Top Things To Know Before Traveling
Written by Mallory March 7, 2017
Since I have left America, I have traveled to five different cities in three different countries. In each of my travel experiences I have learned something new, whether from a series of unfortunate events or just a helpful hint I’ve picked up along the way! Here are the top four things I think you should know before you leave for a travel weekend!
- Transportation! If you’re anything like me, you’re a planner. I like to have most things planned before I leave for a new place and transportation is one of the first things I always plan. I like to know how I am getting to a city, then from there how I am getting to my hostel or Airbnb. This helps my stress level not sky rocket when my phone is dead or won’t connect to the internet, it’s late at night, and everyone we are traveling with is beyond exhausted. Having a plan for how to get places is a somewhat simple task but extremely important.
- Apps! Since being here, I have downloaded so many apps on my phone. Anything from a random city map, to Heetch (think Uber but for Paris), Google Translate, and more! The most important app I learned I cannot live without is XE Currency. This app lets you see what the conversion rate is at any given time for any currency. I learned to use this app more often after a friend of mine traveled to Prague. Prague is in the Czech Republic which does not use the Euro as a currency. Unaware of the exact currency exchange, she accidentally overdrew her account because she pulled out $400 instead of $40. While this is a funny story now, at the time it wasn’t so funny, and we all learned to make sure we know exactly what we are getting out of an ATM before we do it.
- Entertainment! When you travel to a new city, it is important to have an idea of what all you want to see and do. Buying tickets online to museums and attractions will save you time and will also generally be slightly cheaper than buying them in person. This will also give you an idea of how you want to spend your day so you’re not aimlessly wandering (unless of course that is your goal!). If you travel to Florence, buy your tickets to the inside of the Duomo online before hand! By the time I got there and tried to buy tickets, they were sold out for all the days I was going to be there so I didn’t get to go to the top which was a huge bummer. Luckily, I did get to see the David, so that made up for not going to the top of the Duomo!
- Have cash! Europe is very cash based and most stores I have been into either have a minimum credit card charge or they don’t accept them at all. This can be frustrating when you want to run into a store and get something small but don’t have the cash to do so. Most street vendors also only take cash so when you walk by that bratwurst stand in Berlin, you’re going to need a couple of Euros handy! Also, remember to keep some cash in your suitcase because more than likely you will need to pay the taxi in cash when you are headed back to CIMBA from your weekend away!
Happy travels! Ciao,