Things to Know When Traveling Abroad

Clutch online magazine has really picked up the baton when it comes to encouraging African-American women to travel abroad more. Just a few days ago writer Arielle Loren added a new article called, “10 This You Should Know When Traveling Abroad” to the numerous articles that have been posted over the last few weeks.

In addition to the very useful tips included in that article, here are a few I would also recommend people consider.

First, where simple logistics are concerned:

  • If you plan to use public transportation, and there are schedules/maps online, familiarize yourself with the system before you leave, so you know how to find your way around “like a local” when you arrive
  • If you are using taxis, make sure you understand pricing practices in the cities/countries you are visiting. In some places it’s really important to agree a price *before* you get started or the driver can literally charge you whatever astronomical fee he fancies!
  • If you are taking prescription medication, not only take enough with you to last you while you’re gone. Also take a copy of the prescription and/or the name of that medication in the countries to which you’ll be traveling.
  • Don’t forget to get a local SIM card for your cell phone and/or an international calling card to save money on calls home (and be prepared in an emergency)

On a more social note, think about the following:

  • Reach out to an expat or local blogger and build up a relationship with them before you leave home. That will give you a touch point when you hit the ground.
  • Consider contacting local student or professional organizations before you leave, if you’d like to do a little networking while you’re on the road. Check out their online event calendars before leaving home and/or consider sharing your expertise by offering to do a presentation, etc., on a relevant topic for them while you’re there.
  • Contact a local middle/high school if you are willing give a short presentation and field questions from kids interested in the States/learning English/becoming exchange students, etc.

What are the tips you’d add?

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