Here are my 10 travel tips for traveling the world. Use these to get you started or help you as you plan your next trip to your next country.
Invest in a luggage scale (and take it with you on your trip).
Airlines are serious about the luggage weight rules, and they are ready and eager to charge you some hefty fees if your bags are overweight. I once had a bag that was 4 lbs overweight, and I got hit with an $80 additional check bag fee. All because I didn't have a scale. Crazy. Amazon sells them for under $15. Trust me, get you one.
Take a back-up credit or debit card (maybe even two backups).
I've seen it happen too many times to count. People travel with one card and inevitably it gives them problems. It could be that your bank decides to decline your international transactions, or that a place doesn't accept that card. Make sure you have card options!!
Always bring snacks (or meals for longer flights).
I have had it happen to me so many times. Traveling to other countries (especially when there's a layover), and there are no food spots in the airport, everything is closed, or the food is not my cup of tea. So what happens, I starve. Being hungry is not fun, especially when you're already exhausted from the travel itself. The solution=bring food with you.
Get to the airport early.
International travel has always been more time-consuming than domestic travel, but now, ever since the pandemic, it's insane. I've waited in line over 4 hours on multiple occasions just to check-in. I've made some flights literally with seconds to spare. The anxiety was real. Don't let this happen to you. Make sure you give yourself ample time.
Research if the water is safe to drink.
In a lot of places in the world the water is not safe for drinking. If this happens to be the case do not brush your teeth with it, don't open your mouth in the shower, and don't get ice in your drinks at restaurants or bars. I had a friend get ice in their cocktail in Thailand and they ended up bedridden for 3.5 days with a nasty stomach bug.
Keep an ink pen with you at all times.
You will need a pen so many times as you travel, it's just best to get in the habit of having one with you everywhere. Just put one or two in your bag (purse or carry-on, not your checked luggage), so that you're not scrambling to find one to borrow as the plane is about to land.
Leave your new shoes at home.
I know you want to be cute on vacation, I get it. But, I promise you, it's best to leave those new shoes right at home in your closet and bring some of your more tried and true old-faithfuls. Why? Because you've worn them for long periods of time and you know if they're comfortable or not. International travel means a lot of walking. Good comfy shoes are a must.
Make a copy of your passport, and leave it in the safe in the room.
Also, take a picture of it on your cell phone and save it your favorites so that you can easily find it. Your passport is your lifeline when you're out of the country. Things happen all the time, including you misplacing it or it getting stolen. Having a copy just might save the day.
Let someone know your plans and check-in.
It's never a good idea to just leave the country and tell no one. Let a loved one or two know where you're going, when you're leaving, how long you'll be there and when you will return. Also, make sure you check-in periodically during your trip so that people know you're safe.
Accept the fact that something is going to go wrong.
In all my travels, I've never had a perfect trip. Never. It could be the flight is delayed, or the accommodations aren't what you hope, or the weather is bad. Something is always off, and always will be. You have to be flexible and learn to go with the flow. Just because something doesn't go perfectly, doesn't mean the trip isn't amazing in its own right. Be positive always.