Things to consider when travelling abroad
Ruth gives her top tips for making the most of your holidays this summer
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s just after exam time, you’re planning a holiday with your friends looking forward to the sun rays beaming down on you in Mallorca. However, there are times when holidays become stressful because of forgotten passports, make up, etc. To make it as stress free and enjoyable as possible, I’ve created a list of the most important things to consider when heading to a new country.
Make sure to:
- Check out what others have said about where you’re going to. Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor Forums are great ways to find some alternative hidden gems.
- Make a list of all the things you need to bring, and tick them off as you pack them.
- Exchange your money before you go. There are a number of EU countries who don’t use the Euro, be sure to check it out and get some money exchanged in your bank, but make sure you leave at least three working days for the money to come in.
- Book a hotel in the city center. Sometimes the cheap accommodation can seem appealing but make sure you check where the accommodation actually is. Nothing worse than realising a mile into your walk to the city that you’ve forgotten your purse.
- Bring a battery pack. This is an absolute must. Nowadays phone batteries die quicker than my hopes that I’ll pass my exams. Invest in a good battery pack and never get stuck with 1% battery again.
- Embrace the culture. Try a local dish, take a cookery class, find out what they do in their spare time. It’s a new country so find out what it’s all about.
- Learn a few phrases and words to use while you’re there, you’ll be an instant hit with the locals.
- Buy a waist pack. I know they are definitely not the most stylish of accessories but they’re so handy to carry around the essentials without the worry of watching your bag the whole time.
- Download an off-line map to use if travelling outside the EU to avoid them hefty billing charges. MAPS.ME is a great app to get around with.
- Figure out how you’re going to get back to the airport. Check the schedules and don’t leave it to the last minute to figure out how you will get back. While there are usually plenty of services, if travelling throughout the night, it might be better to leave a few hours earlier or organise a pick up from your hotel.
- Avoid wandering into areas that you’re unsure of, especially at night. Like all cities and towns, there are safe and rough areas, be informed.
- Avoid getting ripped off by taxis. Before getting into the taxi, agree a price beforehand. Check out online how much it should cost or if there are certain taxis you should watch out for. They know you are not local and will do their best to get more money off you.
- Avoid standing idly looking at a map in confusion. It marks you out as a tourist who doesn’t know where they are going, a potential victim for pickpocketers. Be discrete or find a little café to sit down and work out your next move.
- Avoid spending the whole time doing what tourists do. Try find out what the locals do, see the country from their perspective.
These are only basic guidelines to get you started on your vacation abroad. Some may seem like common sense, but things can get forgotten in the excitement of getting away for a few days.
Most of all of course, just relax and embrace your vacation. Bon voyage!