Travelling is one of the greatest joys in life. It allows you to leave your comfortable bubble and explore somewhere totally new and alien to you. You’ll be able to experience temperatures you never did back home, see sights which make you question what is real, and you’ll enjoy the relaxation of sitting by the sea and sleeping your days away.
It can be scary when you have never left the safety of your own country before, and the thought of flying off to a different part of the world might give you major chills. However, travelling is fun! It’s not scary at all, and in fact, it can be one of the most fun experiences of your life. If you need some encouragement or need to know what you can expect going abroad for the first time, here are some tips for you.
Hotel business cards
Always take the business card from the front desk of whichever hotel you are staying in while you are away. This will allow you to call the hotel if you get lost in the foreign country and they will be able to help you. It is also useful for when you’ve been out during the day and you need to get a taxi home. Simply hand the driver the business card and he will know where to take you. It will save you having to struggle with the foreign language. Alternatively you can also think about renting a house or apartment during your stay so that you have the privacy and ability to cook for yourself.
The six-month passport rule
Although your passport may not have expired yet, it could stop you from entering a country if it expires within six months time. Some countries are a little more stringent than others when it comes to your passport and will not just stick to the date which is inside your cover. This is why if you are planning to go away, you need to make sure that you have a renewed passport to prevent this from happening and causing you to have to turn tail and head home.
Of course, when at home you will get cash from the ATM because it is just easier, however, many other countries will charge you for using cash machines. Instead, you can pay for most things on your card for safety and you can use a checking account to cover the cost of items too.
Like we said above, using your card is often the easiest way to pay for things whilst you are abroad but it is specifically the credit card which is advisable to use when you are away from home. The reason for this is that you will get some great exchange rates using a credit card which you wouldn’t benefit from if you were using your debit card. Also make sure that your hotel or restaurant never converts your bill into dollars before to pay, because you will be getting a bad deal as a result.
Before you travel anywhere, make sure that you notify your credit card company and your bank of where you will be and what dates. This means that they will not think your card has been stolen and switch off your service if you leave the country for a short period. It will also be useful if your card is stolen and you need it to alert your credit card company. They will already know that you were abroad and will be able to help quicker.
Credit card chips
If you have heard of the RFID chips which most of our credit and debit cards use, you may have also heard of the fraud which surrounds these chips. Some hackers have managed to tap into the same technology as card readers and are able to scan your card and use it. Always keep your card out of sight unless you are paying for something. If you have a swipe card, you will find it difficult to pay at a lot of places abroad, so if you can you need to try and source a chip and pin card to make things easier for you while you travel from place to place.
When you visit a foreign country there will always be the worry that you’ll end up ill or in need of medical assistance. However, you can combat this to an extent by making sure to take with you some bandaids and other tools, and when you arrive you need to head straight to the chemist to pick up some essentials. Grab yourself some pain killers, medicine for heartburn, cold and flu tablets and allergy tablets too. Even if you don’t have any allergies, you are in a different environment so you don’t know what you will react to.
Always check the travel alerts in your area, just like you would do at home. It will save you a headache when you are trying to go out anywhere and make it easier for you to plan an alternative route. It is also helpful to print out the address of your embassy so that you can visit there if you ever need to.
Remember that there are thousands of airlines in the world, some from your country and some from others. If you want to save a bit of money it is always worth checking on foreign airlines as well as native ones, and you could end up saving hundreds on flights by doing this. Check comparison sites as well as foreign airline websites to help you find the best deals.
Make sure that before you go abroad you set up your phone to avoid unwanted data roaming while you are abroad. There is a huge cost involved in transmitting data overseas and this is what will hike up your prices while you are travelling the world. Save yourself some money by turning it off before you leave!
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post