Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program if you are a US citizen, ANYTIME you are about to go out of the country. It takes five minutes and lets the government know you are out of the country and if there is any emergency while abroad you will get emails sent directly to you regarding those countries you are visiting. Click here to sign up now: https://step.state.gov/step/
When it comes to packing, which is always the worst part, try rolling your clothes off more space and also trying packing cubes. They make packing way more organized and most come with a laundry bag as well.
Check if your airline has an app to download on your phone. This could make your process a lot simplier and cut down on time. You may still need to go to check in counter prior to the secuirty line in order to give themyour check bags or change your seats. You can easily access your boarding pass here, save on paper and get any real time updates for gate changes.
I highly suggest getting a multicountry adapter which you can get for cheap on amazon if you are someone who travels to multiple countries. My past trip i traveled to 9 different countries with different outlets so this was a must have.
Make sure before you travel to a country, you do a quick and easy google search on some cultural norms and laws. You would be surprised at some of the laws in other countries and you want to be certain you stay clear when entering as a foreigner. This is the simpliest way to do that and also to respect the culture. Some may not allow you in certain temples based on your relgion and a lot of countries in Asia require you to remove your shoes in most homes and temples. PLease be respectful and follow laws for the countries as it is in the best interest of you as a stranger in someone’s home. It also allows you to share in that culture and appreciate someone elses way of living compared to youre everyday life.
Along with the cultural and policies in place for these cuontries, you will most likely encounter a language barrier. This could be a turn off for most people when travelling, but i think it is one of the best parts. Google or Youtube some simple phrases of the countrys home language and write them down in the notes of your phone with the proper way to say them. This may be very essential if you do not have servce and need to speak to someone who does not understand Enlgish. Try to keep these phrases in mind:
Hello, goodbye, please, thank you, Where is the bathroom, what is the wifi password, how much, yes, no, how can i get to ________
Bargaining in markets: If you are in a regular store, it may be rude to bargain. Markets are the perfect place to bargain. Ask a person how muhc the item is, only if youre really interested. If youre not really willing to buy it right then and there do not bother bargaining because they will chase you down the street dropping the price until you buy it LOL (not actually). Lets use an example to make it easier, say something is 800 Thai Baht, in your head think about the conversion-that way you dont pay an abusrd amount- as of right now 800 Thai Baht equals around $24 USD. Say you want to pay $10USD for this item, yes they really will hike the prices up that much sometimes but BE REASONABLE. They will know that YOURE now tryingto scam them. So offer around 160-260 Thai Baht (5-8USD). They will then make a counter offer. If they are still not around $10 USD you can WALK AWAY-YES-WALK AWAY. They will, i promise you, 99% of the time say “ok ok fine and then abrgain lower” that is when you set your final price and then they say ok.
When it comes to eating in other countries, try to venture out (always bring immodium with you just in case). If you are homesick, the best thing you can do, in my opinon, is to go eat something that reminds you of home. I also love instead of eating out all the time while travelling, is to go to the grocery store and food shop there. It will give you more of a local experince while also staying on a budget rather than eating out constantly.
Instead of buying an international travel plan through your phone carrier, look to see if your phone is unlocked from the carrier. If so, you could get a sim card in the country youre travelling to and get data added to your plan. Sometimes it is way cheaper to do so, and some sim cards you can use in multiple countries.
Always check the weather in your destination country prior to packing, this makes for certainty and lighter packing. Also a good tip is to look up on pintrest different outfits in those countries based on season. That way you can alter your wardrobe to fit in like a local rather than standing out like a tourist.
Getting the perfect photos- If you’re trying to find cool spots to take photos, go on Instagram and type in your desired location, click on the hightag button and see where people have taken cool photos. If you are travelling solo, like myself most of the time, you have to have other people take your photos. You kind of have to do some stalking lol- look at others around you taking photos, I try to look for people that are younger or taking a few good angles. I simply ask if they would like me to take their photo for them and if they accept, you can ask if they would return the favor. If you take a nice photo of them, they may be able to do the same for you. You can politly guide them on what you want in your photos. If you do not like how thier photo came out-wait until they leave and simply ask someone else down the line.