Thinking of traveling to a new country in the coming months? Here are some simple and easy suggestions to help make your upcoming travel plans as seamless as possible~

1. Be sure to factor in any time zone differences. Do your research ahead of time to ensure you’ve properly planned for your arrival time, with regards to transportation and length of trip. If your flight departs from New York, New York at 6am EST, and you’re facing a 7.5-8hr flight to London, be sure to account for the 5hr difference in time (zone) between the two locations. Thus, you’re actual arrival time will indeed be 6/630pm in England, as opposed to 1/130pm NY time. This may sound elementary, but new travelers may overlook this, miscalculate, and find themselves stranded at an airport because they’ve given the shuttle service the incorrect time.

Additionally, you’ll also want to consider lengthier trips, like Australia for example, which can be as much as 14hrs ahead of the US EST. With layovers, this could potentially eat into desired vacation time for overall length of planned trip. You may find yourself spending almost your entire first and last day in the air. Therefore, you may want to consider booking a 14 day expedition, as opposed to a 10 or 11 day trip. You want to make sure you have ample time to cover everything you have planned, so you don’t have to cut back/out certain tours, excursions, etc. Simple, yet useful tips to help make your trip a success.

2. Electrical outlets can vary from country to country. Be sure to do your homework beforehand. It’s also a wise idea to buy the necessary adapters prior to departure to ensure access to charge cell phones, or other smart devices. Don’t always assume they’ll be a 3 prong outlet waiting for you at the hotel. Yes, it’s true that many resorts can provide you the necessary equipment, but I wouldn’t personally make a trip across seas depending upon someone else for my computer and phone charging access and capabilities. I also recommended that you have cordless battery chargers, and other cordless goodies (that are battery operated, plus bring ample batteries) to aid in your time away from home. Don’t get caught separated from your world because you’re short the proper necessities to keep you connected.

3. Find out about local cuisine in the area. This is important if you are journeying into rural territory. It is also critical that you do your research if you are traveling with young children especially, who have certain allergies. Remember, you’re going to be less familiar with menu items and native dishes, so you need to find out how area items are prepared. I’ve discovered that often times waiters/waitresses have no idea what ingredients are used in dishes (other than the basics,) so this can lead to a slew of questions for the chef, or the sound of an allergic alarm going off…leading to a doctor or hospital visit in a foreign land. This would totally stink in the the middle of your family/single/friends vacation! My recommendation is to read reviews on area restaurants before hand, and map out a plan. This will enable you to avoid wasting good time in search of places to eat once there! Of course you may need to inquire further upon visiting, but at least you can have a running start.

4. Research the laws and customs of the country you’re heading to. What’s considered “okay” in your home country, may indeed be frowned upon elsewhere. There are many things to consider including, dress codes, hand shakes, appropriate ways to dine, and so much more! You certainly don’t want to offend the residents of your temporary host country, nor do you want to find yourself phoning a friend from the local authority’s office. Be smart!

5. My last quick tip is to pack your “must haves.” It may be difficult to find your favorite shampoo, body creme or razor abroad. If you are traveling into an area that’s off the beaten path, a local run to Target may not be an option. Think about where you’re venturing off to, and what specific items you just can’t live with out while away! Pack wisely!

This concludes my 5 quick tips! I’d also suggest you consider other items like rate of currency exchange, location of hotel/resort/villa in regards to tourist areas or places you plan to visit, and lastly to set a specific budget. This will eliminate you finding yourself in a financial pickle by the time you return home! Happy traveling friends~

Stay tuned for more great info!!!

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Niagara Falls, Ontario

Money Mini Mart/Currency Exchange