Best Travel Tips for a Successful Vacation Abroad!

man standing on a rock

Want the feeling of the sun on your skin? Or even the bitter cold air of a winter holiday? We are just as excited as you that travel is up and running once again. With thousands of destinations to explore, we have put together the best travel tips to get you ready for your vacations.

Women on her vacation abroad, standing by a mountain

If you don’t know where to start with packing, organizing, or just getting ready for your next vacation, then look no further than these simple travel tips for a successful trip abroad.

We cover packing, travel restrictions, travel documents, and some of our favorite travel tips and hacks (pro tips).

Let’s get you organized before you head off to your holiday destination. Whether in a foreign country or your local area, these tips work for every location.

So relax, sit back, and let’s dive into the best travel tips for a successful vacation:

Table of Contents:

  1. Pre Travel Checklist: Get Organized Before your Next Trip
  2. Packing: The Best Way to Pack Efficiently
  3. Travel Restrictions: Where To Find the Right Information

Pre-Travel Checklist: Get Organized Before your Next Trip

Women ready for her summer vacation

Traveling for a holiday in the sunshine or an adventure in the winter is what we look forward to all year. But, there are so many things to think about and organize before you’re ready to go.

But, with a little organization and planning, you will be taking to the skies in no time. Let’s start with some essentials that you need to organize before your trip.

Travel Insurance: An Essential for Any Successful Trip

A map pin pointing holiday destinations

Getting travel insurance is a simple and easy step that can cover any medical bills needed when abroad. It can even cover cancellations, delays, and more. Things don’t always go to plan when traveling, but having travel insurance offers some peace of mind while abroad.

Pro Tip:

Check your current insurance, there is sometimes an option to add on travel insurance to your existing policy. If not, there is specific travel insurance offered and is easy to acquire.

Whether you add to existing insurance or take out a new policy, this really is an essential to get organized before you travel. 

Lastly, many companies offer a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) option. This brings up the price of the premium, and sometimes only pays out 50-75% of the cost of the trip, but can be worthwhile for some travelers.

This policy option can often only be added within a couple of weeks, give or take depending on the company, of your initial trip deposit or payment, so yet another reason to get on top of this in advance! 

Our personal preferred coverage is here: Travelguard Travel Insurance

Avoid Large Data Charges: Organize Your Browsing

A photo of a beautiful sunset on vacation

We all like to stay connected when we travel but some countries have very high data charges. Before you leave, make sure you understand the costs of using the internet abroad with your current provider.

Pro Tip:

Buy a local SIM card when you’re abroad to get cheap data packages. You can also purchase and bring a pocket WiFi device with you and connect to that whilst abroad (this is a MUST for us). 

One way to reduce your data usage is to download any apps or maps you might need before you leave, this means you can access them offline, avoiding the heavy data costs.

Another tip is to use airplane mode when possible, this will stop any automatic updates from using data in the background.

Pro Tip:

WhatsApp is a great tool to use for texts and calls while abroad. During group travel, we create group texts and announcements and communicate solely with this.

By following these simple steps, you can avoid any nasty bills when you get home from your trip.

Money, Money Money: Get it Organized Before You Go Abroad

a picture of a camera and money on a map

When traveling, it’s important to organize your money. It allows you to budget your spending and have a few different payment methods available, as each country is different in what form of payment they accept.

{ Check out our FAQ’s to see what amount of money we recommend for our adventures! }

There are a few different ways to take money with you on your vacation. Let’s take a look at a few ways that we have used on our adventures:

Carrying Cash:

This is the most traditional way to take money with you on holiday. However, it can be risky as if your cash is stolen or lost, there is no way to get it back. We recommend taking a small amount of the local currency to use where cards may not be accepted. 

Pro Tip:

Order the local currency of your destination(s) from your home bank. This way, you can come prepared and not have to worry about a cash swap at the airport or destination bank. Oftentimes, the cost of currency exchange is inflated in places where they know the demand and need are high!

Prepaid Cards:

These are a great alternative to carrying cash, as you can load them with money before you leave, and use them like a debit card while abroad. If they are lost or stolen, you can cancel them and get a new one sent out.. 

Credit Cards:

Another option is to use a credit card while abroad. Many cards will have a small foreign transaction fee, but there are also many that don’t, especially if they are travel or mileage cards. 

Everyone is different, find the way that works best for you and your travel money, but we recommend bringing a combination of paper and plastic. 

Pro Tip:

Never pack your money in your checked bags. Keep it with you at all times during travel on flights or other modes of transportation, locked away in safes or your suitcase when not in your hotel, and bring on your person only what you need. 

Paperwork: Check Your Passport and Visa

A stamped passport full of visas

One of the most important things to organize before your trip is your passport and any visa(s) necessary. Make sure they are valid for the duration of your stay and that you have all the necessary paperwork to get through customs. If you’re not sure, it’s best to check with the embassy or consulate of the country you’re visiting.

We would highly recommend you look into this months before your trip. This means you can make any amendments in good time. Less stress = happy traveler. 

{Check our Passport & Visa Requirements section under Resources on our website} 

Packing: The Best Way to Pack Efficiently

A picture of a group hiking up a mountain

Going on holiday is a great way to recharge, explore, and not only escape the everyday stresses of life, but find perspective, gratitude, and appreciation. (Can you tell we love planning trips?)!

However, before you can start enjoying your time away, you should make sure you have everything packed in your suitcase, not leaving anything irreplaceable behind.

Each trip varies, whether you’re hiking in the snow in Alaska or scuba diving in Tahiti, there are a few fundamental travel basics you need on your list.

Let’s take a look at our packing list tips and what we can’t go on vacation without:

Clothing: Do You Really Need That?!

An image of a suitcase featuring a passport, camera, money and a map

We all need clothes, but packing your bags full of useless items is not only cumbersome to transport but frustrating when you can’t find what to wear. Believe us, learning how to pack efficiently is a rite of passage which we all encounter!

Learn from our mistakes: a good selection of clothing will allow you to mix-and-match throughout your trip. We believe in packing smart not hard, so, here are a few great tips that we have collected over the years:

Consider The Weather:

We consider the weather on each trip, trust us, no one wants to be caught in the rain or snow with nothing to keep them warm. Layers are key, so bring light foldable clothes that you can reuse and layer depending on the weather. 

Side note: avoiding lights and whites is good for reuse, as is opting for clothing that doesn’t easily wrinkle or is wearable in creased condition.

Packing light is essential when traveling, you want to make sure you have enough space for all those amazing souvenirs you’ll be bringing home.

Good shoes (& socks):

It’s essential if you’re off on adventures to bring with you good shoes that you can wear on multiple occasions. For example: if you’re hiking, having good, sturdy, waterproof walking shoes is a must in our opinion (insulated if in cold weather).

If it’s water activities, a good water-repellent shoe is recommended to protect your feet, or if you’re hitting the beach or pool, don’t forget the all-important flip-flops or slides. 

For our trips, we always bring a good pair of walking shoes for long days about town, city tours, and exploration. 

Pro Tip:

Hiking shoes can double as tennis shoes/walking shoes for your time away, which can save plenty of space and weight. 

And, depending on your activities, socks can be almost as important. From woolen socks, to merino wool long socks for hiking (to avoid the pesky stones and debris), to casual socks for the plane and kicking around, socks are uber important as well (and can and should be re-used and re-washed, following our packing smart rule).

Taking a few moments to consider the type of activity you’re doing on your vacation will prepare you for each adventure on your trip, so you don’t go without the right pair of shoes. You may just need 2 pairs of shoes for the whole trip! So take out those shoes you don’t need, go on! 

Accessories:

Traveling in the summer? A few additional extras we can’t travel without are:

  1. Sunglasses.
  2. Hat.
  3. Reusable Water Bottle.
  4. Small backpack for day trips.
  5. Camera/GoPro and accessories.

These few extras allow you to create amazing memories, all with extra sun protection in mind.

Traveling in the winter? Here is our winter accessories checklist.

  1. Buff/balaclava – for face and neck protection.
  2. Hats & ear-warmers – beanie, tightly-woven wool hat, and trapper hat.
  3. Backpack and rain cover for day trips.
  4. Foldable microspikes/yaktrax for your shoes. (Crampons for hard ice, when mountaineering or hiking on ice, as microspikes/yaktrax don’t penetrate this enough).
  5. Spare socks.
  6. Multiple gloves – Vapor barrier glove (nitrile or latex) when very cold, base layer glove, and insulated waterproof mittens.
  7. Hand/foot warmers (and even battery-warmed vest for those of you who like that extra comfort).

With these few extras packed in your bag, you’re sure to have a toasty trip.

Medications and Toiletries: A Few Essentials Go a Long Way

Don’t forget the importance of packing your toiletries, this can often be an afterthought but it’s important to have everything you need, making sure you feel good on your trip.

We all have different needs, but there are some essential toiletries we think everyone should pack:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss (we bring a regular version in our main bag and travel version with us in our purse/backpack).
  • Deodorant (“Lume” and “Native” are some of our favorite brands)
  • Sunscreen – This is a must if you’re traveling to a sunny destination!
  • Insect repellent- no one likes getting bitten by bugs!
  • Moisturizer.
  • Any medications you may personally need or that are required for your destination (i.e. Malaria medications for certain destinations; anti-diarrheals; and, we also always pack a variety of antibiotics for emergency use – a doctor will usually prescribe if you apprise them of your travel plans and potential needs).

Pro Tip:

We all know how terrible it is being sick on holiday, so to avoid, or best cope if it does happen, pack a small first-aid kit with bandaids, painkillers, rehydration packets, and any other medications you may need.

And, always bring extra medication in case of delays! You should carry enough medication with you on-hand in case of baggage loss or delays. (You can thank us later for this!).

Documents: Don’t Get Left Behind

A picture of passport covers

Before you leave on your trip, make sure to have all the necessary travel documents in order. This includes your passport, visa(s) (if required), vaccination card, driver’s license, plane tickets, activity entrance tickets, and insurance information (as well as Global Entry card/TSA/Clear information, if applicable).

Having a small bag in which to place all your documents allows them to be neatly organized, and easy to access, we wouldn’t go on vacation without ours.

Electronics: Our “Must Have’s” Abroad

A man taking a picture of the moutains

When traveling, there are a few electronics that are essential in order to make your trip easier. A camera to capture all those amazing memories, a phone to keep in touch with family and friends, and of course, our trusty laptop/tablet (and e-reader) to work and keep us entertained on long flights and during transport.

Pro Tip:

Grab an extension cord and travel adaptor for the country you’re about to travel to. Plug in your adapter followed by your extension cord, and there you have it, only one travel adapter is needed, and you can charge the rest of your devices as you normally would at home.

Each person’s list will vary depending on their needs, but these are a few of our must-haves when we travel.

Your Suitcase: What Works Best for You?

hiking in the summer vacations in the mountains

When packing for your vacation, it is important to consider the type of bag you will be using to carry all your belongings.

A backpack is a great option, as it leaves your hands free to carry other items, such as food or drinks while on the go. Having a backpack that is water-resistant, or bringing a rain cover along, is a good idea for those winter adventures. 

Another option is a rolling suitcase, which is perfect for carrying larger items or if you’re staying in one place, or moving around with known transport, for the whole of your trip.

Another option is a bag that doubles as a backpack and roller. This is our personal choice for long trips that include a lot of moving around but also keep us conscious of our body’s limitations! 

Pro Tip: 

Make a packing list before you start packing your suitcase, actually you should have this for every trip (so personalize yours and save it now!).

We always print ours out pre-trip and cross it off as we go. Another thing we do is print out our trip itinerary and go day-by-day to ensure we have the clothing, accessories, and specialty items necessary for each day’s adventure(s).

Make sure you check out your luggage allowance, a lighter suitcase could mean more weight to pack in those essential items.

No matter what type of bag you choose, make sure it is comfortable to carry and includes enough compartments to keep everything organized. If you are lacking in compartments, packing cubes do wonders.

And don’t forget to plastic bag liquid items, usually twice. We also carry our shoes in plastic bags and bring both extra ziploc, plastic, and laundry bags for dirty clothing and liquids.

Pro Tip: 

“Tutu’s”! Many liquid items that have removable lids can be extra sealed by taking a thin plastic baggie (think cheap sandwich bag, or even trash can liner from hotel rooms), and cutting or ripping a small circle of plastic from it.

Place the plastic cover over the opening of the product and then seal the lid on it. The plastic creates an added barrier in case the lid opens or there would otherwise be any leakage.

Travel Restrictions: Where To Find the Right Information

View of a women looking out to the mountains

Travel is now back up-and-running after the pandemic; we can all go full steam ahead into traveling abroad again! Feeling the rush of exploring a new destination, trying local cuisine, and meeting new lifelong friends is waiting for you.

Making a few minor changes to traveling is all that is needed to ensure a smooth holiday abroad (trust us, we have done it)!

Take a look at what we would recommend doing before traveling internationally, and on return to your home country.

Before You Leave for Your Vacation:

Sunrise view from a plane

Our first tip: Plan Ahead! The first thing you need to do is check the travel restrictions of the country you’re visiting. Make sure you understand what the requirements are for entry and exit, and that you meet them. The best and easiest way to find this information is on your home country’s government website and the website of the country/countries in which you’re due to travel.

If there are any requirements to enter, make sure you have both a digital and physical copy, just in case. (We also recommend bringing hard copies of all other important documents, such as your passport, license, vaccination card, etc.)

Having some hand sanitizer and face masks packed in your hand luggage is a great idea when traveling. It may not be compulsory to wear the mask, however, having these as backup, will get you out of any surprising situations. 

Get in touch with your doctor or a local travel clinic to understand if there are any vaccinations required to enter the country/countries to which you’re traveling.

You may have to prove these when you enter your travel destination. Do this in advance, as vaccinations sometimes require a series of shots, other times they require a specified time to take effect, and yet other times they actually cause minor illness which is no fun to deal with right before travel.

It is also important to check your insurance policy to see what coverage you have for medical expenses abroad. Many policies have changed due to the pandemic, and a quick check will make all the difference before traveling.

Before You Return Home:

After your fantastic holiday, but before departing, do a quick check over the requirements to enter your home country. Some airlines have apps where you can ease the stress of flying by pre-uploading any required documents and become verified before even stepping foot in the airport. 

This pre-check and return planning will make the return journey much easier and gives you the last of your time to enjoy yourself without stress! 

So, are you ready to go? We are! Whether you’re traveling now or in the future, we are here for your travel needs! You can check our upcoming trips below or contact us direct at info@1000treks.com.

{Check out our upcoming trips}

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