Bit By The Travel Bug, Now What? 6 Things You Should Expect When Traveling Internationally
Bell TotallyRandie.com | 5/25/2018, 12:35 p.m.
According to most Instagram accounts, international travel is common. However, contrary to popular belief, international travelers are still a minority group. Now maybe the royal wedding put you in the position to get bit by the travel bug. Maybe it’s those Facebook ads with the most succulent fruit, and refreshing blue waters you have ever seen, or maybe it’s just your time to travel. Either way, if you have your passport in hand and you’re standing in the customs line, or you’re on a website looking for your first international trip, we want you to #TravelWithStyle by reading a couple of our tips.
6. Reading is FUN-THEN-MENTAL
There’s nothing like going on your first international trip, eager to relax and explore, only to be frustrated with passport and visa trips. The first thing you should do is look up what is needed for travel when you are planning your wanderlust adventure. The visa and passport process may be more complicated and time-consuming than you’d expect, so give yourself and them ample amount of time to process all paperwork. Usually, for a passport, you will need about 6 months. For a visa, depending on the rules and regulations of the country that you are trying to visit, you might need about 2 to 3 months. Also, make sure you READ the small print of hotels. I can’t stress enough how much research is needed. If you have ever booked excursions, READ READ READ! There's gold in the fine print.
5. Carry Me!
What and how you pack is extremely important. It’s all fun and games until you’re carrying two rolling suitcases and a bag on cobblestone. True story. Here I was thinking that I was “safe” because I connected my luggage. This connection would allow my bags to roll "easily", so I thought. That concept works well on CONCRETE but when most of the Grecian streets are cobblestone.... not so much. Additionally, I wore 40% of what I brought with me. Pack light and roll your clothes. Trust me it will make commuting so much easier. Remember these places have their own architects, customs, culture, and regulations. Expect things to be different.
4. Late to my own funeral!
Expect to be late. Unless you speak the language, it is extremely difficult to get around without a native tour guide. Anticipate lateness; leave your hotel or dwelling place an hour or two in advance if you don't have a driver. Speaking of, always get transportation to and from the airport to your lodging if not anything else. You could possibly reschedule an excursion or tour of some exhibit, but you don't want to miss a flight home. I've been there, done that. You can book transfers when you book your vacation package or thru a travel agent just to be on the safe side.
Expect crime. I don't want to alarm you, but crime is universal. Gasp! Say it isn't so! News flash, there's no place on earth that's devoid of crime. Sorry. Going back to number 6, research the destination first and see if there are any unrest, strikes (like the transportation strike I encountered in Greece), or elevated levels of violence. Also, tourists stick out like sore thumbs. If you are going to explore on your own, make sure your phone is charged for using of maps. Also, charge your mini charger. Additionally, before you leave your country, download a voice over ip phone program such as Talk-A-Tone or WhatsApp that allows you to call home or text when connected to wifi for free.