Traveling abroad can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience for the first time traveler. To make your trip preparation a lot easier, here are a few things you should know before you go.
You will need your passport! If you are traveling with children, some countries will ask for not only your child’s passport but proof of relationship such as a birth certificate. Always keep a copy of your passport with you in case your actual passport gets lost or stolen. It does happen! You should also give a copy of your itinerary, hotel and flight information to a friend or family at home in case you need to be reached during an emergency.
You can use a currency converter app or visit a conversion website such as http://www.xe.com/ to view the latest rates in the country (or countries) you will be visiting. If you don’t want to exchange currency when you get to your destination, you can do it before your trip through most banks and take it with you. Just be sure to keep it safe at all times! Planning on using a credit card? Contact your credit card company and give them a list of the locations you will be traveling through to prevent a credit card freeze. A purchase made in Barcelona will look very suspicious if you live in Atlanta!
Research, research, research! Learn as much as you can about the destination you will be visiting. If the people there speak a different language than you, it will be very helpful to learn some key phrases to get you by. They will also be grateful knowing you took the time and effort to learn their language (even if you’re not good at it). Learn their customs from dining etiquette to clothing. If you are visiting St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, you cannot enter while wearing a sleeveless shirt or very revealing skirt! The same rule applies to almost every sacred place in Europe and other destinations. The point is, everyone should dress respectfully when visiting a church or temple.
One more thing – have a good time and soak in the experience. Take some time away from snapping photos of the sunset and enjoy it while it lasts!
Do you have any tips for traveling abroad?