Guest Post by Cloe Matheson
Visiting a new country always brings a thrill. The excitement of meeting new people, experiencing a new culture and seeing the world’s most beautiful places are memories that last a lifetime.
However, without the correct planning, international travel can also be extremely stressful. Many things can go wrong if you don’t plan correctly, from forgetting essentials to booking accommodation too late. To help you prepare for your next overseas trip, follow these savvy travel tips.
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A Health Kit
When going on international adventures, there’s always the risk of falling ill or getting injured in some way. Having a first aid or health kit prepared ahead of time will save you the stress of trying to find a foreign pharmacy.
Keep your health kit stocked with any medicines and pharmaceuticals that work for you, including pain-relief, medicine for stomach trouble, itch-relief ointment and insect repellent (especially in tropical destinations), allergy medicines, sunburn relief, and plasters for minor ailments like cuts, scrapes or blisters. You never know where or when these things might happen, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
In some parts of the world, sunscreen can be unexpectedly hard to find and can also be quite pricey even when it is available. But since you’ll probably be spending a lot of time exploring outdoors, it’s essential to wear proper sun protection. Make sure to pack a high factor, waterproof sunscreen so that you don’t have to look for some upon arrival.
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A Reusable Water Bottle
It’s important to stay hydrated while walking around outdoors. Although bottled water is widely available in most countries, relying on single-use water bottles as your primary hydration source can become very expensive and also contributes to a lot of plastic waste. To protect the environment and save money, bring a stainless-steel water bottle with you and refill it with tap water whenever you run out.
Remember not to travel overseas without a multi-plug power adaptor to charge your electronics. Just make sure to check the exact type of outlets that are used in your travel destination. Keep your electronics in a safe and secure bag, and don’t ever let it out of sight.
Choosing Appropriate Clothing
When visiting a new and unfamiliar country, it’s always hard to know how much to pack. But if you really do your research and plan ahead, you can avoid the common mistake of over-packing or not packing enough.
No matter where you’re going, make sure to select multi-purpose clothing items that can be worn on various occasions. Think about the activities you’ll be doing and be realistic about what you’ll actually wear. If you’re visiting a cold climate, wear lots of light-weight layers instead of bringing heavy, bulky items to save space in your suitcase. Wear your bulkiest clothes and shoes on the plane ride, or carry it with you.
Depending on the duration of your trip, you’ll probably need to do laundry at some point. For longer trips, look for durable clothing fabrics that dry quickly – they are much easier to wash and tend to pack more lightly.
Once you’ve put together a full packing checklist, it’s time to start organizing your suitcase and getting ready for your trip. Everyone has their own technique when it comes to packing clothing. However, if you want to save space and avoid creasing, the general rule is to roll your clothes instead of folding.
Packing cubes can also be handy for keeping your suitcase case organized. These fabric cubes come in all shapes and sizes and act like little individual suitcases within your bag. Instead of continually rummaging through your luggage in search of that missing sock or clean shirt, you can just pull out the appropriate cube.
One of the best parts about traveling to a new country is having the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture. Cultural travel can be an invaluable learning experience that helps to broaden your worldview and perspective. However, when visiting a culture that is drastically different to your own, it’s vital to be respectful and courteous.
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Outsiders may be unaware of how deeply ingrained some traditions are within a culture. Specific behaviors that you may consider normal may be seen as offensive in other countries or regions – including certain dress codes and even things such as eye-contact between younger people and adults.
Before your departure, do some research about the local customs and conventions of your destination. Having a basic understanding of the region’s culture beforehand can help you avoid unintentionally offending the locals!
No matter where you’re headed in the world, you’re bound to have a wonderful time on your travel adventures. Just remember to be smart about your clothing choices, keep the packing simple, and do your research about your chosen destination. Everything will run smoothly if you just stay organized. Good luck and safe travels!
Cloe Matheson enjoys writing and traveling, with one of her current goals being to fill all the pages in her passport before she has to renew it! After all, the saying is true: “of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.” Cloe has written travel articles for various hospitality sites such as Tanoa Tusitala, and you can discover more of her work on Tumblr.