I’m so excited to be heading out to Amsterdam in just 2 days!
It’s my second time visiting but instead of traveling with family, I’ll be traveling with my boyfriend as he’s going for work. Needless to say I jumped on the opportunity to join him & while he’s stuck in the office (sorry babe), I’ll be exploring my heart out!
Although I’ve had the privilege to travel overseas before, this is the first time I’m going without my family organizing the trip in advance – lol adulthood. There were a few things I had to take care of prior to leaving that aren’t always necessarily remembered or thought of.
Here are a few things you might not have known or thought to do before you jet off Internationally:
ENABLE PHONE FOR INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
Visit your phone’s service provider and find out what kind of International plan you can use while overseas. Most offer a $10/day to receive texts & calls when not on WiFi. Just be sure to turn off your roaming to avoid additional, unwanted charges.
UPDATE YOUR BANK WITH INTENDED TRAVEL DATES
Be sure to call your bank before you leave for your trip to let them know you’ll be traveling overseas. This will ensure you won’t be faced with a frozen account when trying to make a purchase & save you from unwanted stress when calling your bank to fix the issue while abroad.
Additionally, you should ask your bank the following:
What is their foreign transaction fee?
Wells Fargo’s is 3%
What is the foreign exchange of (X currency) to US $
Amex card holders don’t get hit with a foreign exchange rate, I just learned.
Do they have a reciprocal banking relationship with an International bank?
Unfortunately Wells Fargo doesn’t have one but if yours does, then you’ll be able to avoid fees for cash advances when using their ATMS.
INTERNATIONAL CONVERTERS FOR ELECTRONICS
My young, naive self once blew out the electricity of our hotel room (and destroyed my favorite hair dryer) when plugging it into an International outlet on a family trip to Italy. Lesson learned.
You can get a variety pack of International converters so you don’t need to purchase them individually per country you’re visiting. I also have this universal travel adapter for when I need to work in a remote location.
PURCHASE TICKETS FOR ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE
Depending on where you’re going, you might want to get your tickets online & in advance before your trip. Most often tourist attractions are packed to the gills, and the lines for them are no joke. Plus, you’re more likely to find a better package deal online at a cheaper price than you would at the ticket window.
SAVE SPACE BY REFERRING TO A PACKING LIST
With so many restrictions on baggage weight these days, referring to a packing list will help you not overpack. When beginning your packing list, first take a look at the intended forecast of where you’re traveling to help determine what type of clothing I should primarily pack. Next, I suggest putting together outfits for the x amount of days you’ll be abroad, along with x occasions (i.e. dinner, activities) that you’ll want specific clothing for.
Try to pack items that have versatility & can serve a dual purpose so you have room for new items picked up on your trip. I’ve found using these travel packing cubes extremely helpful in order to accomplish maximum space saving.