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Planning an International Trip

I’m no travel expert, and I definitely don’t claim to be, but I have had my fair share of journeys, mishaps, and travel disasters….So let my mistakes be your wisdom! Here are some tips on what to think about before planning out your next adventure.  

Before booking, think about the fact that you’re not just paying for food, airfare, and a place to stay! You’re also paying for cabs, buses, train fares, museum fees, alcohol, shopping, activities and TIPPING. Always take more money then you think you’ll spend because it’s better to be safe and happy than bored and/or stranded in a foreign city. Also split up your cash in case you get robbed like I did in Belize City. When I had $500 stolen, I had no more USD so I had to have someone wire me money. It was quite the ordeal. 

Taking in the views of Venice, Italy.

Taking in the views of Venice, Italy.

Relaxing on a HOT Summer Day in Rome.

Relaxing on a HOT Summer Day in Rome.

 

Do the residents of city or country you're interested in visiting speak English? Will there be signs and/or maps in English? If the answer is no and you’re a woman traveling alone, then you may want to get a tour guide or go in a group. You don’t want to put yourself in any sort of danger or sticky situations! Also, if the answer is no it might be nice—out of respect for the county and its people—to learn a few of their common words and phrases. When I visited Istanbul I tried to learn Turkish phrases to thank my new friends and welcoming hosts, but I just couldn’t figure it out. Luckily, my aunt and I had a wonderful, extremely smart English speaking tour guide so we were safe and happy and able to communicate with most people. 

 

Why do you want to go to this place? What about it intrigues you? Look up some inspiration, and very roughly plan out what you’d like to do and when. Research isn’t always fun but it will help you decide if and when to book that plane ticket! 

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For the love of all that is good and holy, show up to your international flight at least two and half hours early. TSA will probably try to grope you, you may miss a tram, and you might need to stop for snacks, like I do. Also, if you show up for an international flight an hour and forty minutes early, as opposed to say….two hours early…the gate will not let you through. At all. Even if you have a whole hour and forty minutes. That’s how I got stranded in Canada for 23 hours and then had to pay $1,000 to get home. That happened to me. It was terrible. 

 

Think about how badly you really want to save money and just go for the overnight flight because “you’ll sleep on the plane”. If you do not sleep on the plane for an overnight flight, then you could end up in a foreign country completely exhausted and hating life. Not an awesome start your big adventure. I took an overnight flight to ATL from LAX in January. I didn’t sleep at all on the plane and I was in a world of hurt when I got to Georgia. That level of discomfort, exhaustion and general misery I wouldn't wish upon anyone, except maybe Donald Trump, Paul Ryan and Mike Pence. 

 

Thanks for reading and safe travels!