Tuesday, September 24th, 2019
Traveling abroad can be a very stressful time for some people. Making sure you catch your flight on time, bringing all of the proper documents, packing any of your medications and personal belongings, and overall, making sure you have a safe and fun time on your vacation. But traveling doesn’t have to be stressful if you do it right!
Before you detach from the real world for a week or two, read up on where you’re headed. The more you know, the less vulnerable you’ll be to scams and problems arising during your trip. Look into the local scams of your destination. For example, it’s common in Paris for scammers to pretend like they found a gold ring on the sidewalk and stop you to tell you that you’ve dropped your ring. When you say it isn’t yours, they try to sell it to you as a real gold ring and before you know it, you just bought some cheap metal for 70 Euros.
It’s a very good idea to send your friends or family your travel itinerary. Give them the hotel name, address, and phone number where you’ll be staying. If you have your day adventures planned out already, give a copy to someone so they know your whereabouts. Wifi and internet can be hard to access at times on your vacation, but when you do get connected, be sure to shoot a quick message to that family member or friend to let them know that you’re okay and update them on where you’re at.
Packing can be a huge part of the travel stress. Knowing what to clothes and shoes to pack, toiletries, etc. This doesn’t have to be stressful though. The most important things you need to make sure you pack are any medications you take, cash, debit/credit card, and your passport and visas. If you forget something other than these important items, it’s not the end of the world. Most likely, there will be a place at your destination to pick up what you forgot. However, to avoid the hassle, don’t forget to pack an electrical converter, a phone and camera charger, and toothpaste. Those tend to be the most forgotten items.
Don’t trust anyone! Not your cab driver, not your hotel maid, not the even the people on the sidewalk. Before leaving your hotel room, make sure to lock up any important documents, jewelry, cash, electronics, and any other valuable items you’re not going to be taking with you on your day’s journey. Avoid locking them in the hotel safe. There usually is a way maids and others can easily get access. Instead, hide them in your luggage and lock your luggage up. This goes for your flight as well. Make sure to use TSA approved locks on all of your luggage that you’ll be sending down under as cargo.
One of the hardest things to do is to not look like a tourist. But if you can, try your best to blend in like the locals. Avoid American tourist fashion such as fanny packs, safari sun hats, cameras around your neck, etc. This way, you’ll be less vulnerable to scammers and pick pocketers. Which brings me to my next point; Stop putting things in your back pocket! And women, clutch your bag like it is your baby!
Traveling shouldn’t scare you into not wanting to explore the world. It can be fun and safe if you are smart about it. Prepare as best as you can for your trip beforehand. This will save you money, stress, and vulnerability. The more you know, the safer you’ll be and the more time you’ll have to enjoy your trip.