Planning for a trip where multiple airports, long flights, confusing signs, and foreign languages are involved can be tricky. Especially if it’s a new venture for you. Trips abroad can seem stressful and daunting, especially if you’re getting close to departure day and still haven’t planned anything. But not to worry! There are plenty of ways to make the process easier and the traveling smoother. You can find tons of checklists online that will help prepare you, but based on our own traveling experience, here are a handful of personal tips to make things easier.
1. Pack light and make a list. Although I’m sure you’ve heard this before, nothing makes traveling easier than light luggage. When traveling abroad, you typically have to cart your bags almost everywhere you go, so it’s a good idea to hone in on exactly what you’ll be needing for the trip and stick to it. This way you can have space for any goodies and souvenirs you might want to bring home!
2. Give yourself time to settle in. When you’ve been flying or driving for days on end, the human psyche tends to droop. Give yourself time to relax once you’ve reached your destination and be sure to get on the local time schedule as quickly as possible. This will help maximize your vacation time and help you to unwind after the stressors from lengthy travel. You want to be somewhat rested and ready for your first day in a new, exciting place!
3. Keep the important stuff handy. It’s hard to know what type of security setbacks you might encounter, so be sure to be prepared with your travel documents. Some people prefer to only take their passport abroad with them, but multiple forms (or copies) of ID is a good idea in case something gets lost. Also, things like aspirin, local cash, and a dictionary or map are also good items to keep within quick reach.
4. Create a flexible itinerary. This will help you achieve all the things you wish to see and do while staying in your destination. There’s nothing like leaving the vacation and feeling regret that you didn’t check out that museum, landmark, or park you had wanted to visit. But don’t let your itinerary stress you out. Just because you have a bucket list doesn’t mean you have to be ruled by it. It’s okay to spend a day sleeping in, wandering the streets, or lounging by the pool with no intentions. That’s what a vacation is all about.
5. Know your surroundings. If you have a specific destination in mind and a hotel, it’s a good idea to research what’s around it. Things like grocery stores, drug stores, cafes, and late night restaurants will come in handy and it’s best to know how to get there without needing directions.