Vacation is almost certainly our favorite time of the year, and most of us want to spend those several days a year not just resting, but also doing something exciting and different from our everyday routine. Many people, therefore choose to get a bit adventurous and use their time off to travel and see the world. Traveling is a great way to get to know yourself, to get a nice change of perspective and to learn to appreciate what you already have at home.
If you don’t have a lot of experience with traveling, you should definitely know that a lot of things can go wrong on a trip. It takes more than just packing your bags and buying an airline ticket. To be truly ready for every scenario that can befall you on your trip, it’s going to take some preparation beforehand. For that purpose, we’ve put together some useful tips that you may find handy the next time you’re on vacation:
1. Take Your Time With Research
If you want to visit a foreign country, you should at least know a bit about it before the trip. The primary currency, some of the local customs, and the sights you want to see are some examples of this, but you should generally obtain as much information as possible to avoid any unexpected surprises. Learning a few phrases in the local language can also help you get around and seem more friendly to the locals, so that’s always a good place to start.
2. Medicine and Vaccines
Depending on where you’ll be traveling, you should definitely consult your doctor about whether or not you need to be vaccinated. Certain areas in the world are prone to a number of diseases such as malaria (Africa), so you should be aware of the possible dangers of an infection. Make a small first-aid kit for yourself with all the essentials you might need such as band-aids, alcohol for disinfection, stomach medicine, painkillers, and antibiotics. A lot of people tend to catch a cold due to not being acclimatized to the local weather, and eating strange foreign food that you’re not used to can potentially have an effect on your digestive system, so it’s just good sense to be prepared for such an inconvenience.
3. Always Have Cash
Credit cards are becoming more and more popular nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that everyone out there will want to (or be able to) charge your card. Paper bills and coins, however, are widely accepted by everyone and even welcomed in many parts of the world. Show a credit card to a guy running a food cart in India and all you’ll get in return is a weird look. Find out what the local currency is and head to your bank to get some bills (before your trip, so to avoid any unnecessarily larger transaction fees). It’s also a great idea not to keep all of your cash in one place so that in the event your wallet gets lost or stolen, you don’t lose absolutely everything you have.
4. Buy A Voltage Adapter
The mains voltage supply in the U.S. and China is 110 volts, but in Europe, it’s 220 volts. This means that if you don’t have an adapter and your electronic appliances (your phone charger, your blow-dryer) are made for 110 volts, you won’t be able to use them in Europe. This is a common mistake for many people traveling abroad for the first time, and it’s so easy to avoid, so don’t let it happen to you. Find out what voltage you’re going to be expecting, and prepare accordingly.
5. Be Mindful of the Weather
Always, always grab a weather report of the country you’re traveling to, during the period that you’re going to be visiting. Weather conditions vary significantly worldwide, even on the same latitude, so don’t expect the weather to be anything like it is at home. An umbrella is a must have, even if it’s a cheap one. There’s nothing worse than a massive unexpected shower catching you unprepared when you have a whole day of sightseeing in front of you.
6. Be Prepared For Geo-blockades
Want to watch Netflix in your hotel room? Fat chance, if there are any geo-blocking regulations involved in the region you’re visiting. A lot of websites are getting banned in certain countries and websites generally don’t make themselves available in every country in the world, so you might not be able to access your favorite site while you’re not at home. There’s a workaround for this, though; with a VPN, like ExpressVPN, you can simply fake your IP address (to look as if you were browsing at home) and access the websites normally. If you tend to use the Internet a lot on your trip for whatever reason, it’s a real good idea to set your phone or tablet up with a good VPN.
7. Get A Good Offline Maps/Navigation App
If you aren’t a fan of asking people who don’t speak a lot of English for directions every five minutes, maybe you should consider getting a good navigation app for your phone. Make sure, though, that you pick an app that can be used without an Internet connection, or your data plan bill will give you a heart attack when you get home. Some good offline map/navigation apps that you can try are Sygic, Maps.ME and MapFactor.
8. Make Multiple Copies Of Your Passport
Losing your passport on a trip is a nightmare. It’s a very difficult situation to be in and can completely ruin your whole vacation experience. Always keep your passport with you and secure it in a pocket that can be zipped up. In the event that you do lose your passport, (it happens, unfortunately), having a photocopy both with you and at home can be a life-saver. It’s much easier for someone at the Embassy to go through with all of the necessary procedures to get you a new passport if you have a copy of the page with your information and your photograph. It literally takes seconds and costs nothing, so make sure you do it.
9. Take A Day Off
As you can see, there’s a lot more to think about when preparing for a trip than you probably thought. To make sure that you don’t forget anything or make any silly mistakes, it’s a real good idea to take an extra day off and not think about your work while you’re preparing for vacation. You should take some time to clear your mind and really focus on everything you’re going to need for the next few days, and just remember to take it slow. Haste really does make waste, and the more you try to rush through the process, the likely you’re going to forget something. So if it’s necessary, cut your vacation down one day, and take the extra day to prepare appropriately.
The following post is a guest post by Adam Ferraresi. He is a successful web developer from Dallas, Texas and one of the writers of wefollowtech.com. He is twenty-three years old, and when he isn’t working on some interesting new article, he enjoys listening to music and watching old movies.