You’ve probably been looking forward to this trip for awhile. International travel is an enriching cultural/educational experience that can be perspective-altering. You want to make the most of your time away and revel in those precious memories when you get back to your real life. We’ve put together tips to help you create a wrinkle-free travel experience.
Minimize Jet Lag
As soon as you get on your overseas flight change your sleep cycle to your destination’s time zone. If you need to stay awake for another five hours then that’s what you have to do.
Load your devices with entertainment to pass the time in the air.
Before you leave make sure you have any shots you may need and remember to bring copies of vaccination certificates.
Put an eye mask and earplugs in your carry-on. You can at least muffle those engine sounds and that crying baby a few rows back. You need your sleep.
Bring OTC meds with you to avoid trying to explain yourself in a foreign language at the corner drug store at 2 a.m. It’s a good idea to bring antibiotics with you, just in case.
You might want to consider purchasing additional medical insurance from a private insurance company before you leave. BC Medical will only reimburse you for what the plan covers and at the plan’s prescribed rates. Purchasing additional medical insurance will give you peace of mind.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
Stay away from local water and ice cubes. Drink bottled water. Eat only cooked foods with the exception of thick skinned fruits, like grapefruit, oranges and bananas. If you do strike out and get sick, you’ll need antibiotics immediately (but you’re okay because you got a prescription before you left home, right?).
Set your cell phone up to receive travel alerts so that you’re well informed. Notify your bank and credit card companies of the countries you’ll be travelling within and when. Print out the contact information for the Canadian Embassy before you leave. Make copies of your passport and keep one copy in each piece of luggage.
Set your cell phone up to avoid international roaming charges. These can be steep. The big costs come from transmitting data overseas. Use wifi when you are in your hotel room or other hotspots. You can save a lot of money on overseas calls by using skype.
Check the voltage on your electronics and bring a charger adapter that you’re sure will work at your destination.
Do your research before you leave so that you know the exchange rate. Don’t convert money at airports as the fees are high. Instead, go into a local bank and you’ll get the exact conversion rate without the high fees. Make sure you carry your money in a front pocket and not in your backpack.
We hope these suggestions help you prepare for your international adventure. Enjoy your trip!