Travel Trials and Tribulations

Tips for planning an international trip

By Emily Byrd and Lauren Penington

 

Traveling out of the country can be both exciting and worrying. Exhilarating because you get the opportunity to experience a new culture and some of the world’s wonders, but also nail-biting as you face the inescapable stress of planning.

After you’ve booked your flight and hotel room, it’s time to consider what you’re going to pack.

“When traveling to another country, you have to pack your whole life into two bags. So, you’re going to have to think about what you’re going to need and what’s available in the country you’re going to,” said English teacher Rebecca Chapman. In-state traveling is a less daunting task as you are already familiar with the state and know what to expect as well as what you’ll find. However, when traveling to a different country, some people seem to find themselves lost in the cultural differences and find they’ve packed the wrong things for the wrong place. According to USA Today, you should pack an adaptor, comfortable walking shoes, and plan your outfits according to the climate it will be when you arrive.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned and people are forced to work around it.

“We thought that we were going to a national park, but ended up changing because we only had a certain amount of time there and wanted to get as much in as we could,” said senior Alexa Benglen. When traveling, one important skill to have is flexibility. Things may not go as planned. The lines may be long and take up valuable time or flights may be delayed. It’s important to be able to make quick decisions and to always have a plan B.

Always make sure to keep an open mind when going to another country as you will see many differences, but also some similarities.

“My advice for people who are traveling for the first time [would be to] keep an open mind. Things will be different and you will experience culture shock,” said Chapman. “I think the most annoying thing that people can do is say ‘It’s not like this in America.’ Nobody wants to hear that. They just want to see you enjoying another culture.”

The world is full of different people, cultures, and customs. Traveling allows you to both see and immerse yourself in both of these and also learn how to appreciate a culture that isn’t your own. Planning is crucial to any trip and becomes of chief importance when traveling abroad. It’s important to not only plan well, but also to keep an open mind and be flexible to ensure that all your moo-la doesn’t go to waste.

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