There’s an art to moving around. A science of exploring. We’re not saying we’re masters or anything, but we like to think we’re getting there. Here’s a preliminary list of some basic tips to traveling the globe.
Figure out your phone ish. Not because you have to call your significant other every night – which is cute and all – but because instant access to the Internet is clutch. Take photos and post them to Instagram, look up words you don’t understand quickly, find the coolest local bars through Foursquare, avoid getting totally lost via Google maps, and using messenger to chat with new friends (no one overseas uses text, it’s all What’s App or Fbook… at least where we’ve been), which means that you need to be outfitted with a data plan that fits your needs. We recommend 100MB for every week, which is on the conservative side. Careful though, calling and texting will get you in deep trouble. Also, be sure to go into “Settings” to turn of “Cellular Plan” when you’re not using your phone directly. There may or may not have been a cell phone bill that exceeded $400 in one month, and we may or may not have cried ourselves to sleep.
But remember, you’re traveling. Enjoy what and who’s around you.
Get cash money. Credit is great and all, but that adorable bakery on the corner has absolutely no use for plastic – except maybe the bags to put your baguette in. Most people opt to visit the Exchange kiosk in the airport when you arrive at your foreign local, but we like to not deal with the hassle and use a major debt card to hit an ATM and pull out $$$. Standard rates usually apply, and there isn’t a line that’s 20 tourists deep to deal with bleary-eyed off a 7-hour flight. Also, check out the English translation on those money machines, it’s hilarious.
Ummmm yes, please?
Sleep on the plane. We cherish our Zzzz here at O+S headquarters, but finding them in-flight is tough. Yes, it is god awful trying to sleep in a tiny chair next to strangers and feel fully rested, but you’re going to be a complete zombie if you don’t get some semblance of rest before you embark on your adventure. The popular solution to this involves doing as much work / reading / writing as you can to tire you out, drink copious amounts of your preferred alcohol, and get that neck pillow and eye mask on. Is it just us or is the white noise of a jet engine kinda soothing?
Do NOT do this… even if tempted.
Pack light. This is difficult for us, because, you know… options. Although, as actual adults, we grew out of that “outfit for everything” mentality and simply opt for the black-with-pops-of-color groove. Mix and match, people. Additionally, you can look at it as being able to justify all that local shopping – not to mention you’re doing your duty to empower an economy. Okay, obviously we’re just fans of travel shopping.
This might be a little too light for us, but we dig the style.
Check for events! Ya know, we love our research, so whenever we’re headed somewhere new, we make every attempt to find out what’s going down in the Palazzo on Saturdays, or at the public park in the summer, or simply when farmer’s markets and book fairs happen. Not only because it’s awesome to catch a city in the thralls of a local event, but also you can plan accordingly around it if you want to avoid crowds or chaos.
Missing this would be ill-advised.
Let us know your tips and travel stories in the comments.