5 Top Tips For Travelling Abroad
Here are 5 tips to help your holiday flow more easily. I have ben lucky enough in my life to travel to many far off destinations. It could be that this is your first foreign trip, and you want it to go smoothly so you don’t waste any time once you get there. Here are my 5 top tips to help you on your way.
Money: Make sure you have some currency and some travellers cheques, you may also need space on your credit card if you are not taking all of your spending money.
Do not take a high value of currency though – in most countries you can cash in travellers cheques anywhere for the local currency. As traveller’s cheques are insured, if you lose them, or they get stolen you get some if not all of your money back. Currency on the other hand is not! Lose it and its gone for good! Bear in mind that you may need change, so do what you can on arriving at the airport to get some change from a large note. This will stand you in good stead should you need to tip a baggage handler or bell hop (you do not want to be giving away large value notes)
I got caught out once in America – I came out of the airport in my lovely hire car straight onto a toll road. I got to the first toll booth and need a quarter. All I had was a $10 bill, which obviously would not go into the payment machine. I was very embarrassed when the alarms went off and I had to pull of to the office and explain myself!!!!
Research: Do your research before you go. You know yourself and your family and you know what you would like to be doing on your holiday – buy the guide books, or research on the internet. You don’t need an exact itinerary of your trip, but you can gain an idea of what you would like to do or see during your trip! You may want to plan a day of activities followed by a day of rest on the beach, but if you have a rough idea before you go, then it saves you spending the first day or so of your expensive holiday, deciding what to do and where to go.
Its great fun to sit around as a family and have the discussion about what you would all like to do, because everyone is different and has different ideas it makes life easier to have any arguments or heated discussions before you are away.
On all my forays abroad, I have done this, and it makes life so much easier. Theme parks one day, followed by something interesting like a museum or art gallery the next, then a day at the beach or sight seeing… everybody is happy as they have their day. It is also useful to find out how much things cost, in order to plan your finances as well as possible – especially given today’s economic climate.
Language: If there is likely to be a language barrier then also purchase a phrase book. The ability to say "yes" and "no", "please" and "thankyou", "hello" and "goodbye" in a foreign language (at least) will stand you in good stead with the locals! If you can order food, drinks and understand menus and signs, even better – this will serve two purposes, getting you respect from locals and allowing you to take a foreign holiday confident that you will not get ripped off because you cannot understand what people are saying.
If you learn the language and can ask "how much" and people claim not to understand, then walk away. I had this with a taxi driver in the Czech Republic. I had researched the cost of taxis, and approached a driver for a price. He claimed not to understand my question and proceeded to ask for 3 times the going rate. I walked away. Had I not done my research and learnt the language then I would have been ripped off big time. I also recommend that you take the phrase book with you.
Children: If travelling with children then make sure you have something to keep them entertained. You do not need something just for the flight, but also for the evenings when you are at base. Children are easily bored, and foreign TV (especially if in a none English speaking country) is not fun for children as the only English shows they have are news channels. You will maybe need a few toys (electronic ones are best – batteries are universal and electronic chargers can be used via adaptors you buy before you go away). And they do not take up a lot of luggage space as they can be carried in hand luggage. Also take paper and pencils to allow some time spent drawing.
Survival Kit: Put together a "survival kit" before you go away. Medical attention in a foreign country can be expensive, and if there is no English spoken, your experience could be worse. Include creams (antiseptic), plasters, bandages, antiseptic wipes, painkillers, anti bacterial gel, electrical adaptors, sewing bits, tweezers, etc. These items can be costly if purchased abroad, and also if you have not followed Tip 3, you may have difficulty obtaining them at all!
Other than this, make sure that your mobile will work in the country you are going to as you may need it and don’t forget your chargers for electrical items such as mobile cell phones, hand held gamers, shavers, etc.
Follow these 5 tips and you will be assured of a safe and happy holiday.
With best wishes for a safe, happy and fulfilling holiday
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