In this article, we’ll focus on some essentials you should cover before you step foot out of the door. Some of them have probably crossed your mind, but some of them are often forgotten by even the most avid of travelers. Also, these are pretty easy suggestions to adopt and they won’t take up too much of your time, but will prove incredibly helpful if you ever happen to be in a prickly situation.
Get a Trustworthy Language App
Travelling around the world will soon teach you that you can only rely on English so much, and depending on the country you’re visiting, you need to know what to expect. There are places where you can’t really expect people to speak English, especially if you’re adventuring off the beaten track. This is where language apps come to save the day. While you won’t start speaking a foreign language fluently, a good app can help you to learn some pronunciation basics, as well as most useful phrases. Having a language app on your smartphone will make your life easier in reading signs and directions, understanding what you need to do to get where you intended and talking with the locals. Duolingo is currently the best that internet has to offer when it comes to language apps, so think about downloading it before you fly off to the unknown. If push comes to a shove, you can always use your hands to explain something, just don’t yell while doing it, because it won’t make any difference and you will annoy people.
Offline Maps Can Be a Game-Changer
It’s no brainer finding Wi-Fi when you’re in a new city, but what happens when you decide to go hiking, you need a map and coffee shop is nowhere to be found? This is why getting a map app that works both online and offline is something to think about. You can always buy paper maps, but they’re not necessarily easy to find and having everything neatly stacked in your smartphone will make everything easier. You can opt out for Google Maps, seeing that it’s an oldie but goodie, but there are other apps as well, like Maps.me and Triposo, that come with tour guides and some other handy features to help you navigate your way through new exotic places.
Money Worries and How to Overcome Them
We have three words for you – backup credit cards. Expecting to lose your wallet or to get robbed is common sense and you need to have a failsafe that won’t leave you moneyless in case the worst happens. There are a few ways to stop that from happening and having backup credit cards tucked off somewhere safe, where nobody but you can find them is your best option. If you don’t want to be locked out of your bank accounts when your bank finds your overseas spending suspicious, let them know that you will be travelling and that it is you who will be using your cards in multiple different countries. Also, you should always have a secret stash of cash with you, because you can never know when your credit card might not get accepted in a certain shop or restaurant and this is where the cash comes to the rescue. We’re not saying that you should carry a lot of money around wherever you go, but $200-$300 is more than enough.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) against Geo-Blocking and Online Threats
While finding a good Wi-Fi network on the go can be a stroke of luck, you should know what using public networks carries a lot of troubles with it. Public Wi-Fi is very often the nesting place of all forms of malware, Trojans and other potential security troublemakers that can seriously endanger your privacy and steal your private details. The best way to protect yourself from this problem is to use a VPN that encrypts your data and activities, so that no one can touch you when using public networks. There are many trustworthy providers to choose from like Get flix and there are even some free versions to pick from. VPNs are also very efficient in bypassing any geo-blocking you may come across in certain countries, which disallows you to access web content that would, in everyday circumstances, be freely available.
Bring Copies of Your Documents Wherever You Go
Being robbed or simply losing your possessions can have much more complicated implications, because getting stuck in a foreign country without your passport is a potential nightmare. Confirming your identity and issuing you a new passport often takes a while, but you can speed the process along if you provide the authorities with the copies of your documents. Before you leave your home, be sure to make copies of your credit cards, passport and travel insurance if you have one (which you should). That way, there will be multiple documents (albeit copies) to tell who you are, so you won’t be completely stranded while waiting for your embassy to fix things for you.
Travel Insurance – Get One
To many people, this sounds like an unnecessary cost, but you shouldn’t test the Fates with your wellbeing when travelling. You don’t have to pay much to get solid insurance, and it will give you some peace of mind if something does happen. Hospital bills can be shockingly high, even if you just need a few stitches, not to mention more serious injuries. Travel insurance isn’t hard to obtain, and when your health is at stake, you really should play it as safe as possible.
As you can see, none of the steps above are challenging to do and what you get in return is invaluable, because you will be less stressed and in less risk of something going terribly wrong. Of course, accidents still happen and you can nor you should plan for everything happening on your travels, but if you can take some precaution measures, it’s only the matter of your common sense if you will.