As soon as you arrive at an airport, you become a tourist. Embarking on a vacation can be an exciting new chapter to begin, and knowing the in’s and out’s of any trip can make your life so much easier. Being a tourist is not a bad thing, it means you are going out and experiencing new and exciting places! But, mistakes are commonly made no matter how much you have traveled. Knowing these things and how to avoid them can elevate your trip and remove any stress, regrets, or what if’s.
- Do Not Overpack!
I know the feeling, youre looking in your closet trying to figure out what to bring when you think “I can’t just leave this here!” to almost every single article of clothing you pull out. Been there. Done that. If youre anything like me, you love to shop, especially when traveling. The amount of clothing I have bought on top of overpacking left me in a mess I had to figure out with a 50 lbs weight limit. It’s difficult, and I ended up not wearing a lot of the stuff I originally brought because I bought so much. Another downside is having to carry it all. Heavy luggage is not something you want or need to worry about.
- Bringing Valuables
Story time: When I studied abroad in Italy this past summer, one girl decided to bring her beautiful Prada bag. While it complimented her outfits, she was constantly worried about it being stolen, not even the contents inside of it. We would have to leave some stuff in luggage lockers, and she refused and instead brought it to the beach with her. As you can imagine, she refused to leave the bags side and could not enjoy the beach day with us. I learned a lot after this trip, and there is no good reason to bring something so valuable with you. Instead, stick to items that wouldn’t cause a catastrophe if they were lost or stolen and remove one less stressor from your trip.
- Changing Money
The worst thing a tourist can do is try to change their currency at an airport. It is so overpriced, you end up losing much more than expected. Instead, you can either head to your bank beforehand or once you get to your destination. Especially in touristy areas, there are alot of foreign exchange shops to choose from but make sure to do a little digging and find the best rate.
- Airport Timing
Here’s another short story time for you: While on a weekend trip to Amsterdam this past summer, we heard about numerous airport delays and to arrive extra early. Well, we listened but clearly underestimated the amount of time we actually needed. After 4 hours on the check in line we had to sprint to make our flight and almost didn’t. Lesson learned, trust the locals and if you hear a delay arrive at least 6 hours early.
- Local Language & Culture
As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, it is crucial to have an understanding of the language and culture before going on your trip. It can be seen as offensive to locals and you may unintentionally break some rules resulting in fines. Learning a few key phrases can help you get by and locals will appreciate the effort. It can help you avoid the frantic looking for a bathroom but not knowing how to say it.
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