A 20-Something's Guide To Traveling Abroad
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A 20-Something's Guide To Traveling Abroad

A 20-Something's Guide To Traveling Abroad

If you're lucky enough to travel abroad in your twenties, you're going to have the time of your life. The last thing you want to take away from your trip is being unprepared. Before boarding your next flight, make sure you remember these 11 things:

1. Durable suitcase

From being thrown into an airplane to being bounced up a set of stairs, your suitcase is inevitably going to go through a lot. Leave the trendy duffle bag at home and opt for something with wheels. Also, a bright colored luggage tag, piece of ribbon, or strip of duct tape will make spotting your bag a whole lot easier.

2. Cash

Although most guides say it's not necessary to withdraw cash before traveling, I think it's best to arrive to a foreign country with at least some of their currency. Most foreign banks charge foreign currency fees, on top of an international ATM fee, which can be up to $5. Whether you're taking a cab from the airport or stopping for lunch at a mom and pop shop, you're going to need cash- just trust me.

3. Comfortable Shoes

When traveling, it's difficult to avoid walking, and if you want to keep walking for the remainder of your trip, you need comfortable shoes. As hard as it is, this is the time to choose comfort over fashion.

4. Chip Card

If you didn't read this before you left, you probably forgot the cash. Let's hope you didn't forget your chip card because that might suck for you. You know those signs at grocery stores that say "chip reader coming soon?" Not in Europe- they've had chip readers for years! There's a very likely possibility that your old-fashioned chipless card won’t even work in most European machines. If you don’t have a chip in your card yet: it's time. While we're on the topic of credit cards, don't forget to call your bank and let them know you're traveling abroad. Don't be the person whose card is suspended due to "suspicious activity."

5. Something to Take Pictures

Caution: This only works with enough memory. Nothing sucks more than having to go through your pictures, deciding which moments are worth deleting. All of your memories are invaluable: bring an extra memory card or at least sign up for more cloud storage.

6. Access To Cash

Cash is only useful if you have easy access to it because, while traveling, it's easy to find yourself in unpredictable circumstances. One thing that is predictable: you're going to need money, and the only thing worse than not having cash, is not having a way to get more. There are ways to send and receive cash on your phone. The Western Union app is an easy way to transfer money internationally. Make sure you download the app ahead of time to get acquainted with it. Once in the app, you can quickly and conveniently transfer money for cash pickup with the click of a button.

7. Rainwear

Ponchos are helpful if you're carrying a backpack. If not, opt for a lightweight jacket you can roll into your suitcase or purse.

8. Knowledge of Useful Phrases

Knowing at least a couple words in the country's mother tongue is valuable for two reasons. 1.You're going to want things like a bathroom and food. 2.Your effort to avoid ignorance will be appreciated by locals. Things you should know how to say include:

-Thank you.

-Excuse me.

-Where are the bathrooms?

-How much?

-I would like ___.

-Any foods you may be allergic to.

-Do you speak English? (It's okay to admit defeat)

9. Phone Charger

With an adapter, if need be. You can't Snapchat your every move with a dead phone.

10. Decent Sized Bag

You're going to want a bag that can fit everything from your map to extra pastries you had to buy. If you're headed to a large city or touristy destinations, a backpack may not be advised. Pickpockets often target tourists and are skilled in their craft. Keep your valuables safe by not putting them on your back.

11. Safe Place for Your Passport

While we're on the topic of not losing things, let's talk about where you're keeping your passport. The outside pocket of your backpack is not a safe place. In most circumstances, you won't even need it every day so opt to leave it in your room. Despite the fact that you might not mind being stranded on a vacation with no end, you don't want to lose your passport.

Listen, there are plenty of ways to ensure your next trip is a success, but if for whatever reason you plan poorly, forget all the tips above, or just find yourself in an unpredictable situation, don't stress. You have a phone. You can always search for a translator, look up a map of your area, or even get cash with Western Union. You're in your twenties and people expect you to always be on your phone anyway.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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