You’re not alone if the thought of traveling abroad sometimes fills you with dread, no matter how excited you might be. However, it will open the door to some amazing experiences, so you shouldn’t let any concerns you have get in the way of going for it. It’s easier than you think to put your mind at ease when you go abroad, whether that be for studying, working or traveling; just make sure you adhere to these ‘smart’ travelers guidelines and you’ll have the time of your life, I promise!
Plan in advance
There’s really nothing wrong with a little spontaneity, but having all the major details of your trip mapped out in advance may save you a lot of sleepless nights, especially if this is your first time abroad or traveling alone. You don’t have to plan everything down to the tiniest detail, but knowing how you’ll get from A to B and where you’re going to stay when you get there should at least prevent you from getting into any stressful situations that winds up with you getting lost or forking out more money than necessary. You usually get the best deals when you book early anyway :)
Have copies of all your important documents
Fingers crossed this will never happen to you, but on the off-chance that you do lose your passport or any other important travel documents (like your driver’s license, visa papers etc...), you’ll feel so much better if you have photocopies to back them up. This will also save you a lot of time at the embassy when you’re getting things replaced. An obvious point but just make sure you keep them in a separate location to your real documents as it would be really annoying to lose them all at once!
Do your research
It doesn’t have to be extensive, but knowing in advance where the safe/dodgy areas of the city are, where the best restaurants are situated and which tourist sites are actually worth your time can be really useful later; especially if you’re only there for a short visit. This will prevent any aimless wandering around and regretting your time wasn’t better spent. One of the best ways to do this is by asking for advice from people you know who’ve already been there, or get in touch with UnearthAway who can help you plan your own, unique travel itinerary so you can make sure you have the experience of a lifetime.
Before I went out into the world on my own for the first time, I was given a couple of good pieces of advice that I think all travelers should keep in mind when traveling:
Keep all your valuables on you while in transit, don’t leave them in your luggage. Weird things can happen at airports and on trains; one of my friends even had all her money stolen from her suitcase while it was in the luggage compartment on a bus!
Only take out what you need for the day and keep the rest of your valuables locked away. There’s really no need to take your passport and all your money out with you if it’s not necessary, you don’t want to tempt fate after all...
Also invest in a good, sturdy bag with lots of pockets. If it takes you ten times longer to find where you’ve put everything, there’s no way thieves will be able to get at it.
Find somewhere good to stay
If you’re staying somewhere for a longer period of time, you want to make sure that the company you’re going to rent from can be trusted and is not going to scam you at the last minute with extra fees and empty promises. Going through a verified online booking platform, such as Study Abroad Apartments, will ensure that you’re only put in touch with decent landlords and you know they’ll be there to look out for you in case anything does go wrong!
So even if you run into a few bumps in the road, just stick to these guidelines and you’ll be ready to take on the world in no time :)
Kat Ashton is a staff member at Study Abroad Apartments, one of our wonderful partners. Their team of experts will help you find the ultimate housing for your time abroad. Search thousands of verified listings in 13 countries. All apartments are fully furnished so you can just pack the essentials and go! Check out this exclusive link only available through UnearthAway to learn more and receive 7% off your next booking.