Congratulations! Now that you’ve arrive at your destination, here are a few tips to help get your trip off to a good start.
- Cash is always accepted! When you arrive in a new country, it is always good to have U.S. dollars on you. Get local money at an ATM or currency exchange location, and avoid getting it exchanged at the airport—they have the worst rates. It can be helpful to use a calculator or app on your phone to figure out the price of something in a specific currency.
- If you’ve landed in a time zone that is five or more hours different than home, you may have jet lag. There are different theories on how to deal with jet lag, but it helps to try and jump into the local time and plan a not so strenuous first day. Eat and sleep on the local schedule. Here’s hoping you get a great night’s rest!
- Remember you are always an ambassador of your country. Be courteous and respect the local culture. It may be tremendously exciting to visit a place, but may not be appropriate to do certain things. For instance taking photos, selfies, funny poses and gawking at new sights can sometimes make others feel awkward and less than respected.
- It’s always a good idea to keep passport, money, credit cards, phone, camera, etc. close to you. Some people like money belts or a zippered pouch on a lanyard. Prevent potential problems by having items in a safe, locked pocket or bag. Also because of potential jet lag you may be more forgetful, so it’s good to have a designated place to find these items.
One more big things to remember: Just because you are in a world famous place doesn’t mean you have to do the “expected” tour. Often the most meaningful experiences are more personal. For instance, in Venice, you may find that the expensive gondola ride is eclipsed by rich gelato eaten in the beautiful sunshine.
Ask locals for advice and be genuinely open to new and different people, places, and cultures. You will make new friends and learn lots!