HAPPY NEW YEAR! To start the New Year off right, I want to share some important advice to prepare you for any future travel plans this year. Let’s get started with the basics.
Research ! Research ! Research ! I can’t stress enough the importance of local research before you travel. I know it’s tempting to look up popular attractions, cool restaurants and trendy bars but don’t forget about researching the basic necessities. To save time, money and heartache, prepare yourself with the basics. Start out with things that are really important to you. Everyone’s different, and you all know yourselves best; so take the time to really think about the essential things that matter most to you. For example, I’m a vegetarian and a coffee fanatic; so before I travel, I always research on local grocery stores, vegetarian friendly restaurants and local cafes. This always gets me excited about visiting a new place and gives me a little peace of mind. Here are seven essential areas which are really worth the time to look into when preparing for your next adventure abroad.
Local Culture: Like every place in the world, there are always sub-cultures within a culture, so be aware this will be prevalent everywhere and anywhere you go. Investigate local cultures and prepare yourself before you submerge yourself in it.
Money: Take the time to understand the currency. Communicate with your banking institution in your home country before traveling. Understand the differences between the types of cards (credit cards, debit cards or debit VISA) and make sure they are all accepted in the country you are traveling to.
Transportation: Look up the modes of public transportation. Really take the time to understand the system (fares, zones, timetables, etc.)
Climate: For many people adapting to a different climate will take some time; however, with a little research you can prepare yourselves both physically and mentally.
Food: Food is a reason for some people to travel and for others not so much. Do your research on what kind of foods are available in the city you are traveling to. Look up local supermarkets and really take the time to see what kind products are available.
Staying Connected: Everyone seems to have a smart phones or some kind of mobile device these days. Research on smart plans, internet connection, payphones, international phone cards, local apps etc. It is always comforting to stay connect with friends and family back home when one is away from home. Well at least for me it is 🙂
Medication: Stock up on your basic over the counter medication from your country. It’s never fun feeling ill when you’re in a new country where you don’t fluently speak the language.
I think I’ve covered all the basics. Now it’s time for you to get to work. Always keep in mind when traveling to a different place, things will be obviously different. You might feel frustrated, irritated and hopeless at times, but with prior research you can lessen the shock factor. The more sources you have, the better prepared you will be, and the more you look, the more perspectives you will be able tolearn. Like I mentioned, we know ourselves best, so look into what’s most important to you.
Happy travels to you all, and remember, you can never be too prepared. 🙂