1. Know who you are
You may be thinking, “Why is this on this list?” but knowing who you are and what you can deal with is very important when you travel. For instance, a few years back I was invited to go on a fabulous skiing trip in Europe. However, I don’t like skiing, I don’t like to be cold and I am not a fan of any activity that requires I put on several layers in order to participate (try and find a post about skiing on this blog).
I could have gone on the trip but would I have had a good time? No. Several of my friends were going and I could have gone just to hang out with them and to enjoy the scenery but that would have been a big expense to just hang out. Because I know myself and I know that skiing and/or snowboarding are not my thing I passed on that trip, and that’s ok. If you aren’t into certain things that is perfectly fine, just know that so you don’t end up spending tons of money, time, energy and effort on a trip that really isn’t your style.
2. Know the daily limits on your debit/visa card
When you are traveling, you will probably want to use some form of plastic. That’s fine but you need to be aware that there is a daily limit on how much cash you can take out and it is different for each bank. Call your bank and find out what the limits are for you so that you won’t be stuck in a foreign destination unable to retrieve your money.
Just know that every time you use your credit card you will be charged an international transaction fee which varies from card to card so ask what that fee is before you leave the country.
3. Know your budget
I went on vacation with someone who had a very small budget yet was constantly trying to stretch it by doing things she shouldn’t have been doing. This causes stress to everyone and she really didn’t get the most out of the destination because she was constantly worried about how much money she was spending.
If you are traveling on a budget, be sure to know how much you can spend and stick to it. It is important to not stress yourself out when you are traveling, as traveling to a foreign country can be stressful enough. And if you are traveling with other people that may have a bigger budget than you do, do not make them feel badly that they can do things that you can’t. That isn’t fair.
Plan for the things that you know you absolutely want to do, then budget your money accordingly so that you can enjoy your vacation without constantly counting every penny you spend. Or if you are the one with the bigger budget, don’t feel like you have to not enjoy the things you want to because some of your travel buddies can’t do the same things.
4. Know the difference between your debit card and a worldwide credit card
I have a debit card and a credit card. Sometimes people think that because they have a debit card with the Visa logo, that is the same thing as a credit card. It is not. Your debit card comes directly from your account, even if you use it as credit. The amount that you charge will eventually be withdrawn from your checking account at your local bank.
If you have a credit card issued by a worldwide bank (Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, just to name a few), depending on what your limit is, you will probably have access to more money than you have in your checking account. This comes in handy when you travel. I am in no way saying you should spend more than you can afford, that isn’t the point.
However, having a credit card and a debit card eases my mind when I travel because I know that I can buy whatever it is I need while I’m traveling then pay it off the next month when I return home.
5. The current is probably different
If you are traveling to another country, more than likely the current they use for electricity will be different than what you use in your country. This is very important if you plan on bringing your electronics and anything with a plug with you on your vacation.
You need to find out what current is used in the country you are traveling to and get the appropriate adapter and/or converter in order to be able to use what you brought. Some people choose to buy what they need while they are traveling (curling irons, hair dryers etc.) if they aren’t staying in a place that provides them.
This is another option but just remember that you won’t be able to use those appliances once you return home without the appropriate adapter or converter.
What are some things you think someone should know before traveling?