International travel is one of the most important things in life. If you can’t firsthand witness and understand how other people live, how can you make sense of your culture and place in the world? Everyone knows it’s expensive and daunting – especially where there’s language barriers and multiple flights separating you. For those of you lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to different countries, I have 5 travel tips to improve your international endeavors.
I have comprised this list through personal experiences – and a LOT of personal mistakes.
Travel Tip #1:
Use Google Translate. Hear me out – nobody has time to read those little foreign language phrasebooks every time they go to a new country, just to forget the words when they arrive. The Google Translate app is so helpful for making sense in countries that have completely different language structures. The most important feature is the scanning camera. You can literally hold it up to any sign or MENU (very important), and it will scan the words right onto the page into your language.
Travel Tip #2:
Food Tours. If you are a person who likes to try new things, then you can get an added element out of traveling to foreign countries. Experiencing local food is as fun as it is educational and you really get to understand the culture a bit more. Food tours are forsure the way to go. Ranging from restaurant hopping to intimate home cooking classes, these are the easiest and simply most exciting ways to try the local food. Some of my favorite sites to find these tours are Expedia, TripAdvisor, and (surprisingly) AirBnB.
Travel Tip #3:
Do ample research BEFORE you board the plane. The most important thing you could in preparation is to research the area beforehand. You can even plan out a loose itinerary, making your trip run smoothly.This way you can plan out what activities you want to do, and how long it will take to get there. WARNING: Don’t bother to over plan (e.g. planning by the hour), in the end this will have been a waste of time there is always going to be some unexpected setbacks, especially if you’re traveling with a group.
Travel Tip #4:
Download a Currency Converter app. My favorite one is called My Currency Converter & Rates. This kind of app is going to save you so much time and mental math pains. When traveling to countries with different currencies it is valuable to be able to type in the amount of a water bottle, appetizer, or hotel room and have the exact translated amount pop up in terms you can understand. This is especially helpful because of the constantly changing currency exchange rate.
Travel Tip #5:
Research local customs and rules. The last thing you want when traveling is to get in trouble for something you didn’t even know wasn’t allowed. Different countries have different weird rules – but as a traveler you have to respect them! For example in Barbados, it is against the law to wear anything that has a camouflage coloring. Becoming aware of these rules before you touch down will put you at ease knowing no one can pull one over on you.
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