5 Basic Travel Tips for Traveling Abroad

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I was asked to put together a list of basic travel tips, so here we go, just a few things I learned from personal experience: 

1. Credit cards

a. Use a credit card when traveling, NOT a debit. I've gone on a couple trips with friends who don't use credit cards, and only had debit or cash. Problem with cash, you can lose it, or you can run out quicker than expected. Problem with debit cards is that you can't control fraud, and that IS your cash in that account, so be careful. Most credit cards have fraud protection, so I personally have a sense of security when using my credit card for traveling. Also, I earn points! :). The bank gift cards sound like a good idea, but aren't accepted everywhere because your name isn't on the front, just a heads up. 

b. Before going on your trip call your bank or credit card company to notify them of your travel destinations and dates. If not notified, they will assume your card was lost/stolen and they will put a block on it. 

2. Cellphone 

a. Call your cellphone provider to find out what the roaming charges outside of the country are and if they provide packages or services for traveling overseas. Verizon has a traveling plan for $10/day. You can turn your phone on and use it as you would at home for calling, texting, and data. The $10 is good for 24 hours. One hour before your time is up you will get a text message reminding you that your 24 hours is almost up. If you decide to keep your phone on, you will start another 24 hour cycle for $10. 

b. We also downloaded the Whatsapp app to keep in touch with people at home and also to communicate with each other. The app works when you are connected to wifi and can be used to make calls or text. 

3. Charging electronics

a. Look up what kind of power outlets are in the country you are going to visit. If you are traveling to multiple destinations, you might want to look into purchasing a universal adapter. Like this one from Amazon (click the below title to be direct to the site)...

4. Lodging

a. I love using Airbnb for lodging. I've found deals just as cheap as staying in a hostel but with more privacy. My friends and I will usually split an entire apartment and pay less than what we would staying at a hostel. I also like using Airbnb because you get a better experience of how people live in the area you're visiting. Some hosts leave pretty good lists with great suggestions, or show you around and take you to some of the local spots.

b. We have also used VRBO and Home Away, which are great as well. But don't get me wrong, there are great hostels out there! I'm just stating my preference and giving you other options. And of course if lodging costs are not an issue, there are also great hotels, villas, castles, whatever your tastes and preferences are. 

5. Packing

a. When visiting multiple locations by plane, I suggest using a travel backpack. The one I have passes as a carry-on on most airlines and still fits everything I need. I wrote an entire blog about packing, visit Guide to Packing Light

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