Part 2: the fun stuff
Alright, you have your passport, you got any required visas and you have researched the preferred way to pay in the country you’re going to. If you haven’t, be sure to read Part 1: the necessary stuff. Now it’s time for the FUN stuff! Here are a few tips to get you excited for your upcoming trip abroad.
Do I take a sweater? Should I pack a rain jacket? Don’t let weather put a damper on your trip. Check the weather in that area a week before you leave to get an idea of what to expect while you’re there. Then plan your activities, clothes and trip accordingly.
For example, on rainy days you can plan indoor activities like going to museums. OR if you’re feeling adventurous pack your rain gear and get out there! We put on our rain jackets and rain boots in Canada and went hiking in the rain! Being wet and cold paid off as we encountered the most beautiful waterfalls with absolutely NO ONE around us. It was magical!
Checking the weather can help in this area too. Research your destination during the time of year you plan on going. Remember the Southern Hemisphere have opposite seasons to the Northern Hemisphere.
Also, look online to get an idea of what the locals wear. Some countries have dress codes (i.e. no cut-off tops or cut-off shorts, cover your shoulders, etc) so be aware. Girl tip: this is not the time to break in new shoes. Make sure you buy new shoes in advance and wear them in before going on a trip. Chances are you’ll be doing tons of walking to see everything!
Learn a few words in the local language. Don’t assume English is spoken by everyone (although English seems to be widely spoken especially in touristy places). At a minimum some good words to learn are hello, thank you, please and good-bye.
Keep a little cheat sheet if you think you won’t remember. Google Translate became my best friend in some countries. Above all a smile says a thousand words in all languages!
Last but certainly not least, be aware and respectful of cultural manners. This includes speaking volume, how you behave and hand gestures. For example, a thumbs-up in the U.S. = cool; a thumbs-up in other countries = up yours. So please be mindful! When you travel abroad you are representing your country. Represent it well!
Now you’re ready! These tips will help get you well on your way to traveling abroad (and doing it right!). I’ll be back with even more tips including packing pointers, where to visit, and more. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you have additional fears of international travel. I’d love to hear from you!
Hugs & Gratitude,