Traveling is one of the best investments into yourself to enrich your world with culture and memories to last you a lifetime. However, to get the most out of your travel buck and ensure the trip is smooth sailing, follow this simple checklist:
1. Travel Insurance.
When you book a trip overseas, its prudent to invest a few hundred dollars in travel insurance in case of a medical emergency and to protect yourself from circumstances beyond your control. Sprained ankles, cold and flu, even lost luggage are better dealt with when you have an insurance policy to cover the expenses Travel Blog .
2. Exchange rate.
Traveling abroad warrants a currency exchange, and you want to be sure you understand the rate before you leave your home country. To get the current exchange rates, consult an online currency converter and plan your travel budget accordingly. Countries using the Euro or British pound sterling will deplete your vacation funds as they enjoy the favorable exchange rate. However, in regions such as Africa, you will find your money will stretch beyond the dollar. This is good to know before your plane takes off.
3. Language Help.
If you are traveling abroad to a country that doesn’t speak English, it is helpful to carry a simplified foreign language phrase book for emergencies. Such language books are geared for the traveler with emphasis on checking in to a hotel, getting a taxi, ordering a meal, and the general language situations applied to travelers.
One of the worst things to happen when traveling overseas is to find yourself short on funds before the trip is over. To keep a handle on your spending, check the travel blogs and tourist orientated websites for the country that you are planning to visit. These sites are invaluable for gleaning information on local dining options, taxi fares and other daily out of pocket expenses. In addition, travel and tourism books from Lonley Planet, Frommers and more will help you get an idea of how much money you will be spending in the host country and enable you to set forth a daily budget.
Whether you are planning an independent vacation abroad or elect to book an escorted tour, there will be free time from your group to explore on your own. To ensure that your whereabouts are accounted for, be sure to leave a note with the reception or one in your room as to where you are going. This precaution is especially helpful to those traveling alone, regardless of gender.
5. Travel Light.
The seasoned traveler knows how to pack, choosing lightweight clothing and minimal accessories. You do not need to empty your closet into your suitcase to have an adequate wardrobe abroad. Try a few mix and match tops and pants, and one outfit for evening attire if so required. The burden of carrying a heavy suitcase far outweighs the benefit, so travel light and enjoy your freedom.
6. Luggage Space.
In addition to carrying a light wardrobe, be sure you leave some extra room in your suitcases for souvenirs. Over packing at departure leaves you little to no room to bring back a few treasured momentums, and although you may ship your wares home, the international air rate is costly. If 20 percent of your luggage space is available at departure, you should be able to get all of your goodies home with you on the return trip.
Be sure you pack any prescription or over the counter medications that you think you will need. When traveling abroad, simple remedies for cold and flu are not the same products that you know and trust at home, so you may wish to pack some flu tablets, Imodium, headache pills, etc in case you need them. And when traveling with prescription medication, never store them in your luggage. Medicines must be kept on your person during the flight, whether you anticipate using them or not. Luggage can be lost or stolen, leaving you in a jam should anything happen to your meds, so be sure to keep a tight leash on them: pocket or purse, no exceptions.
8. Travel Package Deals.
If you are working on a tight budget, there are ways and means to have a fabulous vacation abroad. The resort regions of the world that cater to beach lovers have many all-inclusive payment plans that will cut your travel budget down to size. The all-inclusive plan covers three meals a day, some alcohol, accommodation, and on-site activities. However, motorized watercraft, such as jet skis and such, are exempt. Check the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico for some of the best bargain all-inclusive travel deals on the market.
9. Shaping Up.
If you have planned your travel abroad adventure a few months in advance, try to shed a few pounds and get yourself as fit as possible to enjoy the trip. Traveling can be strenuous, and you want to be in great shape for long walks, climbing, cycling and whatever else your exciting itinerary holds. You need not buff up like a bodybuilder, but every little bit helps to make you stronger and ready for the big trip.
10. Credit Card Activation.
If you have opened a new ATM card account for the trip, be advised that it must be activated in the United States. To activate the card, you must make the first ATM withdrawal here at home. The subsequent overseas transactions will be fine, however, if the card has never been used at home, most banks will not allow for international usage. Swipe your ATM card for the minimal cash back before you leave your home country.