10 things to do before your next trip

The next big adventure is imminent, but before you leave, arm and prepare as an experienced (travel) professional would. Here are the top 10 travel tips:

Know The Rules

Depending on where you are going, the rules of how long you stay in a country as a tourist can be very different. Make sure you know the rules and have the right visa ready (if needed). Also check if your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned return, as many countries require it. And last but not least, ask about the vaccinations you need to travel safely - a quick Google search and a visit to the doctor will give you the necessary information (and vaccinations!). And remember, if you travel to an exotic country - for a safari, for example - schedule the vaccines a few months in advance - some vaccines need to be given several times before you go out.

Stay in connection

I think we all know that too well. You know, if your cell phone battery is down to four percent during a potentially life-changing phone call, and you write faster and faster to be able to say everything you want before your phone runs out. This is not a great feeling and the only savior in this situation is your cellphone cable. Keep in mind that you should always have your cell phone cable AND an adapter with you, so you can charge all the essentials, no matter where you are in the world.

Keep the overview

When traveling with an iOS or Android device, you'll never have to worry about getting lost again. And Google allows both iOS and Android users to save maps offline so they can be accessed without an internet connection (say goodbye to expensive roaming charges). You can save regions as big as the Paris Metronet and 6 maps at once. If you already know which cities you visit on your trip, do yourself a favor and download the maps before you leave.

Become local

And while we're still on cell phones ... If you stay in one and the same country for longer, you should invest in a local SIM card. This will allow you to stay in touch with your (local) friends, call taxis and surf the web without worrying about roaming charges or wifi. Think of a cell phone without a SIM lock, because you can not install a local SIM card on a cell phone with a lock.

Notice you

Inquire carefully before traveling. Almost all cities, even the smallest ones, have their own website where you can find local events in the coming months. The local issues of TimeOut Magazine are also a good source. And do not hesitate to ask your friends or friends of your friends on social media platforms for tips. You'll be surprised how many people are happy to give you advice about their beloved city. The more you learn, the better you will be prepared (and excited!).

Build networks

If you're going out on your own but do not want to spend your holidays just for you, build networks and make contacts before you leave. Let as many people as possible know about your travel plan and create a travel blog (Tumblr is a good choice, as you can insert your destinations as hashtags, for example). And when you connect with friends or friends of friends through Facebook or Instagram, most people will be happy to give you advice AND meet you for a coffee when you're around.

Visits, photographs, stores and displays

Let me guess: you'll probably shoot thousands of photos on your journey. Every new city, every poolside lounger, every morning cappuccino and every historical monument is a fantastic entry for your Instagram wall. But if you take pictures the old-fashioned way - with a camera and not with your phone - there are much better ways to save your snapshots and present them on Instagram. Upload the photos to your blog or create an online photo album with Flickr or Snugmug. (Have a look at our top tips for travel photographers .)

Learn the language

Knowing how to communicate with the locals is the key to making friends and feeling at home in a new city (even if you only stay for a few days). You do not have to be fluent in the language, but some basic sentences will help you a lot, and the more you know, the better of course. Before you travel, buy a travel dictionary (they do not cost and weigh a lot) and learn a bit. Being able to call a taxi, buy groceries in the supermarket, or explain your allergies to a non-German speaking doctor can literally save your life, believe me!

Have cashed there

Unless you go to Sweden, where the government works in a cashless society, the reality in most countries, especially the less developed ones, is different and "cash is king here". You do not want to end up in the worst possible situation if you can not pay for your food, transportation or accommodation, as there is no ATM nearby. So exchange enough money before you leave home. But watch out for pickpockets - never have all your money in one place and never leave your money on the bed when you leave the hotel room.

Pack right

There's nothing more annoying than hauling a huge bag full of things that you're unlikely to wear. And to have no room for all those fabulous things you want to take home without having to pay for excess baggage on your flight home. To avoid such a situation, try the most important (and most unpleasant) part of your trip preparation and pack sensibly. Take only a small bag if you go on a weekend trip or spend a week or less in another city. Roll your clothes together instead of folding them, and think about every part and outfit you've got right before you pull the zipper - you can do much less than you think. For a complete list of packing tips,this article.

And now that you have prepared yourself and are ready to leave - Buon voyage! Buon Viaggo! Have a nice trip! Trevlig resa! Buon Viaje!