Ultimate Guide for Budget Traveler and Adventure Seeker

International travel can be an amazing and truly life-changing experience. Whether you are an experienced vagabond, a beginning nomad, or ...

12 Travel Hacks for Your Next International Trip

International travel can be an amazing and truly life-changing experience. Whether you are an experienced vagabond, a beginning nomad, or preparing for your first-ever trip, there's nothing quite like the excitement that comes before setting off on a brand new journey. International travel gives exposure to new cultures, new experiences, and the chance to make an array of memories that will truly last a lifetime.

However, there are plenty of issues that can crop up during a worldwide trip. While nothing will ever fully guarantee a smooth trip (and a few mini-adventures can make the trip), keeping the following travel hacks in mind will help increase your chances of having a great international trip whether a one-week vacation or the extended start of a life-changing experience.

#1: (Pre-Trip) Have copies of your important documents online

Everyone knows about the tip of having photocopies of all your important documents like passports and licenses. This is in case you lose them while overseas or have them stolen which is unlikely but there are times where it might be possible and it might just happen. 

However, before you even leave there is a second smart precaution you can take: scanning your passport and license or taking a digital photo and putting them in a private Dropbox account or Gmail account. You need to make sure your password is ridiculously strong yet something you can remember but if you can do this then that means even if the documents and somehow the photocopies are lost, access to the Internet and a printer will allow you to get another copy of your crucial documents. This is just smart pre-planning!

#2: (Pre-Trip) Look at fee-reimbursement checking accounts

You'll need access to your money while overseas, but most banks will gouge you for it. If you think ATM fees are bad in the United States, just wait until you see all the extra fees that get tacked on once things go international. The good news is that certain banks offer fee-reimbursement checking accounts where you may have to pay the ATM fees upfront, but in exchange for being a good customer they will pay you back all your ATM fees at the end of each month.

Charles Schwab & Fidelity are both examples of banks that offer these accounts but there are many others.

#3: Add a distinctive ribbon or marking to your bag

Travel bags look alike, especially newer ones. Everyone's buying the same models, especially if they're known for being high quality. Add a blue ribbon, a bright yellow string, a leather name tag, something that is going to set your bags apart from the other ones in the airport. Makes your bags easy to find and that way you're also not grabbing someone else's by accident.

#4: Always grab a couple of hotel business cards

One for the wallet and one for an otherwise empty pocket. If you end up getting turned around, lost, or stranded, you now have the name, phone number, and address of your hotel so you can at least get back to there.

#5: Remember your face mask & earplugs

You never know when you will want a face mask. This could be to prevent germs when the flu is going around, to give yourself even the slightest bit of protection from smoggy or polluted air, and in the unlikely event of a volcano erupting close by...trust us, you don't want to breathe those particles in.

Super practical, and earplugs are great for when that hotel location that looked so great online turns out to not be so quiet in real life.

#6: Bring a filter water bottle

You need water to live, but you don't want dirty water that will make you sick, or water that might have bacteria locals are used to but your poor immune system is not. A filter water bottle is a great way to be able to carry around water and stay hydrated while preventing anything bad from getting into your system. It will make many otherwise undrinkable water sources viable for you.

#7: Plan for data & roaming charges 

Whether this is done through local SIM cards and throwaway phones or figuring out what type of international plan you can get from your provider, you do not want to see what normal international roaming charges are like. Plan ahead of time.

#8: Plan around major festivals & events

You may want to visit a place for a major festival or event - that might be half of the attraction. On the other hand, if you want to get to know an area, during a major festival or holiday might not be the best time. Search for local events before choosing your dates of travel to see the events you want and save yourself the headache of being caught up in ones you don't.

#9: Never forget the charger adapters

Different countries mean different electrical grids and even if the wall plug-in looks the same, you're about to fry your appliances if you don't have the right adapter. Don't take the chance.

#10: Roll your clothes in your carry-on

Rolling your clothes instead of folding them saves you space which also allows you to pack extra changes of clothes in your carry-on in case there are any issues with your checked bags. A few extra socks, pairs of underwear, and a t-shirt or two can make all the difference if it takes several days to get your bags back.

#11: Bring some favorite snacks

Anyone who has traveled enough has experienced those moments where no matter how delicious the local cuisine, no matter how much you've enjoyed trying local specialty dishes, you just want a hamburger from McDonald's. Or a ham and cheese sandwich from 7-11.

Sometimes you just want familiar comfort foods and by knowing that is going to come up at some point you can be sure to pack snacks that scratch that itch whether fruity candy or bags of pretzels or something else entirely.

#12: Don't be afraid of unscheduled days 

While it can be understandable wanting to see everything and jam-pack every single day, make sure you have some days with little to nothing scheduled. First, you never know when you'll just want to rest. Second, if you find a place you weren't expecting to fall in love with, you may want to spend more time there rather than go to another tourist trap. Finally, this gives you the flexibility to make your travels yours. After all, if you decide on an open day you want to visit 20 different tourist sites - well it's an open day you still can!

Follow these travel hacks and you'll be on your way to a great international vacation.