for cameras, smaller is usually better—unless photography is a big part of your travel experience and you’re willing to deal with heavy cameras and bulky lenses. Today's smartphones rival traditional cameras for picture quality, but skip selfie sticks and iPads--they are often obnoxious to other travelers.

·       Spread out any cash you’re taking; don’t pack it all in the same place.

·       Take plenty of bills in small denominations. Even if a shop takes U.S. dollars (and many do), you’ll likely receive change in the local currency.

·       Take a hat, and don’t leave home without sunglasses.

·       Eat local—it’s usually cheaper and tastier. In most cases cooked foods from vendors will be okay. Restaurants that cater to tourists generally have food that’s acceptable to American stomachs, but it may not be “authentic.”

·       Drink plenty of water. Travel is dehydrating regardless of climate.

·       Keep your passport with you at all times, and have a copy of the photo page in a separate location or on your smartphone.

·       Take a small flashlight or headlamp in case your surroundings are dark at night.

·       Always carry tissues; not all bathrooms are as well supplied as those in the U.S.

·       Learn how to bargain for items you want to purchase, especially in small markets.

·       If something goes wrong, smile; you’ll solve the problem faster than if you get frustrated or angry.

·       Make friends with local people. Stop and talk—and listen. They can point you to some interesting places tour guides might not know about.

·       Go with an open mind; toss out any expectations or pre-conceived notions. Let serendipity take over, and you may be surprised at what you discover about new destinations and cultures.

Photos from free sources


Anonymous said...

super tips - many thanks


will put some of those into practise.... as we are jetting off with handluggage tomorrow for a 3 week trip

Beverly Burmeier said...

Good luck with your simplified packing. It does make traveling abroad easier.

Margaret said...

If people really like to travel without weight worries, fly Business or First Class. On my last 2 trips (Australia and South America)I flew these classes of service, and it was so nice not to have to worry about weight!

When I went to Bulgaria, I took 100 crisp $1 bills. I came home with half of them. They took the dollar bills. It just happened that everything was so inexpensive that I was able to spend less.

On my latest trip around South America, as an experiment, I took only small bills (1's, 5's and 10's). They were welcome all over South America. Even change was given in USD. The ONLY place I was told to pay in local currency was one young taxi driver in Buenos Aires. But he had delivered me to our hotel, so I ran in and changed money quickly for him (although I could have taken the 2nd option and paid him by credit card.)