Remember when, even just a decade ago, travelling abroad was a great achievement. Your parents, siblings, cousins, their friends, their pets, and the neighbour who lives on the 8th floor — everyone would come to drop you off at the airport. It was almost like a bridal procession, complete with the tears and all.
But now, travelling abroad has become child’s play and with flight tickets often being dirt cheap, all you need to do is take out time and save that moolah.
No that’s not it!
Every country can either be drastically different or eerily similar to the other, but you never know what could go wrong. And when you are not in your homeland, with familiar people, it can get scary.
To save your vacation and prevent it from resembling a scene from of The Conjuring, here are a few things you should jot down before going overseas. They will only help you enjoy it more!
And don’t forget to tell us in the comments below which exotic international destination you’re heading to next!
1. Know The Laws
First and foremost, know the basic laws of the country you are visiting, especially traffic rules. Many countries are extremely strict and even a little slip can cost you dearly.
Also, know your rights as a tourist and make sure no one takes advantage of you.
2. Local Language Starter Pack
With Google translate in our lives, language barriers have pretty much disappeared, but don’t be too dependent on it — what if you lose network? Saying the wrong thing could get you into some serious trouble.
No, you don’t need to master the language overnight, but you must at least make an attempt to learn the common phrases and words. This will prevent you from getting conned by anyone, and will help you make friends with the locals.
PS: go beyond gracias and bonjour!
3. Safeguard The Documents
I cannot stress on how important this is! Make multiple copies of your passport and other documents. Keep one set with you at all times, another at the place you’ll be staying, one with your country’s embassy, and one more with the people you can trust back home.
Anything can happen at any time, and your passport is the MOST important document you need to have. Protect it with your life.
Also, carry a small pocket notebook with emergency numbers at all times. Notes in the phone work, but your battery may die. On that note, please carry a portable charger, too!
Also read: Six Tips To Make Your Child Travel Friendly
4. Get Health Check Ups Done
The food, weather, and habits can differ with each country. So take precautionary health measures before you go. See if you are allergic to anything that is widely used in that specific country and steer clear of it.
You don’t want to fall sick on your holiday. Seriously, you don’t.
5. Know The Culture
If you live in India, you know why this is such a relevant point. Many people care deeply about their culture and could get (easily) offended.
Avoid any outbursts or fights or death threats (it’s possible!) by just spending some time on the internet (not on social media) reading articles about the country you’re visiting — the official tourism site may help you with the information you
6. Exchange Money Smartly
Converting money at the airport may seem like the easiest thing to do, but it is a devil in disguise. A major rip off, you will end up spending a lot more than you had imagined.
Rather, get the currency exchanged at a bank or ATM — you will thank me later!
7. Keep Checking The News
With every news portal now having its own app, there is no excuse for being ignorant about what’s happening around you, especially if it’s a country you don’t know much about. Keep abreast with local news and go prepared.
8. Don’t Go Overboard With Social Media
We all love posting on social media and letting people know about our travels. It’s time to give this habit up. Informing people at all times about where you are and what you are doing can make it easy for those who want to harm you, to know your whereabouts. Think about this — they know where you are and with whom, and what you’re doing. Scary, right?
Write a blog or post pictures after you are back from the vacay! Not a bad deal, no?
9. Please Get That Travel Insurance
It may seem like an added cost and a lot of effort, but it is worth it. You HAVE to get insured before venturing into the unknown, for your own good.
You may injure your leg while skiing or may have to immediately leave the country due to an earthquake — anything can happen and it is always better to go prepared.
10. Don’t Travel Only By Taxis
This is optional. But really, don’t take cabs everywhere you go, they are so much more expensive. Go for public transport like buses or trains, and you will thank me again.
Also, another tip: Do not eat near famous, touristy places. They are overpriced AF. And if you don’t believe me, just visit your local touristy area, where even the water will cost a bomb. And then come tell me, so that I can say, “I told you so!”.
This article first appeared on Hauterfly. For more such stories, visit thehauterfly.com