My Top 5 International Travel Tips
Although T and I travel a lot, going abroad was a whole other playing field for us. I spent almost a year researching and prepping us for our big Europe trip that we had over the summer, and I came across some great tips and tricks that I'm excited to share with you guys!
Make Time For Rest
It's really easy to get carried away when you're visiting a place for the first time, especially when you don't know if you'll get the chance to visit it again. But the quickest way to land yourself on bedrest for a couple of days is exhaustion. Pace yourself, and remember to eat regularly, drink water, and rest appropriately. Nothing is worse than missing out on precious time that you could be spending running around the city because you're stuck under the covers.
Don't underestimate how much planning goes into a trip like this. You may want to leave some things up to chance, but in the end last minute hotels and train tickets can cost you a ton more money as opposed to booking them in advance.
Call your banks and let them know you'll be traveling, and ask them for a print out of all their international sister banks. Make sure your cards have chips and pins. You'll really be stuck if your credit cards don't work, and you don't have cell reception to help you figure it out. Speaking of reception, double check your coverage with your cell service before you leave. We were lucky with T-Mobile, we had unlimited internet and text with no additional charge in every country we visited!
Also, be prepared with multiple printed photocopies of your passport, train tickets, and hotel/ airbnb confirmation emails. Divide them up between bags and suitcases just in case (*knock on wood*) one gets stolen, you'll still be prepared.
Whew, that was a lot of tips.I'll do a full post on how we prepare for international trips soon!
Don't Over Pack
Overpacking can be a huge mistake. I try to remember that forgetting something and having to buy it at my destination is better than taking up precious space in my suitcase for something that I might never touch (i.e. the curling iron I brought with me to Europe but didn't use EVEN ONCE). Save yourself from having to lug your heavy, overweight suitcase up and down flights up stairs, over cobble stone and into overhead compartments on trains, and just pack the necessities. No one will notice that you're wearing the same dress in multiple photos, I promise.
If you need some help packing, CLICK HERE!
Experience Local Life
Hotels, uber, and chain fast food are great and convenient. But we learned the most during our travels when we were sitting on the train with other commuters, studying the bus maps to figure out where we were headed, walking through beautiful neighborhoods, and meeting amazing local airbnb home owners.
Fast food was definitely abundant in Europe, and if I'm telling the truth T and I ate it more than a couple times during our month away. It's cheap and easy to order on the machines, and you don't have to struggle with a language barrier. But our favorite dining experiences, and the most incredible foods were at the small neighborhood shops away from the tourist attractions. Do your research before you leave though, Yelp isn't common in other countries so it doesn't end up being much help!
Pick Travel Companions Carefully
Traveling with friends is a great way to save money and help bring down the cost of the trip a bit, but choose carefully. You have to go with someone with the same "travel style" as you, even if you plan on going your separate ways during the trip there will inevitably be times that you're clashing personalities will bring down the mood of your vacation.