Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a new to this whole thing, there are some essential questions you should be asking yourself and things you should be checking off your pre-trip checklist. Below is your one-stop-shop for questions to ask & resources to find answers!
Sometimes the ‘where’ you will go is based on asking yourself some of the questions below & other times, you will have the ‘where’ decided & the questions will be helpful to kick starting your planning!
Solo, with friends, or with a tour group - finding your travel buddies that will love your shared experience as much as you is paramount to any trip. Though you adore your friends, not all friends were made to be your fellow adventure or vacation seeker and others are!
- Do they want similar things to you out of the trip?
- Are they strict planners or more go with the flow (how flexible are they when plans fail)?
- Are they open to new cultures, experiences, foods etc.?
- Is the country safe for solo and solo female travel?
- What type of tour do you want (Adventure, cultural, relaxation etc.)?
- Do you like bigger groups or smaller?
- Group tours + travel: https://www.shexexplores.com/blog/2016/10/21/best-tour-groups-that-get-your-adventure-started
- What are you trying to get out of your trip? Adventure, pristine beaches, a combo of both?
- Do you have a flexible budget or is it strict?
- 2017 Best in Travel Inspiration: https://www.shexexplores.com/blog/2017/4/11/11-must-see-destinations-best-in-travel-for-2017
If just ‘getting away’ is your end goal, your travel calendar will be more flexible, which is great! If you are seeking a certain country or landscape, your calendar will be based more on the seasons + weather of your destination. Don’t want to get stuck in Southeast Asia during monsoon season, do you?!
Asking yourself the above will help you illuminate the ‘Where’ if you have not decided already!
Health insurance while traveling is incredibly important and is often overlooked. Many of your current plans do not cover you while on the (international) road! And ‘it won’t happen to me’ is not a great Plan A because unfortunately, it can and it does. Check out my favorite resource for travel health insurance coverage:
CURRENCY & BANKING
- What is the local currency and my exchange rate?
- Does the country/cities accept foreign credit cards?
- What is the international transaction fee when using a credit card?
- What are the ATM transaction fees when withdrawing money? (These can add up quickly!)
- Guide to optimizing your banking when travelling: https://expertvagabond.com/travel-banking-101/
ADAPTORS & CONVERTERS
- What type of plug does this country use and what adaptor + converter will I need?
- Travelling multiple countries? Try an international converter + adaptor.
- A helpful guide for the nitty-gritty: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/world-electricity-guide.html
INTERNATIONAL PHONE PLANS // COMMUNICATING ABROAD
- How long will you be traveling and how many countries? If you are staying in one country for longer than a month, I would recommend getting a local phone with a local SIM card IF you think you’ll be making friends and chatting with people inside the country who also have local phones.
- Who is your current carrier? Plans can be easily upgraded for an international plan for the duration of your travel (though, can still be very expensive!)
- Can you be ‘out-of-pocket’ for periods of your travel? If so, relying on wifi with your smart phone is your best option. No roaming, international charges etc. Wifi enabled communication apps will be your best friend – Whatsapp, Viber, Skype are some of the best platforms for both calling and texting!
- Other phone hacks: http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/smartphones-for-travel/
- Can you and/or your travel buddies live without it or live with spotty service?
- Where is Wifi available within the country? (Usually, free at accommodation & cafés)
Happiest of discovering!