Some of these you probably know, but the list below has helped me to enjoy my vacations much more… hope it helps:
- Everything will cost more than you think it should and it will take twice as long to get places. Understand this going in. It will help you relax and plan accordingly.
- Don’t try to do too much in one day. Travel is exhausting at times and you just might not be able to get to everything so prioritize and enjoy!
- Try to have some of the country’s currency beforehand, know the exchange rate, and small bills help.
- Don’t count on having access to the internet. It usually costs (a lot) or just simply isn’t available.
- If you need certain medicines or other essentials, pack them. You don’t want to be stuck running around looking for something you need.
- When you get back to your hotel room at the end of the day, put everything away immediately. Also, keep your things in the same place. It saves you time and a bit of sanity.
- When you are out and about, move aside if you can’t find something or want to organize your things. Don’t stop in front of the steps or right passed the entry.
- The line will always be longer than you hoped. Sometimes you will get lucky but just be prepared for a wait.
- Use the bathroom when you can because you just never know. Oh! Bring some extra tissue and some hand sanitizer too (this is especially true in Asia).
- You will most likely get cheated with the taxis. Try to find out the cost beforehand and let the driver know about how much it should cost (don’t be fooled, they usually speak a bit of English). Obviously try to avoid getting ripped off but until you know your way around and speak the language, just cross your fingers and hope for the best.
- When shopping, remember to ask yourself – would you spend this much in your own country? It feels like Monopoly money but trust me, Visa knows the exchange rate.
- Mind your children. We understand that they have lots of energy and need to blow off some steam but we are on vacation too and want to enjoy it. Also, strollers do not have the right of way… nope. We paid too much to be there too.
- Most people do speak a bit of English but try not to assume… ask first. Also, learn how to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in the local language – it always gets a smile.
- Leave a nice tip for the hotel maid.
- Before you leave on your trip, lay out all the clothes & money you think you’ll need. Now pack half the clothes and twice the money and you are set! (Thanks Steve)
If you can think of some others I did not include, please comment… I will add them in!