Travel tips

Check to see if the country you’re visiting requires a visa

This tip on international travel is often overlooked (or put off until the last minute), but it shouldn’t be. In addition to needing a passport, some nations require that visitors obtain a visa before entering. In some countries like Turkey and Oman, you can purchase the visa upon arrival at the airport. However, countries with strict immigration laws (i.e. China) require that you submit a visa application well in advance. Obtaining a tourism visa can sometimes take a long time (and be a cumbersome process), so it’s best to get a jump start on that early.

Bring snacks

Airport food is grossly overpriced, so I recommend eating a big meal before arriving at the airport, and bringing snacks with you on the plane. Once you reach your destination, it’s equally as important to be prepared with snacks. Packing them for the day gives you more flexibility and saves you money. Unless you’re on a guided tour, you can expect that your international travels will never go exactly according to plan. It’s likely that you won’t be having lunch at 12:00pm sharp, so plan accordingly and pack some tasty snacks!

Register with your country’s embassy

This is a best practice wherever you go, but it’s especially important if you’re heading to a country that’s known for having crime or political/social unrest. By registering with the embassy in your destination, you’ll have a contact that can help you in case of an emergency.

Ensure your passport will not expire within 6 months of visiting

This is one of the most important tips that should be on your international travel checklist. Most countries don’t allow entry for tourists unless their passport will expire at least 6 months after the final travel date. In other words, if your passport has less than 6 months until expiration, you must renew it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you won’t be allowed to travel internationally. Don’t wait til the last minute – be sure to check your passport’s expiration date now!

Check with your doctor to see if any vaccinations are required or recommended

This international travel tip is particularly important if you’re traveling abroad to places in Asia or Africa, where medical experts believe there are heightened health risks. In addition to contacting your doctor, government websites are also a valuable resource. I always check the US Department of State website for advisories and recommended vaccinations prior to traveling. Such government resources are crucial, as they tend to be updated regularly, as health conditions in a given place can suddenly change. Though you may already have the required vaccinations for most countries, it’s always a smart idea to double check.

Make sure you vaccinated

Lots of people decide to take the risk when it comes to travelling and vaccinations, but I think this is a silly attitude. The conditions you’re getting vaccinated for can kill you, so why would you take the risk. Most vaccinations last a couple of years, and some a lifetime, so it’s an investment into your future travels. To find which vaccines you need for different countries, it’s always best to visit a travel nurse before you leave! Oh, and make sure you visit at least a month in advance (ideally 2) so that you have enough time to receive the different vaccines needed.

Keep in touch with family and friends (but not too much!)

It’s important to strike a balance when it comes to staying in connection with your friends and family. If you’re in touch too much then there is a good chance you will start to get homesick, whereas if you ring them weekly it’s fun to catch up on all the awesome activities and things you’ve seen that week. Don’t feel guilty either, you’re family and friends want to have fun on your trip of a lifetime! I find that Instagram story updates are a great compromise. That way, your friends and family can see what you’re up to every day and you don’t have to repeat the same stories for everyone!

Use a VPN to maintain access to your favourite sites

VPNs are not only a great way to protect yourself online, especially when using the internet in foreign countries where connections might not be as secure. But, it’s also perfect for being able to access websites that may not be accessible in your destination. For example, in China where a lot of social media networks sites are blocked. Or if you just want to access Netflix movies from another region! There are lots of great VPNs on the market, but we can recommend this one for your travels.

Accept the fact you will loose socks

I don’t know why I keep losing socks, I don’t do it intentionally, I try to keep track of them, but I always end up losing my socks when travelling! They’re either stuck in between the beds, or they go missing when laundry is done, but you’ll just have to accept that those darn socks will disappear.

Always check under the bed when leaving a hotel room

As you travel more frequently, you’ll begin to develop your own little routine for hotel check-outs. But one tip I can give you is to always check under the bed! Stuff constantly falls underneath or even between the bed and you could misplace it easily. Bradley will confirm this, but we always find one sock under the bed before we leave hotel rooms...and that leads me to my next tip ...