Wanderlust: What Every Traveler Should Know When Going to a Foreign City

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all people cry laugh, eat, worry and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try to understand each other, we may even become friends” -Maya Angelou

Traveling abroad is an exciting prospect–one that fills you with anticipation and enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, it takes so much more than interest and fervor in traveling in order to make a successful trip. More often than not, a bad travel experience can be attributed to a tourist’s lack of a cohesive plan insomuch that had they prepared adequately beforehand, such situations could have been prevented or would have not happened at all. Indeed, one’s overall travel experience is often hinged on how well one has prepared for a trip–most especially if you have a foreign city in sights. Sure, you might want to inject a bit of spontaneity and an element of unpredictability to your travel excursions, but you might want to save that until you have familiarized yourself with a certain city.

Until then, it is always best to plan ahead. Apart from having a Makati map or wherever else you might be going, you need to consider where you are going to stay, what restaurants you are going to try, the activities you wish to do and so on. However, beyond all this, you need to take extra steps and research to ensure a stress-free experience. In any case, here are some of the ways to make your next international getaway hassle-free:

1.) Apply for the necessary visas

If you set out to visit a foreign place, you do not just do it on a whim–you need to check whether you have the necessary visas required to visit such foreign county. Furthermore, you need to ensure that your passport is still valid for travel. Of course, it is hardly necessary to memorize your travel passport’s expiration date, looking at it months before your scheduled departure would help you verify that you would indeed make the trip.

2.) Stock up on medicine and get vaccinated

Although it largely depends on where you go, being prepared can go along way and would also help you minimize the likelihood of contracting a disease while you are on holiday. In this regard, it is best to check any disease outbreaks in the city or locality you intend to visit. Check these notices before you book a trip as well as just before you depart.

3.) Prepare your finances

If you intend to use your credit card abroad, be sure to let your credit card providers know about it beforehand. Banks might see your international charges as unusual behavior and may consequently freeze your accounts and cards which can be quite the hassle if you are overseas trying to pay for a meal or shopping. Furthermore, it is always best to have an idea of how much the exchange rate is and how much the things would generally cost. In this regard, you would have an approximate of how much you are projected to spend once you are there. Lastly, bring some cash with you as there might be some areas wherein ATMs are not accessible or if there are, they might charge you a hefty amount for using your international ATM card.

4.) Make copies

Before leaving, it is crucial that you have at least once color copy of your passport’s ID page stored in a safe place separate from your passport. Similarly, you should make the necessary copies of any travel documents that you might need such as your visas, hotel reservations, train ticket conformations, travel itineraries, booked activities and the like. To ensure that you will always have a copy with you, it would make sense to have all of these saved to your device so that you everything you need is integrated into one device which would save you the hassle of having too many print outs in hand.

5.) Learn the key phrases in the local language

Knowing a few key phrases here and there would go a long way in international travel. While you might think that English is a widely spoken language, you might be taken by surprise if you visit countries wherein speaking English is virtually nonexistent. In this regard, it is best to brush up on a few key phrases that would be very helpful on your trip. Basics such as “Hello”, “How much?” and “Thank You” would not only make it easier for you to communicate with locals, they would likely appreciate the effort as well.

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