Here are 7 tips to help you plan your big adventure abroad:
1) Now that you know where you are going…do your homework!
Research your destination to discover the top tourist attractions, museums, restaurants and cultural venues.
- Check out online versions of major travel guides like Lonely Planet and Frommer’s.
- Dig even deeper by reading reviews on platforms like Trip Advisor.
- Learn the history and cultural traits of the destination you are traveling to.
- Read international news outlets to keep up on current events.
2) Download some travel apps
Apps can make your life abroad a lot easier and connect you with other people in your area.
- Whatsapp – Communicate with FREE international text messages, calls and video chats when connected to wifi.
- Duolingo –Start learning the local language before you depart!
- City Maps2 Go – Download maps to your phone so that you can find your way around even without wifi.
- Airbnb – Live in a local’s home, not a hotel. Now you can also try Airbnb Experiences like cooking classes, walking tours and more!
- Meetup –Join an online community of like-minded people in order to find fun things to do in your destination.
3) Using your phone abroad
International calls are expensive. Luckily, there are ways to communicate for less.
- Use apps like Skype, Whatapp, and FaceTime Audio for free calls when you are connected to wifi
- Buy and international phone plan before you go. Ask your local provider for details.
- Buy and international SIM card for your smartphone so you can have a local number.
4) Money Matters
- Make sure you tell your bank that you will be out of the country.
- Learn the local exchange rate and try to think in that currency.
- Bring cash with you to exchange at the airport to hold you over the first few days.
- Make sure you have a 4-digit PIN code to use ATMs abroad.
- Make sure your card has a chip.
- It is smart to take out the maximum amount from the ATM at once to avoid excess fees from your bank at home. Keep your money in a safe place at your accommodation.
- Use a money belt and do not carry a lot of cash on you at any time
5) What to do with your passport
People always ask if they should carry their passport with them at all times. The answer is no!
- Leave your passport safe at home or in your hotel.
- Carry another valid form of ID like your driver’s license.
- Make copies of your passport in case you lose it.
- Take a photo of your passport to have a digital copy.
6) International Insurance Plans
You should have international medical insurance that in case you get sick or injured during your time abroad. Some companies also offer protection against things like extreme sports, theft and flight cancellations.
Here are a few providers we recommend:
World Nomads: www.worldnomads.com/
Care Med: www.caremedus.com/
United Health: ask a CHI representative for more details
7) Adapters for your Electronics
Different countries have different electrical outlets. Make sure you get the correct adapter so that you can charge your laptop, tablet, phone and other electronics while you are abroad.