Link Buttons

facebook photo facebook_zps8c150d99.png twitter photo twitter_zps9eb28ac1.png instagram photo instagram_zpscce1d496.png pinterest photo pinterest_zpsc20b6b76.png linked in photo linkedin_zpsa43a0921.png email photo mail_zps86d6ee14.png

Saturday, November 3, 2012

So your going Abroad?! | 10 Tips and Tricks

So you're going abroad, leaving the comfort of your country for adventure or perhaps a new job and adventure. Whether your moving for an extended period or going on a small vacation, preparation is important so that you do not forget your cell phone charger and so you bring enough socks (or underwear). I am truly experienced with this and I have some valuable tidbits of information you might need when planning your trip or getting ready to embark on a new adventure. I am proud to say that I have lived in Peru working for Karikuy Tourism Company, traveled in South America, Lived in Southern Africa and currently reside in the quaint small city of Tradate, Italy.

1. Safety: Register with your country so they know you are Abroad.
"U.S. embassies and consulates assist nearly 200,000 Americans each year who are victims of crime, accident, or illness, or whose family and friends need to contact them in an emergency. When an emergency happens, or if natural disaster, terrorism, or civil unrest strikes during your foreign travel, the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate can be your source of assistance and information. By registering your trip, you help the embassy or consulate locate you when you might need them the most."

I am american so I did register online with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This was super easy and Free! You can give them your current address and phone number while abroad. I log each new trip and add more information as I explore this awesome earth.

2. Your Health comes first: Health Insurance is a must! I am here in Italy and have emergency health care. I was able to do some research and it was much more economical to get the insurance in Italy than pay for the American insurance when abroad. You can also check with your American health care carrier because they might cover any doctors visits or emergencies while abroad. Doing a little research on this before leaving for your trip is a must! No one ever plans for an emergency. Additionally: make sure you have all your prescriptions. I was able to get a four month prescription for my medicine.
Bandages should ALWAYS be Hello Kitty

3. Plan on getting sick... So I got the flu my first weekend in Italy. LUCKILY I brought Advil, Tylenol Cold and Flu, Decongestant, Bandages, ect. Best piece of advice is to put bandages in your wallet. We all know how it feels to have your shoe rubbing against the back of your heel. During a long day touring a city that can really make the day a little less enjoyable. Grab you bandages and stick them on wherever you feel the discomfort. You can also use adhesive moleskin but bandages are a fix on the go! 

4. Thoughts on Paper... Books! You love reading the Bible?Teaching english abroad? or maybe lots of free time and free thoughts running around your head? I journal, read the bible and teach english so it was really important for me to bring my bible and a mini dictionary (when Word Reference via my smart phone is not available). I live in Italy currently so my journal has a page of useful phrases in italian. This mini blog is to follow because I've been collecting phrases when I realize I do not know how to say something simple like 'headache' or 'I just drank expresso'. I have also been reading via the Kindle App on my phone but I also picked up a fun novel to read in Italian.

5. Comfy Wear: The worse feeling abroad is when you want to get comfortable. I promise you, you will miss that pair of yoga pants and those colorful wool socks your bought in Peru so BRING THEM! My must haves are warm comfy socks to walk around the freezing marble floors and comfy sweaters and scarfs for those overly chilly days abroad.
6. You Techie You! So it is 2012 and I do not go anywhere without Technology. I have to admit I am a bit more attached than others but we all have cell phones and computers so remembering to bring your chargers is a must! Some people talk about the importance of making a list but that does not work for me. I lay everything out with labels. "Electronics" is one of those labels and I just put everything small that I need in a ZipLock bag: Computer, Smart Phone, Camera, iPod, and cables. 
7. Internet | Google Maps: When I bought my GalaxyS from T-Mobile I made sure I was able to unlock it after a certain amount of time with the company. This was really important because I now use my american phone with Vodafone in Italy and I pay 3Euro every week for internet. Google maps is your best friend when traveling to a new city and finding your way to your hostel or a famous landmark. Maps work too and I use them frequently.
8. 'It's all about the Benjamins': As Sean Combs, formally known as Puff Daddy then Puffy then P Diddy, eloquently said "It's all about the Benjamins", especially when you forgot to let your bank know that you were going abroad to South Africa and you try to use your card and it is denied. Ive already learnt this lesson the hard way. Make sure you go to the bank and call your credit cards and tell them the exact dates you will be away and in what countries. I know from experience they will block any charges from your card if you are suppose to be in Philadelphia and charges are coming from South Africa. Smart move in the off chance you do "Wanna be ballers? Shot-callers?". Okay., enough with the P. Diddy lyrics.
9.  When in Rome?: Do as the romans do. Do some research before your trip. Embarking on your trip will have as much to do with learning a new culture as to seeing world famous sights. Three points to this:
(a.) More times than not, the people in the country you are visiting are more modest than Americans. I am guilty of short shorts, tube tops and long flowing hair but in some countries I would be really offending natives or potentially breaking the law. In Italy, if you are wearing shoulder bearing shirts or open toed shoes you are not able to visit many landmarks.
(b.) Dressing accordingly will also make you less of a target because unfortunately travelers are '$ signs' to the dishonest.
(c.) Looking for a justified excuse to shop? reference (a.) and (b.)
Don't be the 'Token American Traveler'; speak the language, dress like the locals, perhaps learn some local customs. The native people will always respect you more for this.
I found Elvis in Genova, Italia
10 Expect the UnExpected: Myself included with this one. We all romanticize upcoming adventures and have such vivid imaginations when thinking about all the possibilities. This goes hand in hand with my theory of Prom. You only think about the glorious adventure and all the yummy, ooey-gooey, wonderful things to come. Repeat after me: "It is ALL part of the adventure." Especially, when it rains all day when you finally reach Machu Pichu and you have no pictures because your camera drowned. Life is about ups and downs and this list is to help prepare for the downs: sickness, potential money problems and freezing cold weather.

Buon Viaggio! and Happy Packing. 

No comments:

Post a Comment