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11 Vital Essentials To Do Before Traveling Abroad

11 Vital Essentials To Do Before Traveling Abroad

When it’s time to travel, most people just focus on where they’re going and how they’ll get there. However, to ensure that you have a safe, fun trip, there has to be some preparation done beforehand. Generally, you’ll be able to get basic necessities while in a new place, either in markets or shops in the airport. However, even before you set foot in the airport, you’ll want to ensure you have everything you need and prepare for the worst. Here are eleven important things to do before you start your journey traveling abroad:

1. Get Your Passport

This one’s pretty obvious, but you can’t leave your country or enter another country without your passport. You’ll need to double check the expiration date, too. Make copies of it just in case it gets lost and also have a digital backup saved either online or on your laptop to cover all of your bases with ensuring you have the proper documentation readily available.

2. Make Sure You Have the Right Visa

Your passport won’t be enough to get you into every country. Research what the requirements are before you arrive so that you have the necessary documents depending on how long you’re staying. For example, if you’re moving to Canada, you’ll need to register for an Express Entry Visa. Likewise, countries like Cuba require special visas for visitors looking to travel to their country too. A tourist visa lasts for a single traveler for up to 30 days and proof of a return ticket must also be provided.[1]

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3. Tell Your Friends and Family

Before you walk off into the sunset, let your loved ones know where you’re going. Letting people know where you’ll be will help if you get into any trouble and need their help. You can use social media to update your locations or even start a travel blog so they can share your experiences with you.

4. Have Your Medications and Vaccinations Ready

If you’re the type who needs allergy medicine or any kind of medicine really, you’ll want to pack it. You can also look into which remedies will prevent illness for where you’re traveling to by using the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. Also bring some generic medications for headaches, stomach discomfort or nausea, and colds.

5. Have a Working Credit Card

Traveling with a large amount of cash is not a smart idea. Credit cards are great because they’re small and can be carried easily. Make sure your cards will work overseas. You’ll also want to alert your credit card company and bank that you’ll be traveling. If you don’t, they might freeze your account.

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6. Get a Guidebook

You don’t need to master the language of the location, but it definitely helps if you can say basic things like greetings or ask for directions. A guidebook will also help point out attractions and details about how to get around.

7. Have the Right Adapter for Your Electronics

So you’re traveling and want to share your photos and stories online, but how can do you that if your electronics run out of juice? Different countries use different adapters and it’s best to buy one before you leave so the cables work at both ends.

8. Verify Your Travel and Health Insurance

Make sure that your health insurance includes international coverage.[2] If it doesn’t, discuss the option of adding short-term protection just for the duration of your trip. Travel insurance will provide the necessary protection if you need your money refunded or if you had to shorten your trip for a number of reasons, like delayed flights, cancelled reservations, etc.

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9. Bring Snacks

While it’s great to have an open mind when traveling, sometimes you’ll need a little piece of home. Having your own reserve of food will make you less dependent on trying to find every corner market. They’ll also help curb your appetite while you search for that one great meal or if that food cart nearby looks a little suspicious.

10. Pack Extra Clothes

Whether you’re using an actual small suitcase or a backpack for your carry-on, you’ll want to keep at least one extra outfit in it.[3] This is because luggage getting lost or delayed across flights is a very routine thing and can be both costly and inconvenient. You don’t want to rely on the souvenir t-shirts from the gift shop for a makeshift outfit to wear for a few days while things get sorted out, so plan ahead.

11. Buy Tickets Before You Get There

When choosing what to see and do, see if you can get tickets online. Sometimes you can get better seats or even discounts just for buying before you arrive. There are also sometimes tourist-only deals for shows and exhibitions.

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Featured photo credit: Markgraf-Ave via pixabay.com

Reference

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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