10 Tips When Preparing For International Travel
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10 Tips When Preparing For International Travel

Just some helpful suggestions for those heading on an international journey.

10 Tips When Preparing For International Travel
Renee Haerle

As many of you have read from my previous articles, I am studying abroad this semester. Thus, the most common activity to do while studying in another country is to travel constantly. For those planning on traveling internationally or taking a semester to study abroad, here are a few tips for you.

1. Try planning out the trip at least 2 weeks in advance

This sounds like something requiring basic common sense, but trust me it's a helpful tip to remember. When studying abroad, free weekends pop up all the time, thus planning out-of-the-country adventures last minute is something that happens frequently. Try figuring out your weekend schedules as early as possible because different tours and activities tend to book up quickly when you're about to take a trip.

2. Create a spreadsheet

Creating spreadsheets helps in terms of organization. It is helpful to put everything on one document including activities, costs, and hotels or hostels. I even like having a separate column for all the links of the confirmation pages.

3. Share a folder with your travel companions

Again, having everyone on one document keeps everyone on the same page. I shared a whole folder with the group I'm traveling with. This includes a schedule, costs, the activities we are doing, and links to places we are staying. You can all add or take away things people want to do, so it's a great way to have everyone pitch in when classes keep weekdays busy. I also shared it with my parents so they're aware of all the places I'd be going.

4. Create a day-to-day plan

My friend Jena actually gave me this idea. Planning all your activities out in advance really helps keep the trip more exciting and less stressful. Having an idea of what you'll be doing and when helps keep you organized and avoids missing out on anything you really wanted to do during your time in that country.

5. Map out transportation

Mapping out transportation is another important traveling tip. This allows you to gauge the amount of time and expenses it will take to get from each activity or even help you figure out how to get to and from the airport so you don't miss a flight.

6. Put copies of all confirmation email info in a folder

Once again, organization is key! Sometimes you need proof of purchase or some sort of voucher for a tour you booked, and it's time-consuming to search through all your emails. I take a screenshot or convert my email to a PDF and put it in a file on my Google drive. This way, if anything were to happen, I can access it on any smartphone or computer and I know exactly where to find it.

7. Have printed copies of confirmation info

I always like to have printed copies in the case my phone runs out of battery or I don't have internet. I also like having a photocopy of my passport so I don't need to take it everywhere and increase the chances of getting it pickpocketed.

8. Download apps for airlines and trains

This prevents you from having too many papers to print out and also is easier to find. I just downloaded the apps to any airline I've been using for traveling. This allows me to check in for flights wherever I happen to be and also to have the ticket or confirmation on my phone and ready to use. I also have the app Trainline EU, which allows me to purchase and have tickets for the trains without having to stand in line or hold onto a paper one.

9. Research country beforehand

Researching the country can also give you helpful tips on things to do or how to get around the country. You should know what type of currency they use, the emergency numbers, and things like whether or not their taxis are reliable. This can save you a lot of grief before you travel.

10. Buy small locks for your backpack

When traveling around to different countries, you hear a lot about pickpockets. I personally have three locks for my backpacks which ensure bags don't get unzipped as you explore the country you're visiting. Also, just being aware of your surroundings and avoid constantly being on your phone to avoid the problem of having things stolen.

* * *

For those traveling, I wish you the best of luck and also a safe trip to wherever you're going. For any more tips or interest in my travels around Europe, take a look at my other articles!

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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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