We love traveling internationally, and have gathered some knowledge on how to do so without ease. I am going to share some of my favorite tips for international travel. There are so many, so keep in mind this is not an exclusive list, just my personal favorites.
Memorize the passport info
This is especially important if you are traveling through lots of countries. When you have to fill out the immigration cards you won’t have to fish through your bag to do so.
Use Travel Agency Tours as a Guide for Self-Travel
When you are visiting a new place and want to make sure you see the “important” stuff, but don’t want to pay through the nose for guided tours, consider looking at the itineraries of those tours (Such as Intrepid Travel of G Adventure) and use them as a starting point for planning your own. They usually hit the highlights. I always look at what these places have to offer for the destinations we are hitting so I don’t miss anything big.
Don’t sleep to get rid of jet lag: Go outside and get some fresh air and sunshine. This is the best cure for jet lag and the fastest way to acclimate yourself to wherever you are. Trust me, you don’t want to regret sleeping through your overseas vacation.
It is a great way to get to know a destination, and experience a little more of the culture. One of my favorite things about Rome, for example, are the roasted chestnuts off the streets. To avoid illness look for a busy vendor so you know your food hasn’t been sitting around, and look at their personal hygiene. The better it is, the safer the food probably is. To get great food, look for a cart or vendor that specializes in one thing, because then you will know it is good.
Get a Skype Number
This will help you to stay in contact with anyone back home, they can just call your local number, and you can pick it up on a tablet or computer.
Whenever I am spending a foreign currency it is easy to overspend because it seems like fake money. You pay for something without really thinking about what it might cost in your currency. Track your spending with a notepad or app so you don’t leave your travels feeling broke. Or give yourself a daily cash budget.
Get an idea of what you want to spend while traveling, and order currency through your bank or an online currency site before leaving. This is usually the cheapest way to go. However, depending on your credit card company and fees it may be cheaper to go that way, as they often give you the lowest exchange rate in the 30 day period, but there is sometimes a fee (5%) tacked on for overseas purchases. Just don’t exchange at a booth in the airport, using an ATM is cheaper.
Make your Emergency Travel Card
Have a plan with your other travelers for what you will do in case of an emergency, if one of you gets separated from the rest or lost. Especially if traveling with children. A plan will help make emergency situations less scary.
Do Some Research
When you arrive in a new city jet-lagged and not speaking the language it can be intimidating to find a bus, train, etc. to get you where you need to go. I have found that most of the time if I Google where we are going and where we want to get to, such as “How to get to my hotel from XXX airport?” I will get written and detailed instructions in English from someone who has been there and done that. This always makes me feel far more confident. The same is true for your itinerary, security, etc. Spending a little time researching your destinations saves big when you arrive, and gives you confidence.
Being a conservative traveler when traveling overseas may mean coming home with regrets. Try that weird food, explore the interesting whatever instead of sticking to the preplanned itinerary. Try to spark up a conversation despite lacking language skills. You will have more fun and memories if you get out of your comfort zone a little.
Now that you have my tips for international travel, take a look at how we afford to travel internationally on a regular basis. It is easy suggestions you can do too. And you can find more travel tips and advice by clicking on the Travel tab at the top of this page!