Travel Tips from an Outside GO Expert

 
 
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Travel Tips from an Outside GO Expert

 

Whether you’re planning a quick getaway or your dream trip, make the most of your travel preparation before you hit the road

By Laura Gerwin

 
 
 
 

Are you about to take off for an epic adventure to a less-frequented corner of the world? Or perhaps you're packing for an exotic place to get away, relax, and recharge. I do both frequently, and regardless of your trip, planning for it will help you have the best possible travel experience—not to mention get you excited for departure. Here are ten ways you can make the most of your preparation before you hit the road.

 
 
 
 

1. Think about what you’ll truly need for the adventures you have planned—and only pack for that.

Do your research, know your itinerary, and then ask yourself some questions. What activities are scheduled, and what do you need to wear? When can you do laundry? What shoes will be practical? Have you checked the weather? What are the luggage restrictions? Are there any special dress codes or customs you should respect? Will you need an international plug adaptor?

 

2. Pick a good airplane seat.

If you want under-the-seat storage, don’t reserve a bulkhead seat. Avoid seats too close to the bathrooms. Think about whether you’ll need to hustle to make a connection: sitting close to the front of the plane puts you first in line for customs and can get you through the jetway a solid 15 minutes before the folks in the last row, something that’s a time saver if your plane is running a bit late.

 

3. If the airfare seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Know what fare you are purchasing. These days, many base fares do not include seat selection, allow any carry-on bags, or even offer a complimentary meal. So, before you book, figure out what comes with the seat you are buying, and make sure you are selecting one that is right for you.

 

4. Determine how you’ll connect while abroad.

This isn’t an issue if you’re headed off for a digital detox. Otherwise, chances are you’ll want to post photos or updates of your adventures on social media every step of the way. Download travel apps, travel documents, and that new album you’ve been hankering to hear on iTunes before you disconnect from your home Wi-Fi. Here are a few apps or tools I store on my phone before I leave:

  • WhatsApp: an excellent tool for free international communication

  • A currency converter

  • Google Translate

  • The app for the airline I’m flying on

  • Screenshots of all the documents I need to travel: excellent to have at your fingertips without Wi-Fi yet within your camera roll

  • Excel, Word, Dropbox, my banking app, Netflix, and other tools I normally use to get digital downloads done

 

5. Carry small U.S. bills.

Take ones, fives, tens, and twenties with you. From small dirt airstrips in Africa to remote science stations in Antarctica, having a bit of U.S. currency available in small bills always seems to be of use.

 

6. Call your bank and credit-card companies to make sure your plastic is ready to be used internationally.

Without their prior authorization, you could run into problems or, at the very least, delays when you need money or purchasing power.

 

7. Bring along a day pack for essentials.

In my day pack, I always have my passport, money, medications, my car or house keys, a pen, a rain jacket, a down vest, water, snacks, a headlamp, earplugs, bug spray, sunscreen, a camera and additional electronics and necessary chargers, and a dry bag. On long flights, I also fit in the bare necessities of an outfit change, my toothbrush, lip gloss, dry shampoo, and face mist. Bam! Ready for any adventure.

 

8. Indulge in the array of in-flight entertainment.

In our busy lives, how often do we have time to sit in one place for multiple hours watching movies, reading books, and catching up on favorite podcasts while being served food and drinks? Look forward to this forced time for relaxation. Download new novels and films ahead of time, or just enjoy the available in-flight selection. Headphones are key to a happy flight, so you might invest in them, as well as a headphone adapter in order to plug into your seat-back entertainment system; then kick off your shoes and settle in.

 

9. Travel with a reusable water bottle.

This is good for you and for the planet. Make sure it’s empty before you head through airport security but then fill it up before you board the flight and stay hydrated at 32,000 feet.

 

10. Ask your travel expert for destination-specific information.

Countries like Kenya and Ecuador have banned plastic bags. In South Africa, you need an unabridged birth certificate with you if you’re traveling with your children. Do you need a visa or any vaccinations? Ask for any and all essential details in advance.

 
 
 
 
 

Remember, travel is about the journey, not just the destination. Planning is part of the fun. Be ready to GO on your next adventure with these destination-specific travel tips from your team of global experts here at Outside GO.

BEFORE YOU GO

 
 
 
 

Outside GO is an adventure travel company with decades of experience. We'd love to help you plan your next trip. Rest assured it will be authentic, stylish, and built around your wildest dreams.

 
 
 
 
 

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