Often when people write about travel tips and hacks, they go in great detail regarding specific cities. I'm a fan of those type articles. Then there are what I call "lazy tips." Not so much of a fan. I think people know by now that it's important to "pack lite" and "book early to save" I don't often see what I call "high level hacks" These type hacks are basically helpful no matter where your international travel takes you.
Having amassed a fair amount of countries in my passport, ( adding new ones soon!!)
I'd hope I would have learned a couple of tips and tricks that you might find helpful.
Here are my top hacks- for now-
1: Follow your stomach
I've heard it said that your stomach is like your second brain. I believe it!! When I'm emotional or nervous, my stomach knows!
When I travel, I have found that if I eat on the same schedule as the locals, it keeps jet-lag at bay. I don't know if there is any science behind this hack, but I FO SHO know from experience it's true.
2: Copy your passport
I was given this tip before I went on my first international trip in 2005 when I went to Kenya. This tip is all about safety. I was told to make 2 copies of my passport- give one to my family in the states and keep one in my suitcase. Nowdays you can take a picture of our passport on our phone and keep it safe on the cloud. Thanks, technology for making our lives so much easier!! :)
3: Ask where the locals go
I'm sure you've heard this hack before, but it's worth saying again. Do your research and don't be afraid to ask around once you arrive. Visiting restaurants or an excellent music venue that are NOT featured in guide books will always make for a good time.... or at least a good story.
4: Leave space for unexpected adventures
I can plan out, within an inch of its life, a full day of travel and exploring. This can be a very positive thing or can cause so much stress that the joy of the experience is lost. I'm learning that it's totally worth leaving space on the journey for the unexpected. Maybe it's not on the agenda for the day but if you allow it, an out of the blue escapade will for sure create a great memory.
5: Bring essential oils
Traveling can be a hotbed of germs and stress (hello crowded with angry passengers) I became a believer in essential oils and their special powers when I traveled in 2016. I had the sniffles. I was given Thieves oil. I did not get sick. I took diagize when I nearly became ill from driving the winding Amalfi cliffs. I didn't get nauseous. When a picture wrecking pimple popped up on my chin, I was urged to use lavender before bed. The next morning I woke up and BOOM no zit. Picture disaster averted.
6: Make sure your money and cards are in good shape
You better call or login to your bank account right now. Even if you don't plan to use your debit card while abroad you should let the bank know you will be traveling. In the off chance you need the card you want to make sure it's usable. I advise one of the best ways to do currency exchanges is by using an ATM. Even though you will likely have some type of fee for the withdraw it's usually much less than the fees a currecny exchange place charges.
ALSO- research to find out if your credit card has international travel perks. I use this one and it helps with car rentals and has zero international transaction fees. Win-Win
7: Have at least one goal for the trip
When I went to Italy I knew I wanted to ride on a Vespa... preferably with an Italian man. My sister wanted to swim in the Blue Grotto near Capri. We both achieved these goals. Mine required me to be a little flirty with a fella and then straight up ask him for a quick spin on his bike while my sister's goal needed her to quickly jump out of a boat and swim in an area that says explicitly NO SWIMMING. These goals, achieved, made for great memories and even better stories to tell.
I could go on and on about travel hacks learned from my trips. Stay tuned I might have some more coming soon.