Tips and Tricks for Traveling Abroad

Tips and Tricks for Traveling Abroad

Draven Jackson
Blogger | Teacher

Traveling abroad and having the opportunity to visit different countries around the world has offered me a lot of incredible experiences that I wouldn’t have had if I’d never left the comfort of my home. Because of all my travels (and the stories of my friends and family), I’ve learned a lot of helpful tips for how to make traveling abroad an easy and stress-free experience. Here is some of the best advice that can help you when you’re planning your next trip to a new country!

Pack a suitcase inside a suitcase

When traveling abroad, it’s almost expected that you’re going to buy a lot of souvenirs. Of course, you’re going to want to stock up on local treats and cute trinkets that you won’t be able to get when you’re back home, and you probably also have a long list of friends and family members that you want to buy a cute gift for. The problem comes when it’s time to pack up and head home and you don’t have enough space in your luggage for everything you bought!

The top trick for anyone going on a trip abroad is to pack a suitcase inside another suitcase before you leave for your travels. This will give you plenty of space to store all your goodies when it’s time to come back, so you won’t have to sacrifice shopping for yourself just so you will have room for the souvenirs you bought everyone else.

Look up the places you want to go beforehand

Tips and Tricks for Traveling AbroadOne thing I think many people don’t expect when traveling abroad is just how far apart things can be within a country. For example, though Tokyo is pretty average-sized when it comes to actual land mass, it can take about an hour or more to get from one ward of Tokyo to another. This doesn’t even take into account going from Tokyo to another city (like Kyoto or Osaka), which can take 3 or more hours on a special bullet train.

Before you leave on your trip, make a list of areas you want to visit and things you want to do. Then, try to look up how close these places are to each other. Group activities together that seem like they are nearby and can be accomplished in one day, and plan to use entire days for areas that are a little farther away. You don’t have to plan an hour-by-hour itinerary, but knowing where you want to go and how long it takes to get there before you go on your trip can help your days run more smoothly.

Make reservations or buy tickets early

If you’re traveling abroad to a big city or taking a vacation during a popular travel time, make sure to think about making reservations or buying tickets early if there is an activity you want to do or a restaurant you really want to eat at. During travel seasons – like summer or Christmas – local attractions can become booked quickly, so if you wait until you arrive, you might be disappointed to find there are no more tickets available.

Even things that don’t seem seasonally popular might be harder to get into than you imagined. In Tokyo, there is a small museum centered on Ghibli films (a popular animated film franchise). Because there is a limited number of people who can go at a time and the tickets are in high demand, daily tickets go on sale a month early on a specific day. If you don’t plan to buy the tickets on this day, it’s almost impossible to get them at all. Make sure to consider ticketing and reservations and prepare those before you leave on your trip!

Eat local popular foods

One of the benefits of traveling abroad is being able to eat delicious, authentic foods from all over the world. Many times, the countries and cities you are traveling to will have local delicacies and dishes that they are known for. For example, many people may not know that French fries (or frites) did not actually originate in France – they’re Belgian! Because of this history, frites are a popular dish all around Belgian and you can buy them with different sauces, toppings, and even in famous dishes like moules frites.

When you’re traveling to a new country, don’t be afraid to try things you might not eat on an average Tuesday. Food is such an important cultural experience, and being able to eat different dishes that are important to an area can help you better understand that country’s culture and history.

Buy a portable charger and keep it with you

I cannot stress the importance of this simple tip enough: when you are traveling abroad, make sure to buy a portable charger and keep it with you (and fully charged) at all times! You’re going to be using your phone a lot – as a camera, a map, and even a translator – and there is nothing more stressful than watching the battery blink red while you’re in an area you may not be familiar with.

In addition, it might be good to find out the power outlet situation of the country you’re visiting. While that may seem silly, some countries don’t have the same power outlet types as others. In Japan, it can be very difficult to find three-prong outlets, even in hotels and office buildings – so if you’re bringing your laptop with you and the charger is more than two prongs, you might be fresh out of luck. In these situations, you can buy adaptors online to keep with you to make sure you’re always able to charge your electronic devices.

Ask a friend for recommendations

There are so many resources available – the internet, travel agencies, your local library – that can help you plan an amazing and stress-free trip when traveling abroad. But, one often underutilized resource is the knowledge of locals! While online travel guides can be incredibly helpful, they may only recommend popular tourist spots for you to visit. These areas are well-loved for a reason, but it’s important not to overlook local jewels that may not be in every Google search or travel book.

If you’re traveling to an area where a friend or family member lives, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them for local recommendations for different foods and activities! Personally, I love taking people to my favorite restaurants or cafes as it gives me the chance to share my daily life with them.

On the other hand, if you’re traveling to a place where you may not know anyone, contact a travel agency or local tour guide to see if they can recommend cool hidden gems that you can visit. You might be surprised by the places you find!

Do you know of more tips and tricks for traveling abroad? Tell us in the comments!

Draven Jackson HeadshotAbout Draven Jackson

Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.

To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.


2 Comments on “Tips and Tricks for Traveling Abroad”

  1. Thank you for your information. I enjoyed the article and there were some excellent tips in it.

    The advice on bringing an extra suitcase is quite true. When you have friends and family to buy things for the space disappears fast and the weight adds up. Just be aware that nowadays most airlines will have a pretty hefty fee for extra baggage.

    The suggestion about looking into what sites you want to visit is great. You will enjoy your visit to many sites if you learn about them first. Being a history freak, I love to learn about the past histories of places that had important significance to the past and present.

    Traveling abroad can be stressful and challenging, but if you prepare before you go and plan ahead it can be educational, fun and entertaining.

  2. I love all this, especially the pack a suitcase in a suitcase! I also like to try to have “get lost” time. Not to actually get lost, but to just wander around. Don’t just pack your schedule full… leave some time to rest and wander around shops, parks and things you might not think to schedule.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *