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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

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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