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Vacations abroad can be a blessed and life-changing experience. If all goes according to play, you should find yourself returning home with a giant smile plastered across your face, a head full of memories, and a camera full of snaps to make your friends and family green with envy.
But, of course, it’s also possible for things to go wrong. Poor planning, the wrong sorts of expectations, and a haphazard approach to things like financial management can turn the whole experience on its head and make what should have been a brilliant experience into something that looks a lot more like a nightmare.
Luckily, the basics of planning a successful trip abroad aren’t too hard to get a handle on. Here’s a quick review of some of the key points.
Plan your finances meticulously
It more or less goes without saying that you should be deeply mindful of your money when traveling overseas, and it’s not just keeping your wallet out of sight in sketchy neighborhoods that you should be mindful of, either.
Traveling to a country where they use a different currency presents some incredible, and incredibly risky, opportunities for you to lose track of your spending and go way overboard. This is especially true if you’re using a credit card fairly frequently, as it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll be doing in-depth conversions in your head throughout the entire trip.
To get around the nightmare scenario of finding yourself having a financial crisis in a foreign land, you need to plan your finances meticulously. You need a budget, and you should be sure that it accurately reflects the economic realities of spending time in your destination.
Other than that, you should check your bank balance regularly, and may benefit from using a pay-as-you-go service such as Revolut to keep an extra close eye on things.
Make a list of the things you want to see and do
This should be the most fun part of the planning and preparation stage, not to mention one of the easiest.
Simply page through your travel guidebook, look up local attractions for your destination on the internet, and come up with a list of the things you most want to see and do while you’re abroad.
The key purpose of doing this is to allow you to hit the ground running when you arrive at your destination, and to avoid wasting time having to figure things out during your vacation.
Try to limit your expectations
This doesn’t sound like much fun, but there are very good reasons why you should try to limit your expectations of a vacation, and not let your imagination run too wild.
The main reason for doing this is because it’s impossible to truly know what an experience will be like in person. That’s not to say that it won’t be amazing, but it will likely be somewhat different to what you imagine.
If you get heavily emotionally invested in a particular fantasy of yours, you’ll likely be disappointed. If you stay open to the mystery of the experience, you’ll likely have a much better time.
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