28 Things You Wish You Knew Before You Traveled

Picking up travel books or just searching online yields many ideas for off-the-beaten-path experiences. He understands that ‘if he bleeds, he drives’. Most people abroad are friendly, reliable, generous and willing to help you. I realize I’m not a woman, but I’ve met many experienced female travelers who agree. But to celebrate my travel journal every year, I’m updating this guide with a collection of my best travel tips to help you save money, stay safe, and inspire others to get out and explore our world.

Airlines in the United States have allowed more carry-on baggage than European airlines. The “trolly” suitcase must fit under the seat in front of you and most airlines only allow you to bring a transport case. No trolly bag and a backpack, but just a carrying bag in total. If I arrive on a Friday or Saturday, or want to eat at a particularly popular restaurant, I make a dinner reservation in advance.

If you use a credit card, some sellers will ask if you want to be charged in the local currency or in the currency of your home country when you pay with a credit card. You will always get a better rate in the local currency. How are you going to move once you get there? Depending on the country you’re in, taxis may not be the best idea.

If you don’t call your credit card company before you travel, chances are your security teams will see some red flags when your card is suddenly used in Italy. Go ahead and let them know you’re traveling so you don’t have trouble paying for important items like train tickets and hotel rooms or buying unique souvenirs during your trip. Abroad, you can save a lot of money by eating where ordinary people eat.

I travel to over 20 countries a year and share my first-hand knowledge of reward travel, travel credit card deals, travel tips and more. Your health insurance may not cover you during a trip abroad. Depending on where you’re going, you may want to consider purchasing medical evacuation and luxe reis antarctica emergency medical insurance. Even if your trip requires a large deposit or is booked many months in advance, travel interruption and cancellation insurance can provide valuable protection against the unexpected. Write down your credit card numbers, but don’t keep the list in your wallet.

For example, while it’s convenient to have a lot of cash with you, sometimes you end up in a place where you can easily get a pickpocket and yet there were tons of ATMs nearby. Therefore, it’s not always a good idea to rely on cash instead of a debit/credit card. Medical services in the United States, as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications, are outrageously expensive and somewhat overrated. The drug is expensive, not because of research, but thanks to the organized pharmaceutical mafia, which has the largest lobbying power on earth. Why do Americans have to pay four times the price of the drug?

I will not be fooled if I participate in the creation of the market. It’s when people hear the “noise” from the outside and are afraid of being ridiculed that leads to those ugly confrontations in haggling. Stick to the principle of valuing something based on just your ability to pay and its value to you and nothing else. I may “overpay” or “miss” some things, but I don’t feel bad because I listen to myself and am consistent in my choices/decisions. Before you leave, research the different customs (do’s and don’ts) of the country you’re traveling to.