Trips, especially vacations, are better if filled with relaxation! Here are ten things you can do before your travels to make them go more smoothy, and hopefully be more relaxing.
- Use Google Maps street view to see what your hotel/hostel looks like from the outside. By doing this, you’ll know what to look for when arriving. This can help especially if you’re taking public transport then walking or if your cabbie doesn’t know the area you’re staying in very well. A few minutes on Google Maps can prevent a lot of stress later.
- Read up on the transportation options (especially from the airport). Knowing how you’ll get to your accommodations will give you peace of mind. Some cities/countries have laws regulating taxis and how much they can charge. If you’re taking public transportation, knowing how it works will make things go much more smoothly.
- Bring some of the local currency with you. The moment you step outside the airport, you’ll need to start paying for stuff. Having the local currency already in hand will make that easier.
- Find out local food specialties. Trying a dish in its place of origin can be a heavenly experience. After all, there’s no better place to have pasta bolognese than Bologna!
- Decide the #1 activity you want to do. That way you’ll focus on the one thing you really want, even if your other plans change.
- Let your bank and credit card company know you’ll be traveling. Having your accounts frozen because they think someone has stolen your financial information is no fun. Let them know when and where you’ll be, and you should have no problems.
- Learn a few common phrases in the local language. Not everyone in the world speaks English (nor should they), so learning some common words or phrases in the local language can be key in overcoming some of the communication barrier. Simple phrases like thank you, yes, no, bathroom/toilet, sick, and help are necessary.
- Gather address for postcards. This makes sending cards to family and friends that much simpler. Bonus tip: print them out on sticker labels so you just have to peel and stick.
- Find out location and contact info for your country’s embassy. This is information you hopefully won’t have to use, but if there’s an emergency or you lose your passport, you’ll be glad you have it.
- Research a little of the country’s history and culture. A little knowledge can go a long way. Arming yourself with some background on the country’s history and culture can help to start a conversation with a local or shape your expectations for treatment there. In many countries, people (especially foreigners) are treated differently based on their appearance. A majority of the time this is the result of events in the country’s history.
These are ten things I think can help to make your trip easier. What is one thing you do before a trip to make it go more smoothly?
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