Planning a long trip or big vacation can be pretty overwhelming, not only do you have to figure out transport, accommodation, and activities, but all the little details in between as well. Here are seven important details you’ll want to research before embarking on your next journey.
How To Get To And From The Airport
Once you’ve got your flight it may be easy to think the hard part is over, but the next step is figuring out how to get to and from the airport. When traveling to a new city, you’ll want to look up the best ways to get from the airport to your destination. This can be through public transport, taxi, rideshare, or rental car, depending on your budget. But those who want to save a few bucks and take public transport should look into the most affordable systems possible. For example, if you fly into Heathrow airport when visiting London, you’ll have to buy a specific ticket to get from the airport to the city center on the city’s underground metro, however if you know the system ahead of time it can save you around 20 GBP.
Navigating A City’s Transportation Systems
Now maybe you’ve figured out how to get to your accommodation from the airport, but that’s just one journey. For this reason, it would be wise to do some deeper research into your destination’s transportation options. Some cities use trams, buses or metro, while others are easy to navigate on foot. Regardless of which mode of transportation is most popular in your destination, you’ll want to be familiar with how the systems work. Can you pay in coins on buses and trams? Will it save you money to purchase a city-wide transportation card? Cities all over the world offer transportation cards to tourists and travelers to use on all types of transport in the city. Some recommended apps for navigation in foreign countries include Google Maps, Moovit or Citymapper.
A more obvious detail you’ll want to note before your trip is weather. Will you need a few extra layers or a rain jacket? Is it the rainy season where you’re going or can you ditch a few pairs of pants in exchange for some flip flops and sunglasses? Knowing the weather ahead of time is a big help when packing and can save you space so you can bring home souvenirs! Though weather is unpredictable, you can always buy a cheap umbrella or a swimsuit if it changes during your trip.
Despite your fantasies of a stress-free vacation, it’s important to remember that some of the world’s most popular destinations have high crime rates. In cities like Paris and Rome, pickpocketing and street-side scams are extremely common. Read up on the most popular types of crime in your destination so you can have your wits about you when you’re seeing the sights. Pickpockets and scammers are known to target tourists so you might also benefit from educating yourself on how to appear less like a tourist and give yourself a chance to pretend you’re a local for a bit more fun during your trip. Check for Travel Advisories here.
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of information to know about a country is its currency and exchange rate? Some travelers like to exchange their currency at the airport or an ATM upon arrival in their destination, while others like to buy foreign curreny at a bank before leaving the USA. Either way, familiarizing yourself with foreign currencies will make your trip go more smoothly. Visit Exchange-Rates.org to check out today’s exchange rates or make historical comparisons.
Bank and Phone Policies
Before you leave on any trip, you may want to alert your bank and cellular provider of when and where you will be traveling to. Your bank should allow you to put travel notifications on your credit cards so you can use them while you travel. Your phone company should have an international data plan which allows you to pay a daily rate for data while abroad. There are other data plans available to you as well including: E-SIM cards accessible through a downloadable app, or a new SIM card from the country you are visiting which will put you on a plan with a different cellular provider. Make sure to research all your options before your trip so you can figure out which works best for you. Not all international phone plans are created equal, some of the best plans are offered by top cellular providers like Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile according to T&L.
Though we hope you’ll never have to use this information, it is important to evaluate your options for healthcare in your destination in case of an emergency. Healthcare varies from country to country so you should familiarize yourself with what kind of care you can receive in your destination. Some longer-term travelers opt for travel healthcare plans which cover your expenses in a variety of health scenarios in a number of countries. For travel insurance options, check out how Forbes rated the best overall and affordable travel insurance plans this year.