Everything You Should Know Before Traveling Abroad

David - About Travel - August 29, 2020

Be it for holiday or for a long stay, you've gotta take precautions before going abroad. You really don't want to get lost, scammed, or even robbed during your trip.

In this article, I'll give you my personal travel checklist. It will help you prepare yourself and make sure everything's good before leaving home.

Everything You Should Know Before Traveling Abroad - Illustration - Picture

Your Travel Checklist

Here I'll tell you what I always look for before I even purchase my tickets.

  • Learn the alphabet: The first obstacle you might face is language. You don't have to learn the language before visiting. But I recommend that you learn the alphabet. Even if you don't understand a single word, that will help you type sentences in your translator and understand words that are similar in your language. That will help you read street signs and correctly pronounce what you're looking for when you talk with locals.

  • Write down the basics: Once again, the language is a huge barrier when you travel abroad. You absolutely need to know the basics. Learn the greetings, politeness, hand signs, and facial expressions that come from the country you plan to visit. That will help you avoid misunderstandings and conflicts. For instance, Bulgaria is the only country in the world where people say No using Yes' facial expression, and vice-versa. You need to know these things. Politeness is the bare minimum you need to know. Saying "Please" and "Thank you so much" will change your trip.

  • Get information about common expenses: You need to know how much these common things cost: cabs, food, bus, rent, hotel, metro, fuel. That will help you make a realistic travel budget so you can freely enjoy your journey without missing money.

  • Get information about the country's situation: I've once traveled to a country that had huge protests happening. You really don't want to go abroad when you get yourself into such circumstances. Protests, fires, hurricanes, national holidays. Make sure you avoid these events unless you really want to discover what it's all about.

  • Everything You Should Know Before Traveling Abroad - Illustration - Picture
  • Get information about common scams: Every culture is different, and no matter where you go, you'll be scammed at least once. Before you travel, make sure you know what are the common scams in the country you're visiting. That will help you keep your money safe so you can come back in peace. The number one scam around the world is taxi rides. Make sure you know approximately how much a ride to and from the airport costs before a cab driver charges you three times the regular price.

  • Check the weather: If you plan to go to the beach or visit places that will have you walk a lot, check the weather. The rain could abort your plans, kill your electronic devices, mess with your clothes and food, and make up for a very bad time. You'd better either prepare yourself or cancel your plans if the weather's not appropriate.

  • Check the roaming: Your phone is a hidden cost. When you travel abroad, make sure you know exactly how the roaming works and how much it's charged. Don't forget to turn it off in case you're not certain. There's nothing worse than coming back from a wonderful trip and receive a surprisingly high bill just because you went on Instagram.

  • Change your money before leaving: That's true especially if you're traveling by night. Past a certain hour, most shops are closed, and you won't find any place to have your money converted into the local currency. It's always a good thing to have enough money to cover your first taxi ride and groceries.

  • Everything You Should Know Before Traveling Abroad - Illustration - Picture
  • Check local events: There's no such thing as meeting people while traveling abroad. Download Meetup, Tinder, Bumble, and other apps to meet people and attend local events. That could give you the opportunity to discover the culture from a different perspective while learning the subtle tips and tricks that only locals know.

  • Book your tours: It's awesome to book a tour by boat or bus. You get to discover the main areas of interest while having guides, explanations, and short stories about the country. Most importantly, that spares you the annoyance of organizing every trip by bus and train. If you book everything in advance, you just have to show up and enjoy. You could also meet other foreigners here, which isn't a bad thing. In the end, you'll leave with wonderful pictures that were taken while visiting outstanding places.

  • Look for unknown places: Go on Instagram or Pinterest and search for the name of the city you're about to go in. Here you'll find thousands of pictures that were taken in unknown places. If you're lucky, you can find these places just by asking people. That could give you another viewpoint of the city while visiting places that are not crowded by tourists.

As for you, do you know anything that's worth knowing before traveling abroad? Let us know in the comments.

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