Travel Tips Pt. 2

To start my travel writing for 2018, I decided to share a few more tips for my fellow travelers and readers who plan on buying their airplane tickets soon. If anyone needs more advice or would like to have guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

  1. Savings, Savings, SAVINGS!

I have taken some accounting and finance courses that have always reminded me of how I should be financially set up after I begin my first job after college, but I’m guilty to have not been on top of my game this past year. I was last minute saving up for my expenses counting down my days till take-off, and I was struggling. But I kept firm to my decision and saved every penny I could. I opened up a savings account about three months before I left for Europe. I did some research, and I suggest you do the same. Not everyone has the same financial situation and there are some pros and cons you have to list out. The top things you should look out for are: Minimum balances, monthly fees and limited withdrawals. I found out in my search that the minimum balance most banks let you have is $300. If you go under that balance, you may be charged with a fee. Some banks require you to pay a monthly fee even if you are not under your balance. Some banks only let you withdraw money a limited amount of times in the year. If you really want to have your savings set up for investment (which you should) inquire about APYs and see what is the eligibility and benefits that will give you money for saving money. My recommendation is to start saving from the moment you decide you want to travel somewhere. My planning timeline is from 10-12 months. You can put whatever amount of money aside you want as long as you have a goal and you stick to the plan.

2. International Insurance Exists?

Yes, it does (well in some countries)! Definitely, do your research before you travel, and this includes your health. On my recent trip to Spain, I had not done this and had to deal with an unplanned cold I caught while on my trip. Fortunately, all pharmacies in Spain are stocked with over the counter medicine that can help you recover with the guidance of a pharmacist on hand. Spain does offer health insurance for non-residents, but you might have to spend a few bucks. You should want to be covered in case an emergency happens. Make sure you research the country you’re visiting and look into their insurance options.

3. AirBnBs? Hostels? Hotels?

If you have the means, book that hotel! If you’re on a budget, I suggest looking into hostels and AirBnBs. Remember,  you are booking your overnight stays to basically just sleep there, you might not need all of the amenities many places may offer at high prices. Make sure you check reviews on both the properties you’ll be staying at and the host/company. Distance from the place you’re staying at, to the places you’ll be visiting (museums, bars, parks, etc.). Research the areas of the cities you’ll be staying at. Some neighborhoods may be a bit shady, while others may offer a lot of peace and tranquility. You don’t want to stay at a place you don’t feel safe in. Book your stay in a 4-7 month timeline, earlier if you’ll be traveling in a busy season.

4. Time to Invest in Comfortable SHOES!

No matter how much of an urge you may have to post a snazzy cute pic on Instagram full body, don’t kill your feet doing so. Most places you visit, if you’re a traveling explorer like I am, you’ll be doing a lot of walking. I’m talking miles. I have flat feet, therefore I need support. I brought along a pair of Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 and Epic React. The Pegasus has a lot of support that saved me on this trip. The Epic React only lasted me a few hours a day. What helped a lot is that I kept changing shoes. This way your feet won’t mold into just one pair and you have some type of variety when planning your outfits. Change your socks all the time! If you need to, buy a pair of cheap socks, and dispose of them after use. For my ladies, if you’ll be doing a night out, I can suggest some short to medium inch heels.

These are my top 4 tips for my fellow travelers this year. I learned this from experience! If you have any other recommendations or questions, comment below. My upcoming posts will be my adventures in E(th)paña!

Portrait of a Flamenco dancer. Location: bar in Barcelona, Spain.

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