It can often seem like a thousand things conspire against us when we travel abroad. Whether it is flight delays, bad weather, lost luggage, or a forgotten USB cord, there are many things that can go wrong and mar our enjoyment of a well-earned vacation. Being aware of some common mishaps and taking steps to avoid them can help ensure vacations abroad are memorable trips – for all the right reasons, instead of because of annoyances and pitfalls.
· Bring enough money – One of the most common overseas travel pitfalls is not budgeting accordingly for the trip. When planning your trip, figure out your costs and needs for spending money, and then add about 20 percent as a cushion.
· Theft and loss – Use debit and credit cards for most transactions, if possible, and avoid carrying large sums of cash. You’ll need to have some cash for emergencies and situations where credit and debit card payment is unavailable, but keep this cash well-secured.
· Missed flights – Be sure to budget your time as well as you budget your money. Plan on showing up to the airport an hour and a half early. This gives you a little buffer if you’re running late and also gives you time to go through security checks.
· Seasonally inappropriate clothing – Make sure you know the climate of the area you’ll be visiting and pack accordingly. Also include rain and weather gear in case inclement weather occurs.
· Disappointing hotels – Don’t let price be your only deciding factor on accommodations. Be sure to read online reviews of the places you’ll be staying and pay attention to any potential red flags.
· Trouble communicating – If you’re visiting a non-English speaking country, take the time to learn a little bit of the local language. Know enough to ask for help, if you need it, or for directions. It’s not only courteous – it can help get you out of sticky situations.
· Cultural differences – Don’t be a rude visitor. Learn about the culture of the country you’re visiting so you can avoid awkward situations that can arise from cultural differences.
· Forgotten medication – Many vacations are inconvenienced or ended early because of lost or forgotten medication. When preparing for your trip, be sure to have adequate supplies of all medications. Store them securely when you’re abroad.
· Phone problems – When travelling abroad, be sure that your cell phone will work where you’re traveling. Also check to see if any international rates apply, as these can be quite expensive. Look into renting a phone in the country where you’re visiting. Also be sure to bring your USB cord to charge your device.
· Learn about the local electrical infrastructure – Your electronic devices may not work overseas without a converter or adapter to deal with local voltage and/or electrical socket configuration. Inquire about the local electrical infrastructure and research your own devices to see what kind of USB cables, adapters, or converter devices and other electronic needs you’ll have.
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