Travelling internationally can be an amazing experience, and it is something that many people find to be life-changing. Meeting new people, seeing new places, and having new experiences just tends to change people and help them grow in the most wonderful of ways. That being said, being smart and prepared for your travels will help make sure that you get the most out of them no matter what the destination or timeline. Read on for five of our best tips for international travelers to get the most out of their journey!
Tip #1: Have Saved Online Copies of Important Papers
Most travellers know to have photocopies of their driver’s license, passport, visa, and other important travel documents but there is another important part of backing up your critical papers that many travellers don’t take advantage of online technology.
Websites like Dropbox are password and username protected, but allow you to store files of your choice. That means you can take pictures of your important documents, upload them to your private Dropbox account, and if something happens resulting in you losing all of your papers, you can get proven copies of your identity and papers anywhere with an Internet connection. That’s smart preparation before you travel.
While you don’t want to be paralyzed by thoughts of being mugged or having your papers stolen, sometimes things do happen and it’s better to be prepared for those just in case scenarios.
Tip #2: Learn about Local Scams & Get a Local Guide
Most people are extremely friendly and hospitable. That said, no matter where you go there are going to be potential scams that you need to look out for. The best way to avoid these is to do just a little bit of research ahead of time. Learn about common local scams, what to look out for, and take a look to see if there are scams that are just minor (over-charging taxis) versus ones that can be actually dangerous.
Being prepared for what to expect can help you dodge potential scams and avoid them right from the start. Finding a reliable local guide or someone from the area willing to show you around is a great way to see the non-tourist side of things, find out where locals love to eat and meet, and get a real first-hand look at a new area.
In addition to this, a good local guide (even if that’s not their regular job) can also help to scare you off of scams and give you the most up to date information on places to check out as well as neighbourhoods to maybe steer clear of.
Tip #3: Stay Hydrated
When you’re dehydrated chances are you don’t feel that great and could outright be irritable, suffering from headaches, and just not feeling well at all. It’s really hard to enjoy even the most beautiful of sights or unique experiences when you feel sick because of dehydration.
This isn’t just a tip for desert climates! High altitude? Massive dehydration. Really humid climates? Dehydration. Really dry climates – can still be dehydration. Keeping yourself hydrated is a huge part of keeping yourself in tip-top shape during your vacation. Carrying a water bottle can be an easy way to remind yourself to drink water.
Tip #4: Get Away from Tourist Traps
Some places are tourist traps because the destination is really worth seeing, and there is nothing wrong with that. The Great Pyramids in Egypt, the Acropolis in Greece, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Coliseum in Rome – all of these are examples of places that are going to be tourist traps but are still worth seeing. Machu Picchu in Peru and the Aztec Pyramids in Mexico are two more examples.
But after seeing these, get off the beaten trek a little bit and get away from tourist traps to catch a more authentic taste of the place you’re visiting. You won’t regret it.
Tip #5: Plan Your Travels Around You
We have nothing against a good guide book, travel show, or guided tours. These are all great things and can open up a wide world of possibilities but in the end, make sure to plan a trip around you. Some people can lay on a beach seven days in a row with a fruity drink in hand and feel amazing. Some people are antsy and want to try every hiking trail within 100 miles. Some people want the museum tours.
These are all perfectly fine. The key is not to try to force yourself into one type of a vacation when you would really enjoy a different style of travel. Plan around your interests, avoid scams, and stay hydrated, and you won’t regret it as you make memories that will stick with you for life!