Escaping to a dreamy vacation seems like the top of everyone’s wish-list. But making it a reality is no walk in the park. I’m no expert on traveling but in the past year I’ve traveled internationally 4 times. So, it’s safe to say after bumping my head a few times, I mastered what you need to know when traveling international. Here are my top 10 recommendations when traveling overseas:
3-month passport rule
This should go without saying but a passport is needed for all international travel. Give yourself at least 3-months to receive for your passport. It can be soon or longer, depending on the time but allowing yourself this window to have it back before your trip will put your mind at ease.
Keep cash on you (in the country’s currency)
Believe it or not, not all countries use credit cards a primary form of payment. Many places I have visited are old school & except cash for everything. While at the airport, convert about $100 in the country’s currency for those emergency moments. As a side note: taxis typically only take cash payment.
Only take (1) credit card
The worst thing you can do is put all your eggs in one basket. By taking only one credit card on your vacation, you can limit the amount of potential fraud or theft. Being me, I’ll lose track of how many cards I brought so better safe than sorry. Give your bank a heads up that you are going overseas and beware of currency conversion charges.
Bring your own medicine
Nothing is worse than getting sick on vacation or being sick on vacation without your meds. I always bring Emergen-C packs, Motrin, and cough drops for those surprise sicknesses. The least you can do is have your bodies back, juuust in case.
Invest in a universal charger
Omggg when I say this is a MUST I mean it! In Europe especially, universal chargers are the norm so you do not want to be caught without it. The hotels usually provide them upon request but some will hold a charge on your credit card until it’s returned. Save yourself the hassle and order one from Amazon (here) before your trip.
Taxis are pricey, call the hotel in advance for transportation
What’s the most $$$ you’ve ever paid for a taxi? Me, $120…yes, I just shit myself too! Taxis can be extremely expensive especially to and from the airport. This is the time when people need it the most and prices are sky high. For example: the standard fare for a taxi, to and from the airport to Milan is 95 euro, which in USD is more (yuuup, I’m rolling my eyes with you).
Connect to wifi everywhere!
As always, wifi will be your best friend. If you don’t plan to invest in an international package on your phone plan, wifi is go-to for communication. Most hotels offer free wifi (haven’t stayed in once yet that hasn’t offered it). Just keep your phone on airport mode & you’ll be fine!
Be aware of your surroundings
People can sense when you’re not from their country. Always be on alert and watch your personal belongings very closely.
Make a list of must-see places
You’ve made it! It’s time to travel to your dream vacation and I’m sure there’s so much you want to see. I always make a list of the must-see sites wherever I go (here’s my Paris travel guide). Time flies when your living and it’s easy to forget something. Keeping your list in your phone makes it almost hard to lose track of your itinerary. I label the most important places to see, eat and shop.
Shop designer overseas
This is probably my favorite benefit of traveling internationally. As you may know, I like to splurge smart on designer pieces. In Europe, high-end designers are significantly cheaper than the US plus you receive a 12.5% tax credit at the airport, this is no joke! I’ve purchased most of my designer pieces in Europe using this benefit and I couldn’t col the secret from you guys.
I hope this was helpful for your next trip international or domestically. Let me know if you want to know more in the comments below! And I’m curious, where’s your next trip?