8 Tips for Traveling Abroad

I have traveled abroad numerous times (beginning in 2005) and loooove visiting new places and experiencing different cultures! I’ve had questions about traveling abroad [more now that we are planning to live abroad next summer] so I thought I’d share some tidbits of things I’ve felt helpful over the years of traveling :)

PLAN OUT YOUR TRIP AHEAD OF TIME
Whether you’re flying solo, or with family or friends, plan out your itinerary. Map out what you will be doing each day and create a list of all the places you want to visit - including restaurants and sight seeing!

CALL YOUR BANK & PHONE COMPANY BEFOREHAND
John and I always end up doing this as we are about to take off on the plane haha sooo don’t be like us and do before your trip! ;)

EXCHANGE & CURRANCIES
We normally just use credit cards when traveling. But when we went to Spain, we exchanged some US money for Euros which I’m SO glad we did because some places did not accept credit cards.

KNOW SOME BASIC PHRASES OF THE LANGUAGE
If you’re going to a place that most likely doesn’t speak English, make sure you know some simple phrases such as: “Hello! My name is ____.” “How is your day?” “How are you doing?” “Where is the bathroom?” “I would like to order _____.” “Nice to meet you!” “Thank You!” I’ve realized that people from the country you are visiting also feel really honored when Americans learn their language! We made sure to brush up on our Spanish when we went to Spain and I’m so glad we did because we were able to communicate with the locals :)

PACK COMFY SHOES
Chances are you’ll be walking around a lot, exploring, and getting your steps in for the day hehe so make sure to pack comfortable shoes for just that! Your feet will be sure to thank you. When we went to NYC and Spain we walked on average eight miles a day - sooo those comfy sneakers came in handy!

BE MINDFUL OF THE TIME DIFFERENCE
I forgot about the time difference when we were in Spain and would text my family and friends at 12am their time and 7am Spain’s time haha. The struggle was real! If you have an iPhone, go to the “clock” and click “World Clock” then you can add your hometown and the country you’re visiting to keep track of the time difference! This was really helpful for me when I was communicating with family annnnd also is great for social media posting purposes hehe.

BE AWARE OF THE CULTURE
It’s important to do your research on the place you’re visiting so you can learn about their culture and customs. Every culture varies and some of the things that we do here in the states are not socially acceptable elsewhere and vise versa. Be aware and respectful of other cultures.

PACK ACCORDINGLY TO THE WEATHER 
I sound like such a mom saying this (haha!) but don’t forget to check the weather! It would be a bummer if you were to pack summer clothes when in reality it ends up being cold and rainy. Before traveling abroad, I always make sure to check the weather 1-2 weeks before our trip and then I pack accordingly!

I hope these tips were helpful for you! And if you’ve got a fun trip planned soon, have a BLAST! What’s on your bucketlist to travel? :)

Julia Mann