As you can probably guess from my recent overseas adventure, I love to travel and explore the world. Whether it’s a two-hour road trip or a 17-hour flight across the world, I love everything that comes with travel.
I’m also a minimalist and a prepper, so as you can imagine, sometimes traveling can get a bit tricky.
If you’re interested in traveling, it’s important to let the little things go. There are some things you can worry about and some things you just shouldn’t. When it comes to packing, for example, the worst thing that’s going to happen if you forget something is that you pay extra money to get a new one. That’s literally the worst thing. To me, this means you should do your very best job packing and if you forget something, you can simply buy a new one at your destination or learn to manage without it, and everything will be fine.
You’ll be okay.
Ideally, though, you won’t forget anything. You won’t over-pack or under-pack. You’ll be somewhere in the middle, with an appropriate amount of “stuff” necessary for your journey.
Are you getting ready to go on a trip?
Here’s what you need to know.
Research your destination.
Not only can you use guidebooks to research your destination, but you can use YouTube videos and Facebook groups as well. Spend some time reading about your destination. Look at restaurants, pricing, hotels, attractions, and cultural stuff. Read about things you might want to do and things you definitely want to do. Look at lists of “must-see’s” for your destination. The more you read, the more you’re going to know about your destination and the more fun you’ll have. Plus, reading about your destination will help you when it comes to simple things like figuring out how to use the subway and where you can go to exchange your money.
Not sure where to start? You can find incredible books on Amazon or at your local library, but you can also find plenty of free resources on Pinterest and on blogs. Some of the best information I found about Taiwan before we moved was through blogs!
Talk to people who have been there.
Note that this doesn’t mean you should randomly choose people off of the Internet and start pestering them with private messages. What it does mean is that you should join Facebook groups or social media apps that enable you to speak with expats who live in an area or travelers who have been there. Talking to locals is also fantastic, but if you have specific questions related to a trip, you may find your fellow travelers are best able to answer your questions.
Where can you find people to talk with? Blogspot or WordPress blogs, city or country-specific Facebook groups. You can also find apps designed for chatting with people in different countries directly on your phone.
Invest in good luggage.
Traveling abroad isn’t the time for shoving stuff in a worn-out bag you got for free ten years ago. While you don’t need to buy anything that’s inherently expensive, it is important to keep in mind that when you’re traveling, especially if you’re traveling abroad, your luggage is going to get beat up. High quality luggage will help protect your belongings and ensure that everything makes it there and back in one piece.
You can get a decent hard shell suitcase for around $50-60 on Amazon. If you’re traveling with multiple people, consider buying a set of luggage, rather than just a single suitcase, because you can usually get a better deal. I’ve seen sets of 3 suitcases for around $100, so don’t be afraid to shop around a bit.
If you’re looking for a carry-on, I’m a huge fan of decent backpacks. If you’re going on a short trip, you may be able to pack everything you need into one carry-on backpack. For example, I spent 10 days in Japan with my family last year and we each brought a backpack – that’s it! If you’re staying at a hotel or apartment with a washing machine, you really only need a couple of outfits and this can easily fit into a carry-on.
Bring more money than you think you’ll need.
Finally, make sure you over-estimate your spending. While there’s nothing wrong with being frugal on vacation (and I firmly believe you can definitely travel on the cheap), it’s important to plan ahead. If food costs more than you think, your shoes tear and you need a new pair, you break your glasses the first day of your trip, or you decide to alter your plans, having extra money on hand or in the bank will protect you. Aim to figure out how much you’ll spend each day on food, drinks, transport, and entertainment, and then bring more than that just to be safe.