Tips for Travel Abroad
Viva Mexico! My mother, my sister and I traveled to Cancun for a wonderful week of sun and a little girl time. I was a little apprehensive about traveling to Mexico due to hearing about a lot of recent violent activity in the country. There’s always a certain amount of risk when travelling to a different country but there are definitely ways to manage that risk and have a wonderful time. Here are my top tips for traveling abroad.
If you’re traveling abroad for the first time, your number one priority is to obtain a passport. Some post offices can facilitate obtaining a passport, but you need to get passport-sized photos to send out with your application in case they can’t take them for you. Many photo processing shops can take these pictures for you. Be sure to bring extra photocopies with you when you leave. Even if you’re not planning on a trip anytime soon, having a passport is always good to have because it can be always used as a government issued Id.
Do your research. It is always a good idea to check the U.S. State Department’s website for international travel (travel.state.gov) to check for any travel warnings. Even if you don’t live in the US, this site has reliable information about potentially dangerous areas. Lonely Planet (Lonleyplanet.com) is also an awesome website that has hundreds or travel guides and forums with tips from other travelers.
Call your bank to let them know you’re going abroad. My mom’s debit card stopped working because her bank did not know she was in Mexico and blocked the use of her card while we were there.
Try something new that you couldn’t do at home. For example, I went scuba diving for the first time in Cancun. Scuba diving was an amazing experience, but you can do something as simple as try new food or practice learning the local language. I had taken Spanish for many years, but I had gotten really rusty. Most of the people I met were happy to speak slowly and help me practice.
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