Visiting a New City: 9 Things You Need to Do Before Making the Trip

by Staff

When people feel too tired and stressed about the arduous reality of everyday life, they often fantasize about traveling to far-off cities, where work and their bosses don’t have any power over them. Yet, in their fantasies about sweet escape, they don’t consider the numerous steps they need to take before going on an actual trip. The process of preparing may be really stressful, which is why it’s worth preparing a travel checklist so that it’s easier to avoid being lost somewhere in an unfamiliar city.

Some things, like travel documents, cell phone service, and public transport, must be settled before the actual departure so that the traveler won’t become stranded in the city. Looking beforehand into recommended food places, historical attractions, and local events will also help as you won’t waste time on planning.

The trip is for you to finally unwind after your months of hard work. Start planning beforehand and save yourself some time, money, and nerves.

Plan Your Budget and Make Sure You Can Afford the Trip

Budget is essential. You can’t plan a trip if you don’t know how much money you’ll spend on it. Estimate travel expenses and calculate how much money you’ll need to save up. Make sure you’ll be able to live comfortably during your stay without struggling to pay for food and accommodation. 

If it turns out that your savings are not enough, all is not lost yet! Plan for months ahead and start saving. You can also pick up a side job to afford your dream trip. How much do Uber and Lyft drivers make? Have you considered freelancing? Or maybe you could be an excellent tutor? Possibilities are endless!

Get the Necessary Travel Documents

Make sure that you have all you need for your trip, including your passport, visa, and other documents. Make copies of them before leaving the country to keep them safe if they get stolen.

Passport is the first thing you need to check before going to a foreign country. Whether you’ve never needed a passport or lost yours, you’ll have to apply for one. Unfortunately, this takes time and money, so you should start doing it at least six weeks before the trip. It’s better to have everything covered beforehand than to be denied entry to your travel destination.

Acquire Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must for every traveler. In case of flight delays, flight cancellations, lost or stolen property, or medical problems, it can help you save money and time. There are numerous travel insurance companies, but most of them offer similar services. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and relatives about their experience with a particular company so you can choose the best one for your needs.

Make Sure Your Credit Card Is Working in the Foreign Country 

Credit cards are widely used in various countries across the world, but there are some places where some of them aren’t accepted. An excellent way to avoid unpleasant situations is to call your bank and ask whether your credit card will work in your chosen destination. Otherwise, you have no other option but to use cash. 

However, even if the card works where you’re going, make sure you have enough cash in local currency on hand, just in case. You can exchange money in your country or after you arrive, in a currency exchange office.

Make Sure You Can Use Your Phone Abroad

Cell phone usage is essential for every traveler because it’s the main way to communicate with home, plan your route, and find information about your destination. That’s why you should determine beforehand if your phone will work in the country where you’re going. Otherwise, you should choose another way to stay connected.

If you’re planning to use your phone abroad, make sure that your plan allows international calls and texts. If you don’t have such a plan, check out prepaid SIM cards. This is a great option for budget travelers who travel often.

Research Local Transportation Options 

The easiest way to get around in a foreign city is by using public transport, but if you don’t plan ahead, you may end up having problems getting your head around it. It helps to know whether the local bus/train/subway accepts credit cards or not if it offers Wi-Fi access or costs extra for large luggage. 

Also, if the public transport is not very good in the given city, rent a car or join a shared taxi ride with other people. You could also use apps like Uber or Lyft, which offer rides wherever you want in the city.

Find Places to Eat 

Trying out the local cuisine is one of the highlights of traveling. You’ll most likely spend a lot of time in restaurants and cafes in the new city. As such, it’s best to look beforehand for the best places to avoid wasting time searching for one when you leave your hotel.

You could research online, read reviews and prepare a list of recommended restaurants so you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth. Additionally, you can ask your hotel staff for recommendations since, as locals, they could know about the best hole-in-the-wall places.

Look for Local Events 

You surely don’t want to spend all your time in a new city sitting in your hotel room or visiting museums. A local festival or an art exhibition can be a great way to spend your free time. Find out about upcoming events in the city you’re going to visit so that you won’t miss anything interesting while you’re there. You can also plan entertainment for yourself to avoid spending lots of money on expensive activities offered by local tourism offices.

Learn Some Words and Phrases in the Local Language

It is always more convenient to learn some basic phrases in the local language before traveling there. The more words you know, the easier it will be to communicate with local people and get helpful information about sightseeing and events. There are easy-to-use apps that can teach you useful phrases or even translate things for you on the spot to not look like a fool when asking for something simple.

Taking a trip is one of the most exciting things you can do. However, if you’re planning to travel to a new city, especially abroad, you have to prepare yourself beforehand. You need to have all your documents ready, money exchanged into the local currency, and a place to stay. Also, don’t forget about public transport options and be sure to find out about the local culture. This will help you avoid unpleasant surprises and save you time and money. Don’t wait until the last minute, or you might end up missing your flight or getting stranded in the city.

Photo by Alexandr Podvalny

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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