Practical tips to check before leaving on a trip abroad
1- Call your bank to inform them of your stay abroad ! The security algorithms could play tricks on you and consider your withdrawal abroad as a fraud. Result ? A blocked card and an endless hassle for several days, if not several weeks…
2- You don’t know how to speak the local language ? Stop by a bookstore and pick up one of the many small books that are 100% practical for beginners ! Nothing makes the locals happier than a tourist who makes the effort to speak the language. At best they will naturally switch to English, at worst you have sign language 😉
3- Find travel insurance before you go abroad ! As a tourist, we too often forget the great consequences of a small injury or a minor illness in a country very different from France and its excellent health coverage. The reasoning is also perfectly valid for long stays sometimes associated with a new local job. Some websites like “Partir-à-l’étranger.The following are some tips to travel more serenely.
4- Check on the internet that you can withdraw enough money locally on a daily basis, as some banks set daily withdrawal limits. In Brazil, you may be limited to 500 reais per day, or 140 euros. A lot of money in one go for the daily expenses of a Brazilian, but you would be in trouble to pay for a rental, a product or another service that would not accept CB… and whose amounts can be high for a vacationer !
5- Remember to look at the rules concerning internal flights, especially regarding luggage. Your initial flight may offer you two 23 kilos luggage, but what about your second or third internal flight ? This can potentially make the price of the ticket explode, an expense that you could do without.
6- Check your cell phone contract before buying any option, even a local package. Some countries allow the use of mobile internet within predefined limits, and calls may not cost you more. It’s fun to keep on sending sms to your friends, but the 25€ bill for out-of-area calls will be a bitter taste when you return.
7- Get the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if your trip lasts in the European Union ! Be careful, you have to do it at least 15 days before your departure (you know the French administrative delays, we recommend you to do it well in advance).
8- Find out about local customs. Not all countries have the open-mindedness or freedom of the French (no matter what they say recently). In Benin, it can be frowned upon to hold your girlfriend’s hand, especially if you forgot to lie and say you were married.
So for all types of couples, it is better to know what to expect depending on the political and social situation of the country.
9- Always remember to pack warm clothes, whatever the destination ! We’re not talking about 3 sweaters and 4 pairs of pants, but sometimes a simple sweater can be enough. In many hot countries, air conditioning (especially in long bus/airplane journeys) can quickly make you tired, or even catch a cold.
10- In the end, don’t plan too many distant things from each other in a short period of time. Take your time and visit a region or a city thoroughly rather than multiplying your trips. This will give you time to really immerse yourself in the local culture and life ! 4. What will you remember from breakfast in Paris, lunch in Brussels and dinner in Amsterdam? ? Transportation !