I don’t consider myself that much of a seasoned traveler, yet. I have experienced a few things while out and about so I guess I can help some people out.
These are some ideas that may save your tail someday.
Consider this a traveling 101 post.
Register with the embassy
Figure out where the embassy is and make sure to write down the address, I screen shot everything too.
You can register with them and make life easy or you can be like me, lazy. Knowing where to find the embassy in the countries being traveled to is fine just in case you lose your passport or something like that. Doh!
Take photos/photocopies of important documents
Photos and photocopies can spare someone from a lot of stress. Take them of important things such as: passport, visas or anything else that is needed while out in the world.
Once said documents are lost there is not as much stress if a photo is on hand; although new documents will be needed eventually. This is a trick to spare a few days of headaches.
Bring extra passport photos
Passport photos come in handy for in country visas – visa that can be purchased in the country you are traveling through. Having some extra pictures of your mug is good anyways, for all of my fellow narcissists out there.
Stay at a hotel or with a host after flying
You will thank me later for this one. Yes, you can get right off the plane and run to a hostel or go out and explore, but most likely jetlag will catch up with you.
Why not take it easy for just a day by knowing you have amenities surrounding you? Now, if this is your first rodeo, just go out and get your feet wet.
This can also reign true if you are on a tight budget or schedule, after all, this is is just my opinion.
Find the names of local transportation before leaving
If the research can be done beforehand than why not? Find out what the names are for the buses, trains, and other transit; maybe even print out underground rail maps as they can get confusing in some big cities. I know that Berlin is a little crazy when it comes to the underground.
Having apps for the different forms of transportation is a good thought too. These are very useful when trying to find the schedules of arriving and departing trains and buses.
Change your cell service
Don’t buy an international plan because most of the cell service providers have something they can switch the service to while traveling. Most of the time this is done at no extra costs but there are limitations. These limitations can range from not having any service other than wifi in certain countries, to having the slowest service or emergency outgoing calls only.
I do not work for a service provider, so contact the specific one you have and sort out the details. Don’t be afraid to keep them on the line while you ask questions to iron out all the fine print, we all pay a ridiculous amount for the use of these devices, they can field a few questions.
Alert your credit card and bank providers
Credit card companies will most likely shut off cards if they are not alerted beforehand about traveling out of country. Avoid getting declined that cannoli because your card won’t go through.
This also applies to your bank, call them and give them a heads up that you are leaving the country; again, you don’t want to be trying to take out money for beers at a local pub just to be cut off by the bank. Skip all of the grief and call the bank and credit companies, they will probably ask what countries and for how long. On a side note, if you don’t like talking on the phone, log on to the website and most likely there is an option to set travel details.
This would also be a good time to ask if there is any foreign interest rates or anything of that nature. Some companies will charge you interest or fees to use your card in other countries.
Bring books or fill up your phone with music
Planes, trains, and automobiles can only get people from point A to point B so fast. Entertainment is a must so load that cell phone up with music, books, movies, and what ever else you can. If you have room in you luggage, pack some books in there. Nothing sucks more than a 6 hour train or bus ride without music.
Keep a level head and be aware of your surroundings
Be safe, not stupid.
Traveling is fun, until it’s not. Always be aware of where you are and what is happening around you.
Shady situations will arise but just keep cool and everything should be fine.
Use your logic and intelligence when adventuring out in the world. There is no need to be paranoid, a little caution is all you need.
Now go out and explore!