Getting ready to travel the world? Jet-setting across international borders can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life, but you’ll have more fun if you plan properly. These 13 international travel tips set the scene for your international adventures and ensure that everything goes well whether you’re backpacking through Europe or having a luxury getaway in Asia.
#1. Embrace the Shoulder Season
The biggest reason people don’t travel as much as they would like is cost. One of the best tips for traveling abroad at a lower cost is to visit during the shoulder seasons. These seasons are on either side of the peak travel times, which means that hotels and flights are much cheaper. Often, you can have virtually the same experience for a lot less money.
#2. Escape the Tourist Traps
Want to grab a gelato in front of the Trevi Fountain, or find a bistro in view of the Eiffel Tower? Think again. These destinations are packed with tourists, which means they are expensive and possibly not authentic. Instead, head to where the locals are going, which is probably just a short walk away.
#3. Get on the Local Schedule
In some cities, museums close on Mondays. In others, virtually everything is closed on Sundays. In some cities, dinner is at nine each night. Get on the local schedule as soon as possible to make the most of the openings and meal times.
#4. Don’t Just Travel by Air
Air travel is a necessity for most international travel, especially if you’re coming from the United States. However, once you’re in Asia, Europe or visiting Snowy Mountains in Australia, try alternative means of transport. Train or bus trips are often more convenient and far cheaper.
#5. Take Pictures in the Magic Hour
Want to take travel photos that look like the snaps you see on Instagram? A great camera and a keen eye help, but you can cheat by taking photos in the magic hour. This is the time when the sun is just setting, creating light diffusion that makes everything look good.
#6. Pack Protein Snacks That Travel Well
You’ll definitely want to indulge in the local cuisine while traveling. For in between those delicious meals, pack some healthy snacks. Protein snacks like bars from WOLO can provide plenty of filling protein as well as healthy ingredients like flaxseed and coconut oil. Plus, they are portable and won’t melt.
#7. Pack Extra Cash
With apps and credit cards, you might be used to cashless living back home. Internationally, it’s always best to have some cash on hand. Whether it is Euros or Yen, have some saved as a backup if necessary.
#8. Snag Business Cards From Your Hotel
There’s nothing worse that getting lost in a foreign city. Snag a business card or a brochure from the hotel where you’re staying. You can show the address to locals or to cab drivers if you need to get back in a hurry.
#9. Never Travel Without Earplugs
Even if you’re an audiophile with state-of-the-art earplugs, nothing can replace a pair of cheap earplugs. If you’re in a hostel with rowdy bunkmates or you just need to relax and rest on a European train, having earplugs can make all the difference.
#10. Check Your Passport
Your passport has an expiration date, but that date is actually pretty misleading. Typically, you won’t be allowed to travel on your passport if there are less than six months until the expiry. If you’re traveling internationally, take a look at that date ahead of time and renew your passport if it is necessary.
#11. Take Notes During Your Trip
A lot of people plan to write in a journal while traveling, or they have hopes of maintaining a blog. While this is a fantastic idea, many travelers get overwhelmed and stop partway through their travels. Keep things simple by jotting down your days in bullet point form. When you’re home, you can look back at what you did and fill in the details.
#12. Invest in Packing Cubes
One of the best travel tips and tricks is to invest in luggage cubes. These are affordable and can go into a backpack or a suitcase. They help keep your clothes separated and make it easier to find what you need. Plus, they compress your items so that you can fit more into a suitcase if necessary.
#13. Set Your Watch to Your Destination Time
If you’re looking for international flights travel tips, try this: Set your phone or watch to your destination’s time zone as soon as possible. Do this right at the airport, or when you board the plane. This makes it easier to stick to the schedule for meals and sleep, eliminating jet lag upon arrival.
Whether this is your first time heading overseas or you’re an international travel expert, these travel tips can help you have the best experience possible.