In the US, many people are already anticipating their summer vacation. They are making plans and trying not to stress out about it, since vacation is supposed to be relaxing. Vacation can also be about seeing new places, which might even be new international destinations. International travel can be another level of added stress, if you do not adequately prepare. Avoid excess stress by following these international travel tips.
Due to COVID restrictions, check all your international destination’s requirements. They will likely include a negative COVID test result, perhaps proof of vaccination, and use of masks. Some international destinations do not have these requirements. Choose a destination that meets your personal needs.
Make a Budget and Plan Accordingly
Setting a budget will determine many aspects of your trip such as destination, activities, dining, lodging, etc. It may also determine travel dates and packing. You will need to determine which aspects of your trip are more important to you. You will allot more of your budget to those things and try to economize in all other aspects. If you want to economize in all parts of the trip while at your destination, you might consider traveling somewhere that has a good currency exchange rate. Maybe you want to economize by flying out of a larger airport rather than the closest one to you. Or perhaps you do not mind being flexible on the travel dates to save a couple hundred dollars on flights and lodging. If that is the case, choose travel dates during the slow season for tourism. It will vary depending on your destination. Maybe you want to economize on lodging so you can have a fine dining experience while traveling, or vice versa. Choose your trip priorities and plan your budget accordingly.
Do Your Research
Check the exchange rate of your destination’s currency to the US dollar. This will give you an idea as to how strong your money will be in that country to give you an idea of pricing. Find out what the weather will be during the season you are traveling, so you can pack accordingly. Your destination may not be in the same season as your home, and the weather may not be the same for that season as it would be back home. Make sure the sights you want to see and the things you want to do are currently open and available to the public. COVID made a lot of changes across the globe. Check for the local COVID restrictions as well as the travel protocol for guests to be able to travel to that destination. If you plan on going inside a place of worship, do research on what the dress code is. The same goes for fine dining and other indoor venues.
When traveling internationally, rather than packing everything but the kitchen sink, you might consider traveling as lightly as possible. Traveling lightly will save you money, especially if you booked tickets that charge per bag. Another reason to pack lightly is so you have less to carry in the airport, in transit, and at your destination. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to balance too many bags after a sleepless night on an airplane to an international destination. If you can pack everything into your carry-on and personal item, that would be ideal. Making that your goal will force you to only bring what is absolutely necessary.
Determine Your Transportation Needs
Your budget may not allow you to rent a car for your whole trip. Depending on your destination, you might not want or even need a car. In some countries, a taxi might be cheaper. In others Uber may be the answer. Yet other destinations may be conducive to walking or biking from place to place. If you are lucky, public transportation may be available. Do your research as you plan your trip. You may find that some places you go while on your trip will require one type of transportation while other places will have a different means of getting from one place to another. Find out what is available and then choose the best means of transportation based on your budget needs.
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