It is looking like we will travel again soon, and to do so responsibly, I have a few things for you to consider before you pick up and go.
When you travel, it is essential to know the local customs before you arrive. The last thing you want to do is stand out like a sore thumb and say or do something you should not. Understanding local customs will let you immerse yourself in the culture and help you enjoy your time.
Plan Your Itinerary And Pack Lightly
Before you take off on the next adventure, making a plan of where you want to go, what you want to do, and what you need to bring will make your trip easier to plan and more enjoyable once you arrive.
The last thing you want to do is get to your destination and not have the right clothes on for a chilly evening, or you forgot to pack the wrong shoes to go for a day hike.
Just do not overdo your packing. I like to make a list of everything I think I will need, lay it all out, and eliminate one item in different categories.
For example, I will plan to take an “x” number of shirts, but I will take one less shirt than I planned once I start to pack. I know there will be a chance to wash my clothes at some point of my trip, and the space I save will make packing to return home more manageable. An added bonus is the extra space allows me to have more room to pack souvenirs!
Remember to pack lightly, but do not skimp on your essentials and your toiletries. I recommend taking along any medications and supplements, you may need or want.
What one country has readily available may differ from the next, and I usually travel with at least a multivitamin to maintain my nutritional health.
The last thing you want to do is have a lowered immune system, catch a bug, and have to spend the better part of your time on your trip recovering in bed.
Trust me, you do not want to get sick in a foreign country and have to lay around recovering during your whole time there.
Have A What-If Plan
It is essential to plan for possible contingencies. Checking with your national governing agency in charge of travel or other national travel advisories will help you prepare for the best trip possible.
For example, the United States Department of State has a travelers checklist to help international travelers prepare. In their guidance, it is recommended to know the entry and exit procedures for each country you visit, visa requirements, as well as local laws.
These guidelines are similar to many other countries’ travel guidelines, and I recommend you look at your own country and those of the places you plan to visit for best practice.
Another benefit of planning out your itinerary is that you can share it with someone back at home if there is a need to get a hold of you or you need to reach out to someone else for help.
It is crucial that in the case of an emergency, whether personal or otherwise, you have a plan in place if a crisis occurs. Finally, understand the local currency and the exchange rates between your home country and the one you visit can save you money but also a lot of headaches.
One good travel tip is to notify your embassy of your visit, where you will be located during your time, and the timeline you will be in the country. That way, if there is a crisis that involves you or your country, the embassy staff knows to get in touch with you if needed.
Be Respectful To Local Customs And Know The Laws
Wherever you may roam and whenever you can travel, it is essential to respect the local customs and obey the laws. Obeying the local laws helps keep you out of trouble, while respecting local traditions will make your trip more enjoyable for both you and the people you encounter.
Soon enough, we will be able to start unpacking our bags in places new and faraway. As things open up, the key is to be extra diligent in your planning. Some countries may have new laws or ordinances concerning foreign travelers, and a little research before your trip will help you stay in good standing and steer clear of any potential issues.
It is a beautiful world out there waiting for you to discover it. I hope this guide will help you prepare safely, make a lifetime of memories, and have a great trip!