3 Things To Know Before Going Abroad
These days, there are many reasons you should travel outside your country. You might have a business trip planned, visiting family – who even has their whole family in the same country anymore? – or simply discovering another culture. Going on a trip is – most of the time – a lot of fun. Whoever, going unprepared can ruin some of it. Having traveled on almost every continent and not having spent a full month in the same country for the past four years, here are my four tips when leaving your home sweet home.
Take the essential, all the essential, and only the essential.
This is not one of these “how to pack for a world tour with less than 10 kilos” articles. Mainly because I have no idea how to do that, but also because that would be very specific. We are talking here about just about a checklist that works for ANY trip and about ANYONE.
No matter who you are, you are going to need your passport AND your ID. Unless you look old – let’s assume you don’t – an ID in your pocket will be useful, and you don’t want to lose your passport and not be able to return. Also, an external battery can save lives. Literally. When lost in a country, if you don’t know the language or the way to get somewhere, your phone will be your best friend. Of course, it’s always better to talk to real people, but sometimes it’s not that easy. How much time (and money) have I wasted just because I was lost somewhere or couldn’t reach my local contact? Make sure your phone doesn’t run out. Just do it.
Never assume it’s going to be hot all the time
Never, ever – even in Zanzibar – have I ever been on a trip during which I never needed warm trousers and a jumper. N.E.V.E.R. It’s really important to know that in the warmest countries, they have air con basically everywhere, and that it’s not your regular office air con. It’s like being in Alaska.
Also, you can’t enter any temple in Asia in shorts/short skirts/dresses. You don’t have to keep your gloves in your suitcase – and with tactile screens, no one wears gloves anymore – but a thick jumper, large trousers, sock and a scarf (very useful in planes, buses, taxis, anywhere where there’s air con and you might want to get some sleep).
I’ve had cold weather in every place on Earth, no matter the season. Also, if you’re going on a business trip…wear clothes.
Respect the locals.
It’s insane that this is part of the essential tips to traveling, but it feels like it needs to be reminded.
Even more when going to a poor country, remember that the locals are not your employees. They live in the country, and they probably know better. Don’t allow yourself to be rude or disrespectful. If you can’t deal with diversity, stay home. This works for respecting traditions.
When going to Asia, don’t bother monks or touch them to take a picture with them. When going to the Middle East, don’t wear shorts or short dresses on the street if it doesn’t feel appropriate and if none of the locals do. If you have any doubt about what you should or shouldn’t do, ask locals or a friend who lives there. They’ll know what to advise!
These are only the first 3 of many traveling tips that can be useful when going abroad. You can find advice on what to pack, what to buy, where to go and how to get cheap plane tickets, but these are the basics.
Travelling is amazing, but depending on where and how you are going, it can also end up being a bad experience. Don’t let anything ruin your holidays/ your days abroad!