It’s easier than ever to take your vacation planning into your own hands. Before you decide to drop your travel agent entirely, though, you need to make sure you have all the tools you’ll need to be comfortable abroad, especially if you are the type of person who wants the flexibility to change those plans halfway through. Here’s how you can make sure you’ve got all the tools like Sharemoney that you need to be prepared to meet your needs the road, especially if you’re traveling abroad for the first time.
1. Back Up Your Documents
The digital era has given people an unprecedented opportunity to avert traveling disasters. It used to be, if you lost your identity documents or credit cards abroad, getting access to your accounts and verifying your identity to get new documents could be a hassle. With cloud backup options from various app developers and platforms, you can easily scan your passport, driver’s license, credit cards, and anything else you’ll need to produce to prove you’re entitled to a new copy if you lose one of them. Having a digital scan of your credit card also lets you use it for transactions even without a physical copy, because you can key in the number.
2. Set Reservations Online and Confirm Them
With travel apps that consolidate thousands of hotels in hundreds of locations, it’s easy to find and book in almost any major city, as well as most of the minor ones. You can even find online reservation services for hotels and bed and breakfast lodgings outside those systems with a little work in a search engine. Get used to not only making reservations in those online systems but also confirming them, so you can get digital receipts emailed in case there’s a hiccup in the process.
3. Prepare Payment Options
Your credit card could theoretically hit a maximum when you are traveling, and that could put a crimp in your plans. Even if you don’t think that’s a realistic issue, using a tool to transfer USD to MXN while sending it to a recipient near-instantly gives you payment options that use your own money directly from your home bank accounts, so you can spend abroad without worrying about racking up interest fees. This is especially useful if you’re traveling for business that involves purchasing.
4. Research the Biomes
People think of Central and South America as universally warm and near-tropical, if not actually tropical, weather. While that’s true, there’s still a lot of diversity. You won’t be comfortable in the same getup at the beach and in the jungle or desert, and if you go up in the mountains, you’ll find there’s plenty of snow, even in the tropics. It’s all a matter of where you’re headed and what you’re doing. Make sure you have the gear you need to be comfortable everyplace you go, and don’t be afraid to have things shipped to your next destination if you won’t need them until then.
5. Relax and Have Fun
It’s easy to get caught up in the act of trying to plan a perfect trip, especially if you are traveling with friends or loved ones. Don’t forget to let go and enjoy what’s happening around you, because once you have the tools to cope with the unexpected, you should feel relieved. It’s okay to want to know everything up front, but don’t let that get in the way of enjoying the spontaneity, especially since you have the tools to be spontaneous abroad. Your group might need a planner and organizer, but they also need you to have a great trip that you remember for years to come.