7 Tips Before Traveling Abroad

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7 Tips To Know Before Traveling Abroad

In 2018, my husband and I decided to leave our jobs and travel for a little over 2 months. If you told me a year before that I would quit my job to go travel, I probably wouldn’t believe you. You could imagine preparing for the unknown was definitely a little nerve-wracking. After experiencing traveling abroad and now being back home in New York, I’m here to tell you it is not easy, but it was one of the most rewarding things we have ever done.

Here I am covering my 7 tips to know before traveling abroad from my experience. If you have decided to travel for an extended time period, I hope this will help you get a little more prepared from the lessons I learned while abroad.

Eiffel tower in Paris, France

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  

1.Set a Budget

Set a budget, but be prepared to spend slightly over it. We found traveling more difficult without having a set budget to follow. By having a set budget, it can relieve a lot of unnecessary stress.

To have an idea of what you might be spending, look up what the local currencies are, and see how much accommodations are going for.

For this, I set up an excel sheet/google sheet that I could input my expenses and keep us on track. It helped a lot and you can download it here: (Travel Budget) I also use it for just my daily expenses too! Just fill in your total expenses in each cell and the formulas should add everything up for you! Be careful not to change the formulas!

2. Finding Accommodations

Accommodations are always the most time-consuming thing for me to plan. It needs to be in our budget without being really sketchy. In Europe and the USA, we like to use Airbnb. This gives me the ability to have more space and be within local neighborhoods.

If I want to be more catered to, I will go tobooking.com.Because I have an account with them, I usually get pretty good deals after a couple of bookings.

In Asia, I usually go with agoda.com which has great customer service and always seemed to have the best prices.

Courtesy of Agoda

3. Make a Flexible Schedule

While traveling abroad, we found having a little wiggle room made traveling more fun. You might not be able to refund a flight, but booking refundable accommodations is easy! We would book refundable hotels just for this reason. Agoda and Booking.com have a lot of options for this.

On our two-month trip, we planned Iceland, Paris, Greece, and Thailand. This was about a month of us being away. We decided to leave the next month open since we didn’t know how long we wanted to stay in Thailand. After being on the road for a while, you learn more about what you want. Flexibility will allow room for this.

Volunteering with elephants while traveling abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Volunteering with Asian Elephants in Chiang Mai, Thailand


Next, make sure to check out the immigration laws of places you might want to visit and what immunizations are suggested and/or required. Every country has different laws on the number of days you can spend visiting. If you want to stay over a month in one country, it is likely you will be required to apply for a visa. It is best to just look up the laws so you can be prepared!

The same goes for immunizations. Check what immunizations the country requires for entry. It’s the worst to be in a country so far from home and realizing there is a high risk of yellow fever or malaria!

5. Hacks For Finding Travel Destinations

Not sure where you want to go? Skyscanner is our go-to for finding a new travel destination! You can enter where you are flying out of and the day or month you want to fly. Skyscanner will then show you the cheapest flights around the world for that month or those days.

They even provide you links to go straight to the flight deal. At this point, I never book a flight without checking here first! If I want to monitor a flight, I then use google flights and hopper to make sure I am getting the best deal! To track my flights, I always use google flights and hopper, which help me figure out the best time to book.

Jökulsárlón Glacier lagoon traveling abroad in Iceland
Standing at Jökulsárlón Glacier lagoon in Iceland


If you’re planning to travel for an extended amount of time, packing will likely be a tough one for you! On our trip we were starting off in Iceland which is very cold, to South East Asia, being extremely hot. You could imagine how tough it could be to pack winter and summer in 1 suitcase.

One tip I could give you is to not overthink and pack light. We used a huge suitcase and it was so annoying to carry around. Looking back, there was so much I packed that I did not need such as a blow-dryer or 8 pairs of sandals.

Bring things you can mix and match, but I promise you, re-wearing the same outfit will be the least of your worries. You are on the trip of your life and no one cares what you’re wearing.  If we could do it all over again, we would look to try and go with just a carry on suitcase.

7.Travel Insurance

We found that travel/ health insurance was one of the best investments we made. We used Alliance and had a great experience in the claim process. (I am not affiliated with them but believe they did a great job in terms of refunding us quick and easy). In Thailand and Malaysia, I caught a stomach bug.

I went to a walk-in clinic in Thailand and the emergency room in Malaysia. I saved the receipts and used their online claims process and was refunded for both medical expenses. Thankfully, it was nothing too serious that I needed to fly back home, but it’s good to know your covered.

Trip to hospital while traveling abroad
Trip to the Hospital in Malaysia


I hope these 7 tips for traveling abroad ease a little anxiety from your planning! If you are looking for more travel tips, click here for the lessons I learned abroad! 


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Sam Opp

Sam Opp (Samantha Oppenheimer) is a New Yorker based in Raleigh, NC. She is a travel writer, blogger and content creator who loves traveling, photography, coffee, and pizza. When she's not traveling, you can find her cuddling with her pup, Marley, and blogging all about her recent travel experiences.

2 thoughts on “7 Tips Before Traveling Abroad”

  1. Great read, and very usefull tips. Good to know that you had good experiences with Alliance, I always find travel insurance a bit confusing because some things are already covered by monthly health insurance. But it’s always good to be prepared in case something does happen!

    • Thank you so much! Unfortunately, USA insurance does not usually cover much outside the country! I am glad you found my tips helpful!


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