Going abroad can be both exciting and scary. Traveling to a completely new place where the citizens speak a language you don’t think you’ll ever understand (parlez-vous francias?) makes it hard to get around, let alone order food and figure out where the bathroom is. While some cultural differences are just part of the experience, there are a few things you can do to get ready for your time abroad.
1) Update your passport
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have an updated passport. The U.S. Department of State urges travelers to be sure of exactly which documents you need. Sometimes birth certificates are required; so double check to be safe.
2) Convert your money
Be sure to covert your money before you get there. A lot of airports have currency exchange stations. You may also want to do some research of the kind of currency the country your traveling to uses, so you can be familiar with how to handle your money as soon as you arrive.
3) Know the culture
There’s nothing wrong with doing a little research before hopping on a plane. Familiarize yourself with the culture and the language. Figure out how to say, “Where’s the bathroom,” and “Can I have your number?” and you should be good to go.
4) Call the credit card company
The one thing that you can easily forget is to call your credit card company. $500 worth of charges in Paris (thank you Parisian shopping) looks pretty suspicious and it would be a disaster if the company suspended your card because you didn’t let them know you’d be abroad (how could you continue your shopping spree with a suspended card?).
5) Get an international phone plan
Keeping in touch with loved ones during your trip is vital so be sure to contact your phone company and set up an international plan. Just make sure your only keeping in contact with your friends not your work. Well, bon voyage. Adventure awaits.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org