Home Holidays & Travelling 50 Things to Know Before You Go Abroad

50 Things to Know Before You Go Abroad

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Abroad journey brings with it so many challenges and rewards. If that is your first time touring abroad, you in all probability have already felt the concern and elation that include it. Worldwide journey may be arduous to navigate for a primary timer, and even your second or third journey.

There are cultural, social and etiquette variations that you really want to know, otherwise you danger wanting like a (-gasp-) vacationer, or worse!

Seasoned vacationers know that it pays to be educated and do your analysis earlier than you go overseas so that you don’t offend, embarrass or end up in a pickle.

You may study extra in regards to the nation you’re visiting on our Destinations page – simply select your metropolis or nation.

Listed below are 50 issues each traveler ought to find out about abroad journey earlier than leaving the nation to journey overseas.

»» You may additionally wish to learn our information: 10 Common Travel Scams to Avoid

Be Ready for Journey

Dealing With Cash on Trip

Choose the right travel credit card for overseas travel
Select the suitable journey bank card

1. Most nations use bank cards with chip and PIN know-how. Most U.S. playing cards now have a chip, however no PIN. Don’t fear, your card can nonetheless be used with a signature in most locations (besides normally in prepare/metro station merchandising machines). Ensure you have money available, simply in case.

2. When processing your bank card, the service provider ought to deliver the cardboard reader to you. Your card shouldn’t want to go away your sight. No matter you do, make certain you get the cardboard again after the transaction. There’s nothing worse than leaving your card behind accidentally.

3. Many bank cards cost a ~3% worldwide transaction price, even once you ebook your journey with a world firm or resort whereas nonetheless at residence. Apply for a card that doesn’t cost that price to save lots of $$. You need to use that card solely for journey and infrequently achieve loyalty factors for all your transactions that may assist pay for future journey.

4. Traveler’s cheques are outdated and pointless. Use a bank card or money as a substitute. Should you use a bank card, some retailers will ask if you wish to be charged in native forex, or your personal nation’s forex when paying with a bank card. You at all times get a greater charge within the native forex.

5. ATMs are the easiest way to get the money you’ll want (see the subsequent tip for why!). Attempt to calculate your prices prematurely so that you don’t take our an excessive amount of or should pay one other price to get extra. You could find ATMs in nearly each abroad airport (except it’s actually small).

6. Keep away from change bureaus. They typically cost exorbitant charges and provides dangerous change charges. Use the ATM as a substitute, however you’ll want to test if the ATM additionally costs exorbitant charges (some are linked to the change bureau.

7. Spend free change earlier than going again residence, as a result of you possibly can’t promote it again at many forex change desks so that you’ll have to return again residence with a pocket filled with ineffective cash. Should you’re not ready to make use of it, maintain a glance out for these donation containers which might be throughout airports. You may no less than let the cash go to a superb trigger slightly than the underside of your drawer.

8. Know the currency conversion rate and carry a calculator so that you don’t get taken benefit of. This may occur so simply! Should you don’t know what the conversion charge is and calculate it your self, you may be spending far more than you ever imagined.

9. Haggling is anticipated in most bazaars and markets world wide. However don’t begin too low otherwise you’ll insult the storekeeper. Begin negotiations with an affordable quantity and be ready to pay as much as 85% of the unique value. Should you’re unsure if haggling is appropriate, ask somebody earlier than you launch in.

Toilet Issues Whereas Touring Overseas

WC stands for Water Closet (aka the bathroom)
WC stands for Water Closet (aka the lavatory)

10. WC stands for water closet and is the appropriate image for a loo in lots of nations. Remember that almost all nations don’t confer with it as the lavatory or washroom. You could have to ask for the “bathrooms”, “the women”, or “the john”.

11. At all times carry small change if potential. It’s possible you’ll want it in some nations to make use of the WC (lavatory), particularly in prepare stations. I’ve undoubtedly been caught a few instances at European prepare stations with no change. They don’t take pity on you for those who actually should go both!

12. When utilizing a road lavatory the place you pay with cash within the door, beware that there’s a time restrict and the door could pop open earlier than you’re completed. No, I’m not kidding.

13. At all times carry your personal rest room paper. Some bogs don’t provide free or any paper. You might be able to pay on the door for a small sq. of paper, but when that’s not a risk and you’ve got none, you’ll be out of luck. I carry a pack of tissues in my bag always.

14. Be ready to squat! Many non-Western nations (and even a couple of others – like in France) use squat bathrooms and it’s undoubtedly a realized talent. Some older bogs in France are only a gap within the floor. In Italy, it’s most unlikely {that a} public rest room in an older constructing may have a bathroom seat.

15. Some nations/cities have older plumbing that can’t deal with rest room paper. Often there’s an indication asking you to put rest room paper (and different private hygiene gadgets) within the waste basket and never in the bathroom.

Eating Across the World

Hotel breakfasts can be highly overpriced.
Lodge breakfasts may be extremely overpriced.

16. In some nations (Argentina & Spain, for instance), dinner doesn’t begin till no less than 9pm. Should you present up earlier than that, you may be the one individual within the restaurant. If you wish to eat as early as 6 or 7pm, you would possibly have to discover a cafe as a substitute of a restaurant. Attempt to make reservations for 9:30 or 10 pm if you would like some ambiance whilst you dine.

17. Tipping isn’t required or anticipated in eating places or taxis in most nations outdoors the U.S. Rounding up is normally sufficient. A pleasant restaurant could warrant 10%. Individuals typically assume they NEED to tip, even when it’s not the tradition in that nation, however that’s very a lot NOT TRUE. Not all cultures are the identical – some nations really pay their wait workers a good wage. Nonetheless, you’ll seemingly at all times tip the bell boy in a resort in the event that they take your baggage to your room.

18. When in China or Japan, relaxation chopsticks in your plate or on a chopstick relaxation, however by no means standing up within the bowl. It’s the best way a bowl of rice is obtainable to the spirit of a lifeless individual on an alter, so a really massive no-no in an consuming state of affairs. Alongside comparable traces, you additionally shouldn’t use only one chopstick to spear meals, or set your chopsticks throughout your plate or bowl. That’s why there’s a chopstick relaxation on the desk. It’s impolite, just do don’t do it.

19. Some Muslim nations have strict alcohol consumption guidelines. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are fully dry! Earlier than you journey, test the calendar for non secular holidays (particularly Ramadan) within the nation you’re touring to. Eating places may be closed throughout these instances, and alcohol may be forbidden.

20. Lodge breakfasts are sometimes overpriced and underwhelming. If it’s not included in your charge, seize a croissant and low on the nook cafe as a substitute. You may typically get a full breakfast at a close-by restaurant for half the worth of the resort’s meager buffet.

21. Concentrate on the value of the water you’re being served. If it’s from a bottle, it’s seemingly not free, and it may be fairly overpriced.  Do you know that it’s not typical to robotically serve water with a meal outdoors the U.S.? If you’d like it, it’s a must to ask for it and be ready to pay for it.

22. You shouldn’t drink the water except you’re positive it’s secure to drink, otherwise you’ll danger traveler’s abdomen! In lots of instances, it’s not that the water isn’t clear, however that your abdomen isn’t geared up to deal with the completely different micro organism. For this identical purpose, it’s unwise to drink any drink with ice in it.

23. Once you’re able to get your invoice in a restaurant, you’ll should ask for it. Should you watch for it, you may be there all night time. Right here’s a fantastic alternative to study a couple of phrases within the language. At all times know easy methods to ask for the test.

Security on the Highway

How to Deal With Illness and Injury While Traveling
How you can Deal With Sickness and Harm Whereas Touring

24. Know how to stay safe on vacation. Concentrate on commotion, individuals bumping into you, beggars hanging round. Choose pockets are smarter and higher at what they do than you assume. I can’t inform you how many individuals I see placing their telephone in a again pocket the place it’s simply accessible to a decide pocket. It’s important to be smarter than that. Take a look at these common scams.

25. Don’t put on your backpack in your again, particularly for those who’re carrying costly gadgets. It’s simple for a thief to unzip a pocket and take one thing with out you noticing. Carry it in your entrance, or lock the compartments. 

26. Be ready for illness and injury whereas touring abroad. Verify that you’ve got medical travel coverage the place you’re headed, earlier than you permit residence, and know essential numbers. Once you’ve been damage shouldn’t be the time to have to determine in case you have protection.

Packing for Worldwide Journey

summer europe packing list
Click on to obtain a Free Packing Guidelines

27. Packing light – solely taking a carry-on — will prevent from the dreaded “misplaced baggage” situation. Right here’s a listing of our favourite carry-on luggage  and carry-on backpacks that meets Worldwide stick with it requirements. Should you’re going to journey with solely stick with it, it’s essential make sure that it would slot in all airline baggage sizers (European sizers are smaller than within the US).

28. Should you should take a checked bag, be sure you have no less than a change of garments and any requirements, resembling medicines, saved in your stick with it. In case your baggage is misplaced, it may take days to get it again. You would possibly assume the airline offers you cash to purchase requirements, however that’s hardly ever the case.

29. Use a toiletry bag to retailer all your little gadgets, like make-up, band aids, drugs, tweezers. Toiletry luggage maintain every little thing neatly packed in a single spot and make transporting it to the lavatory within the resort very simple.

30. Save house by packing dual-purpose garments that may be re-worn and mix-and-matched. There’s no have to take a number of pairs of travel shoes and jackets. Buy light-weight, comfortable travel pants to put on as a substitute of cumbersome denims.

31. Wrap wine and liquor bottles in garments so that they don’t break in your baggage. There are additionally protecting and leak-proof wine sleeves you may get to move bottles in your baggage. Additionally, for those who’re bringing again wine, concentrate on how a lot you’re allowed to deliver again.

32. We love packing cubes. They make packing SO EASY. The cubes compress your clothes so it suits in a smaller house and it retains every little thing packed in properly, so your underwear don’t go flying when the TSA agent seems to be by means of your bag.

33. Do laundry within the sink, or give it to your resort to do. You would even take alongside the superior Scrubba Wash Bag that permits you to do laundry simply whereas on the highway. The bag itself is a tiny travel-sized bag, however suits 3-Four shirts/pants in every wash. The time and vitality you’ll save not having to lug round baggage is so value it.

34. Know the airline’s baggage coverage and buy the right size luggage. Some U.S. carry-on luggage are too massive in Europe and Asia. Low value airways at all times have stricter limits. Know earlier than you go. Consider me, you don’t wish to get caught on a European trip with a bag that’s too massive. You’ll approach for the additional baggage on each leg of the journey.


Print boarding passes and confirm seat assignments

35. Journey within the off- or shoulder-season to chop down on prices and keep away from crowds. Excessive season for abroad journey sometimes extends by means of the summer season months and through Christmas and Spring Break.

36. Use an area airline to ebook brief flights in nation. Ryanair or Simple Jet will prevent tons of cash when flying in Europe. It’s additionally clever to look into free stopovers provided by numerous airways that offers you two locations for the worth of 1.

37. Know whether or not you want an International driver’s license to hire a automotive (like in Italy). Exhibiting as much as the rental automotive counter with out one can smash your trip earlier than it even begins.

38. At all times ask for an estimate on the cab fare earlier than getting in. You need to know what the anticipated charge is so that you don’t get overcharged. You may ask the standard fare value on the airport or your resort earlier than you get in. If the fare doesn’t sound affordable, use a distinct taxi.

39. Solely rent a car if it’s completely needed. Take the prepare, bus or stroll round cities as a substitute. It gives extra tradition, alternative to see the countryside and fewer trouble: parking, theft and further prices aren’t value it.

40. Know easy methods to drive a stick shift. Handbook transmission is commonplace at rental automotive businesses nearly in every single place outdoors the U.S. and it prices much more to hire an automated.

41. Should you’re going to hire a automotive, you higher know easy methods to change a tire! Additionally beware that some nations require you to hold chains the automotive throughout some months of the yr (additionally Italy).

Common Journey Suggestions


42. Know no less than a couple of phrases within the language. You need to no less than know easy methods to keep sure, no and thanks within the language. Some of the essential to know: Thank You. Right here’s how to say thank you in 65 languages.

43. Don’t stroll round together with your passport. Make a copy of the primary web page with you, and retailer your passport within the resort secure (except it’s required by the nation that you just carry it). Additionally give a duplicate of the primary web page to somebody again residence, simply in case.

44. By no means level at somebody together with your index finger, or any finger, actually. It’s impolite. The very last thing you need is to get in a struggle with somebody for doing it.

45. Know your passport quantity by coronary heart, in case it will get misplaced. You also needs to maintain a photocopy of the small print web page of your passport simply in case.

46. Join Global Entry (or Nexus) to hurry by means of customs when returning to the U.S. They now have many various methods to get again into the nation with out standing within the actually lengthy traces you typically face. Should you hardly ever journey overseas and don’t wish to pay for World Entry, TSA PreCheck permits for expedited safety checks at greater than 200 airports within the U.S. and it’s simply $85 for a five-year membership.

47. Join STEP with the U.S. Embassy when touring overseas and test worldwide journey alerts and security notices from the Embassy earlier than you go. When you join STEP, you may be notified of any points by way of electronic mail.

48. Know easy methods to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit, if you wish to know what the temperature is. A straightforward system: deduct 32, then multiply by 5, then divide by 9. Most cellphones have apps for this!

49. Be taught to waft. Don’t get uptight or stressed when issues don’t go proper or you’ll smash what little time you’ve gotten in your abroad journey. All the things may be fastened with persistence. We normally discover that the annoying factor that occurred finally ends up being essentially the most memorable and laughed at second of the journey.

50. Cheers! Prost! Živjeli! Be taught easy methods to toast in different languages. It’s enjoyable and helps you get in the suitable spirit.


Now that you recognize the 50 issues each worldwide traveler ought to know, you’ll be significantly better ready to deal with your self in any state of affairs once you go abroad.

In case you have extra issues so as to add that we should always find out about abroad journey, let me find out about them within the feedback. (Need extra?

Take a look at this record of 24 unusual travel words you should know)

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Overseas travel information for first timers traveling abroad
Abroad journey info for first timers touring overseas

50 Issues to Know Earlier than You Go Overseas

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