These past few weeks have gone by so fast and so many things happened in a short amount of time. Both my sister and I have recently graduated and in less than a week we will be going on a family trip to Greece! Since I am leaving on vacation soon, I thought why not make a trip preparation guide and advice?
When I go to a foreign country I avoid using my credit card at all cost and bring it for emergency cases only. If you swipe your card all the time outside of the country you will most likely have to pay a conversion fee for each transaction. That is why I calculate an estimate of the amount of money that I would need and exchange cash at a local currency exchange office (not bank!) before my trip. Compare the exchange rates and fees between the offices so you get the best deal. You can also bring extra cash at your trip destination and exchange it there if needed. Depending on where you go, it is possible that some places will only take cash or that your credit card won’t work at certain stores so it is always good to have cash on you.
Research is a very important step in preparing for a trip. You don’t need to plan exactly where you are going on certain days but make a list of places you want to visit, good restaurants around where you’ll be and activities that are offered, just so you are not wasting your time thinking of where to go. I download Google Map offline maps of the area I visit and save all the locations that I want to go to on them. It makes it easier to navigate off data and wifi and everything is visually placed for you so that you can see what places are close to each other. Look up local dishes that you should try while you’re there, read about their culture so you know you’re not doing anything offensive towards the country’s culture and learn basic words in their language. Also, always check the weather there so you can adjust to it and bring adequate clothing!
Last, I always make sure to make a detailed checklist and go through it as I make my luggage. That way I know I won’t forget anything and see what I am missing so I can buy it for the trip.
Here’s a basic trip checklist:
- Download public transportation apps
- Download Google offline maps
- Pin/save all the desired locations on Google Maps
Luggage & Backpack:
- Cash & credit card
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, suncream, cream)
- Health/safety items (medicine for headache and stomachache, bandaid, wet wipes)
- Electronics (phone, power bank, extra camera batteries, charger for phone/camera, power adapter)
- Clothes (tops, bottoms, one pieces, undergarments, bathing suits)
- Shoes (sandals, comfortable sneakers)
I hope this was somehow helpful to you! Especially for those who have less experience traveling. I can’t wait to talk to you more about my upcoming trip next time! Let me know if there is anything you would like to learn or know in the comments so I can discuss about it in the next posts 🙂