We’re here to present the second set of tips for any first-time or new travelers out there. We had to learn the hard way, but we hope to inspire any future nomads and vagabonds and make the process a lot easier than it was on us the first few times around.
7. Register with the Embassy.
This is your highest safeguard when it comes to international travel. It helps the government know your whereabouts should anything happen to you or the country you’re visiting. It’s the extra protection you’ll always need whether or not you use it.
8. Book flights that depart very late or very early.
So this isn’t ideal if you’re a big sleeper, but it saves money and makes for more time spent in your destination. Jet-lag is not fun but the #1 rule of defeating it is to stay awake until the local time turns to its own sleeping hours. If you’re flying for more than 5 hours, red-eye flights are a decent choice. Drink sleepytime tea or NyQuil to try falling asleep on route. If that doesn’t work, alcohol sure does (it’s FREE), and you’ll be there before you know it, to explore your destination for an extra day.
9. Fly on the same airlines.
Get those miles/points in. A few hundred miles could mean savings, discounts and even major upgrades toward your next trip.
10. Know your pick-up plans prior to arriving.
A destination out of the country or over a body of water likely means that your phone will not work, unless you pay for international plans — and we don’t recommend doing that if you’re on a tight budget. Knowing how to get to your accommodation before landing is necessary so that you’re don’t have to scramble to find an overpriced taxi or wait on a lengthy queue at ‘ARRIVALS.’ Always plan ahead!
11. Rely on WiFi and ‘hotspots’ – but forget your phone.
WiFi and hotspots will be your best friend while abroad. International payment plans are expensive as mentioned, and in our opinion, having your phone takes you out of the experience. I usually try to completely forget that I have it with me unless it’s to take photos. Besides, you’re going away for a reason. It’s nice to disconnect from everyone and everything back home during your exploration days. Utilize WiFi for special circumstances — if you’re lost, need a map, in an emergency, making a reservation, and sure, for a worthy photo on the ‘gram, but only after your day is over. 😉
12. Keep a journal.
This speaks for itself, whether you’re a writer or not. Writing down your experiences is one of the best ways to remember them. A journal is tangible; it’s a physical memory and manifestation of the best, saddest, strangest and most fun moments of your journey. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
We know this isn’t a full list of the do’s and do not’s of traveling, whether you’re a first-timer, not so much of a newbie anymore or even a pro. We love to hear from everyone and anyone, so we invite you to write us on what you think we missed, what we were spot on with or what your think we didn’t get right. You got us, we got you!