This is a guest post by Adam Ferraresi who lives in Dallas and loves his job in web development and it shows from his articulate and informing articles published on wefollowtech.com.
How much do you prepare for traveling? Do you overthink every little detail before you get on the plane or do you leave everything for the last minute? Our travel preparations differ significantly depending on our character, but there are some things we should always keep in mind.
Traveling can be inspiring and refreshing when everything goes according to plan, but if something goes wrong (which tends to happen a lot), you need to be prepared and deal with the situation calmly.
Thankfully, there are things that you can prepare for before you start your trip and we’ll talk about them today. These nine tips will help you think about things that maybe haven’t even crossed your mind, but should definitely be taken care off.
9 Things You Need to Get Ready Before You Travel Anywhere
1. Handle Your Money With Care
There are few scenarios that can happen with money while traveling, and we can say from experience that none of them are pleasant. Be it theft, locking of your bank account or certain places not accepting your credit card, money is one of the most prickly things to handle on your travels.
We suggest always keeping a certain amount of cash somewhere safe (maybe in your hotel room or a secret pocket of a bag you always carry close to you), in case your belongings get stolen. There’s no rule how much money you’ll set aside, but around $300 should do the trick.
When it comes to using your credit cards, be aware that there’s a chance they won’t be accepted everywhere. Here again, you can always resort to, using cash or running to the bank and getting the money off of your account. Be sure to inform your bank if you’re going on a long journey, so that they don’t lock your account due to suspicious activity overseas about which they weren’t informed.
Finally, if your wallet does get stolen, along with the cash and the credit cards, wisely stash backup credit cards somewhere out of sight, so that even if the worst thing happens, you’re not completely helpless.
2. Have A Small First Aid Kit With You
This tip especially goes for hikers and adventure travelers out there, who often forget that something as mildly irritating as an allergic reaction can transform into a full blown health problem if not treated right away, not to mention injuries that can happen along the way.
This is why it’s highly recommendable for you to carry first aid kit with, albeit an improvised one. In it, you should have Band-Aids, flu medicine, antihistamine if you need one, anything with antibacterial effect, something for a nervous stomach, even a set of vitamins, if at all possible. You can adjust the content of your kit any way you like, just make sure you’ve got one on you anywhere you go.
3. Make Copies Of Your Documents
Making copies is another important thing that travelers often forget to do. Having a printed copy of your passport, your credit cards and your travel insurance will save you a lot of time in case you lose your original documents or they get stolen. It is much easier for the foreign police department to help you if they can confirm your identity through copies and the process of getting new documentation will be much faster and simpler.
4. Get A Good City Map App
Apps will be a life saver on your journey if you download them on time and know that they’re trustworthy. Getting a good detailed map of the city (or cities) you’re visiting will be of great help to you to get around more easily. Sure, Google Maps will do the trick just fine, but there are plenty of good map apps that can offer you more features, as well as trusted reports on public transport in the city.
We recommend getting an app that can be used even when you’re offline, because Wi-Fi isn’t always easy to find, and more importantly, not always safe to use.
5. Getting A VPN Might Be Wise
Virtual private networks are becoming the defense No.1 against all kinds of surveillance and security breaches you may encounter on the internet. You should be using a VPN even when surfing the web at home, but when you’re traveling, there’s no better way to protect your cyber privacy. VPN will encrypt your internet connection so that your security isn’t in danger whenever you’re using a public network (airports, restaurants, public transport etc.) and it will help you keep your location and IP address private from prying eyes.
What’s more, if you’re traveling to developing countries, you will stumble across certain restrictions and geo-blocking disallowing you to access internet content you need and VPN can take care of this problem in a heartbeat. Just do your research before you decide which VPN provider you want, there are plenty of them to choose from, but not all of them are worthy of your trust. Talk to different companies, read reviews, both from IT experts and VPN customers so that you can make an informed choice.
6. Use A High-Quality Language App
If you’re traveling to a few countries during the same trip, of course, you won’t be able to learn each language, and nobody expects you to. You should, however, have a language app with you to help you with some impromptu translating the names of the streets and city sights, as well as understanding people around you.
Language apps are particularly useful in Asian countries, because the languages differ so much from everything we know, so we need all the help we can get.
Also, learn a little about nonverbal communication to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts because of cultural differences.
7. Consider Travel Insurance
People are often quite evasive when it comes to getting travel insurance, but the truth is that when it comes to traveling, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can’t in a million years predict what could happen to you on your journey, but it might not be very pretty, and as you know, medical care is extremely expensive, especially for non-citizens. Prevention is the best thing you can do for yourself whenever you’re far away from home and have no one to turn to for help in immediate surroundings.
8. Know What Kind Of Weather To Expect
This sounds silly, but when you think about it, weather can make or break your travels. You shouldn’t just presume what the weather will be like wherever it is you’re traveling to, you should check the weather conditions and then double check them just before you arrive.
When you know what the weather will be like, you’ll know what to pack and how to organize your sightseeing, hiking, climbing or whatever it is you’re planning.
9. Make Plans For Your First And Your Last Day
When we’re going on a vacation or a longer trip, we always assume we’ve got more time than we actually do. The reality of the situation is different, and due to lack of organization, for most of us both the first and the last day of our journey passes by in a blur.
This is why you should devise a plan of action for your first and your last day in a new city. They don’t have to be the day filled with activities, but you should do your best and make the most of the time you’ve got in a new, unfamiliar country.
Summing It Up
Traveling is amazing, but make no mistake, it is exhausting and stressful as well. Being prepared is the best you can do for yourself, but don’t go to the other extreme and overthink everything, leave some room for adventure and improvisation as well.