So one thing nearly everyone wanted to do was travel abroad. Awesome!
1. Get a passport
Sounds very common sense, but according to this CNN article, only 30 percent of Americans have passports. That’s strikingly low when compared to the 60 percent of Canadians and the 75 percent of UK citizens who have passports (stat from CNN). If you don’t have a passport and you plan to travel this year, know that it could take up to 6 weeks for your passport to arrive; it can also cost up to $165 (USD). That’s not including the cost of photos (which are actually pretty cheap; I took mine at FedEx). You can do this online for adults, but if you plan to take a little one with you, you’ve got to apply for their passport in person. I took the Babycakes to my local post office to apply. You can learn all the gritty details and get the process started right here.
2.Research and prepare
One of the best things about traveling abroad is the discovery that takes place, but it’s always good to know a few things ahead of time. Some of the sites I like to use for research are Lonely Planet, the CIA Factbook and good ol’ Google. You should also make any preparations necessary, such as getting vaccinations (if it’s required), buying a disposable cell phone if yours won’t work where you’re traveling, and learning a little bit of the language if you don’t speak it. One resource that I LOVE (and that I somehow forgot to put include in the post about learning a new language) is a good language Sparkchart. I have one in Spanish and one in German. You can download them online, but I bought mine at Barnes and Noble.
3. Learn from the experts!
This is my favorite part of today’s post. Remember how I was harping on the value of other people’s stories? Well, their stories are even more valuable when it comes to traveling! Official guides may not tell you what it’s like to travel alone as a woman in a certain country, or to beware the con artists in another. That’s where bloggers come in! Here are some posts about travel from my favorite bloggers.
Travel Inspirations: Lesia and Wendy – Two Jamaican Girls Taking on Europe, by Nicole is the New Black
How I Afford to Travel, by Oneika the Traveller
New Years Eve in Rio … and Around the World, by Fly Brother
What’s in My Travel Bag, by 9to5 Chic
What’s in My Travel Bag (Part II), by 9to5 Chic
What Greek Life Taught Me about Traveling, by C’est Christine
So–anybody else got travel tips to share?