By: Brooke Greenwald
1.) Make a List
When you think of something you need to bring, write it down. You can start mentally packing for your trip about a week or two before you leave. This way, you don't feel rushed and unorganized the night before you leave.
2.) Always Get Travel Insurance!
You can't predict the future. It is always a good idea to protect what you can't predict!
3.) Make Photo Copies of Important Documents
If you loose your passport or a credit card. You'll want to make sure you have copies of that information with you in a separate bag.
4.) Alert Your Bank and Credit Card Company of Your Travel Plans
There's nothing worse than trying to pay for something when your overseas but your credit card doesn't work because there is a hold on your card. Most banks and credit card companies have a place on their website where you can notify them of any travel plans.
5.) Tell Someone Where You're Traveling To
It's a good idea to let someone at home know where your headed. Especially if you plan to travel solo.
6.) Spread The Wealth
Don't keep all your cash and credit cards in one spot. I usually hide some cash and a backup credit card in a separate bag.
7.) Be Flexible!
You may have just spent your life's savings on this trip. So it is understandable that you want everything to go exactly as planed. But any avid traveler will tell you that sometimes things go wrong. Flights get delayed. Weather is unpredictable. Life happens. So try not to get too upset if you find yourself in a situation you didn't plan for. Remember, part of traveling is the experience. Sometimes the most unpredictable circumstances make for the best experiences.
8.) Bring Extra Batteries/Chargers
You'll want to take lots of pictures and you'll probably want to share all of those pictures on whatever social media platform suits your fancy. So make sure your phone and camera has enough juice for the job!
9.) Meet Local People
People enrich your traveling experiences more than sights do. So make it a point to talk with the locals. This may seem a little intimidating, but basic English is spoken widely all over the world so it is easier to communicate than you might think.
10.) Pack the Essentials in Your Carry-on
You should make sure you have enough stuff in your carry-on so that if your check bag gets lost, you still have what you need to get by.
11.) Don't Put your Address on Your Luggage Tag
Your phone number will suffice. And now you don't have to worry about the creeper standing over your shoulder knowing where you live or planning his heist while you're on vacation.
12.) Get Uncomfortable
To have a truly enriching travel experience, there are times where you will have to get uncomfortable. From long flights to saying hello to the locals. Its all part of the travel experience. Don't worry, there will be plenty of time for relaxing too!
13.) Splurge a Little
After all, you are on vacation. So spend that extra night at that nice hotel, eat out at a fancy restaurant, or buy that souvenir you've had your eye on. You deserve it!
14.) Don't Over Plan
If you have every last second of every last day planned out, chances are you will feel like you need a vacation after you get back from your vacation. My advice is to pick a starting point and a couple must see/do activities and let the rest just happen.
15.) Carry a Basic First Aid Kit
Or at the very least, a Band-Aid and some antibacterial wipes/sanitizer.
16.) Lunchtime is the Best Time to Visit Historical Sites
The crowds clear out and you can have a more enjoyable experience.
17.) Carry a Water Bottle
I never go anywhere without mine, but especially when I travel. If the tap water is safe to drink, you will save a lot of money not having to buy bottled water everywhere you go.
18.) Visit the Local Tourism Office
It's your go to place for finding out about local activities going on in town. Also, it's a great resource if you have questions about the area.
19.) Be Respectful
Most of the time, locals are more than willing to help you out. But if something doesn't go your way, just remember that you are visiting their home. Be respectful of their culture and customs.
20.) Have Fun!
This is YOUR vacation! Enjoy it!
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