Travel Preparation Tips for a Seamless Vacation Abroad

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Travel Preparation Tips for a Seamless Vacation Abroad

When you’re headed off for an adventure abroad, you want to keep the experience enjoyable and not get tangled up in last-minute planning or stressed out by unforeseen logistics. A transcontinental trip requires detail-oriented preparation and consideration of all possible travel scenarios. Make sure you take a proactive approach when it comes to packing, security, money, electronics and reservations. In order to have a wonderful and unforgettable experience abroad, follow these travel-preparation tips:


When you travel, there is a balance between over- and under-packing. Refrain from over-packing, so you aren’t dragged down by all the luggage you need to keep track of. You should also make sure you have enough room in your luggage for all the essentials you’ll need for your trip. Do a few rounds of practice-packing, so you can gauge how all of your clothing and other necessities will fit. This is also a great opportunity for you to weigh your luggage, so you can anticipate any airline baggage fees. Keep in mind that you may want extra space in your suitcase for any souvenirs or gifts. Use strategic packing techniques, so you can make the most out of the space you have. For example, it is recommended that you roll your clothing rather than fold it to save space.


Before you leave your home, make sure everything is sound and secure — doors and windows locked, lights off, electronics and appliances unplugged. You should let your neighbor or a trusted friend know that you will be out of town, so they can keep an eye on the state of your place. Have them visit your home and make sure the doors and windows remain secure and collect the mail from your mailbox, as a build up of mail or an unsecured house will appeal to burglars. Invest in light timers for lamps around your house that will turn on at their scheduled time for the illusion that someone is in the house. This is another tactic that will scare off burglars. If you can, employ a house sitter, so you can be sure that your home is taken care of while you’re on your vacation.


Do a little research about your options when it comes to currency exchange and availability of monetary funds. If you’re concerned about using a credit card abroad, visit your bank for a withdrawal of foreign currency. Most banks will have foreign currency on hand, however some may need to order it for you. Don’t travel with a lot of cash, but just enough for you to be able to get around for your first day in the new country. You can easily visit a bank within the country for more cash, as needed. If you plan to use your debit or credit card during your travels, make sure you notify your credit card provider and/or bank. Oftentimes, financial institutions will place a hold on fund availability if card activity looks suspicious, which could limit your travel opportunities.


Bring your electronics with you so you can stay connected and entertained. If you want to use your smartphone while abroad, make sure you check in with your mobile carrier about international calling fees and data use stipulations. Oftentimes, international phone use will eat up your data and result in a ghastly bill. Take advantage of electronic airport and airline amenities while you travel, like the in-flight Gogo Wi-Fi, phone charging stations at the terminals and airport apps that will help you navigate the airport and its surrounding areas.


Make reservations for any experience that you don’t want to miss out on while you’re abroad. Often, if you don’t make reservations ahead of time, the quality of your travel experience will suffer and you’ll be left scrambling to find accommodations. Avoid the headaches and plan out where you plan to sleep, eat and play through travel-booking sites like Kayak, Expedia and Travelocity. Plan your reservations months ahead of time so you can get the best rate. Many hotels will offer you an early-booking discount when you make your reservations two or more months in advance. Event tickets will also cost less when you purchase them in advance.


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