Travel can be stressful for a lot of people.
I like to make things as easy and comfortable for my husband and I when we travel.
We've done it enough both together and alone and have traveled in every comfort level scenario - from roughing it completely (sleeping in a car, lost in the middle of the night in Warsaw or camping in torrential downpours in tents in Slovenia).
We've stayed with other rowdy travelers above the super steep stairs of the Amsterdam hostels.
We've even gotten rewards stays and felt so fancy staying at 5 star hotels in Italy and on business trips in Dubrovnik.
Every trip we've taken has led us to learn a valuable lesson to help us now have as smooth of a trip as possible.
Do you do these 11 EXPERT things before you fly abroad?
1.) Of course, you will want to check in online ahead of time to make sure you get the best seat possible. Do this online and have a mobile boarding pass ready.
If you get to the airport early and want to feel extra secure, you can absolutely swipe your passport at a kiosk and print out a physical boarding pass to board the plane.
My super powerful secret tip:
Call the airline you're flying with the day before your departure (meaning the day you will be checking in). Ask for any upgrades or for the best seats available.
A 7 minute phone call can save you the charges of seat reservations and can score you free premium economy or even better upgrades!
I landed seats 10H and 10K on our Lufthansa flight from Philly to Frankfurt at no extra charge with extra leg room. It's the little things :)
So, if you've ever worked in customer service, you know what it's like for someone else who is working in customer service.
One of my first jobs was actually at a call center so I know how far it goes to be extra friendly, easygoing, and genuine while talking to someone on the phone.
How to reach a human on the phone:
Always remember to press zero to reach an operator and bypass all of the voice recording. If all else fails, check out GetHuman.com.
2. If you will be connecting to another city, book your train tickets in advance. My host sister in Germany clued me in on the Sparpreis you can score if you book train tickets 3 days ahead of your departure on most international train trips. More savings is always alright with me!
3. Packing cubes! These are absolutely genius and save SO much space. I'm also a fan of rolling clothes when packing. Backpack and carry-on (no checked luggage) only. Try to avoid over packing and plan out what you will wear each day of your trip. You don't want to check your luggage and risk losing all your stuff. Plus, it's so much easier to travel and maneuver around train stations and cobblestone streets if you have less stuff.
4. Collagen eye masks the day before and day of your flight keep you and your skin looking so fresh. Also, drinking a ton of water helps keep you feeling healthy and full while you travel. A lot of people see it as a downside that you have to use the bathroom a lot more but at least you'll be stretching your legs more often which is always helpful on a long haul flight.
5. Sleep masks! This is even more important than a pillow on a long flight, in my opinion. A good sleep mask that really covers everything can help you fall asleep. Add a cozy scarf or even a hood and you'll be snoozing in no time.
6. Travel uniform - find the one you prefer. Leggings, a long, soft t-shirt and a hoodie or sweater are one of my favs with either boots in the winter or Birkenstocks/Tom's in the summer. Jeans or joggers might be another option you might like. Make sure it's something you can sleep in and add and remove layers easily.
7. Don't forget to pack your vitamins & headache medicine - I found a cute little vitamin holder at Marshall's that makes it easy to keep everything in one place. Similar here.
8. Call your banks ahead of time and/or exchange money. You'll want to let your bank know you're going abroad and find out what the exchange rate AND foreign transaction fees are (there could be both - you'll want to know this ahead of time so you can plan accordingly).
9. Figure out where you are going to have your first meal upon arrival to help you adjust immediately. By having something prepared, it can help you ease into your trip and leave you not feeling overwhelmed by making a decision in another language immediately.
It can really help make you feel at home in a new place.
10. Get your phone unlocked if you're planning on getting a foreign SIM card while abroad. Alternatively, you can contact your provider and arrange an international plan before you leave home.
11. Schedule a delivery of Blue Apron 2-3 days before you leave so you don't waste any food and have just enough of what you need. You'll be so happy to not have to go grocery shopping and have exactly what you need to make delicious and healthy meals at home. I LOVE Blue Apron. Everything I have gotten has been super fresh, high quality, and flavorful. If you haven't tried it yet, you can get
Do you have any travel tips you swear by? Let me know in the comments below!
Polish-American Polyglot, Language Expert, German Teacher, M.Ed., married to my dream guy, the Croatian Sensation. Let's connect!
I aim to provide as much free content as possible to help teach others around the world how to speak another language. I am trying out using affiliate links, which means that I may earn a tiny commission if you click on a link or make a purchase through a link posted here. All opinions and materials are my own, unless otherwise stated. If you use and like my materials, let me know! :)