At least once in our lifetime, we will have to take a long trip somewhere. Whether that’s a vacation in a different country or a family visit, we still need to come prepared. For that reason, we have devised a handy survival guide for long trips.
Of course, we have to specify that there are different variables for each trip. Sometimes, we travel alone, and at other times, we take our whole family. Then there are the means of travel, i.e., whether we’re planning to walk, drive, ride, or sail there. Finally, there’s the destination. We will definitely prepare differently if we want to climb a mountain, visit a big city, or take a chill drive down a country road.
For the purposes of this text, we will focus on single travelers who are traveling by car. However, a lot of these tips will apply to other travel arrangements as well. In addition, we will focus on traveling to a foreign country.
In 2019, the world is far smaller than it was mere 30 or 40 years ago. And any traveler willing to visit other countries must be prepared.
Naturally, there are guides out there that focus on domestic travel, as well as those who encompass all types of trips. We will try to condense all of that and make the guide as short as possible, yet as detailed as the others.
The Ultimate Long Trip Guide of 2019
1. Pack Light
It might sound strange, but packing light actually has lots of benefits when we’re on the road. First of all, we won’t have to carry much weight with us. Next, if we want to buy interesting souvenirs, we will have room to pack them. It’s really not that big of a deal if we wear the same shirt or pants for a few days while we’re on the road. We can always wash them at a local dry cleaner’s.
2. Bring Your Own Entertainment
Long trips can be boring. So, if we’re driving for hours, we might as well have some music on. A car MP3 USB device will do the trick. It’s also a good idea to stock up on audiobooks.
Once we’re not on the road, we can always play games on portable consoles or horse around on our smart devices. Books and crossword puzzles are likewise a good choice for long trips.
3. Check the Car
Checking the car is a must before any trip. It needs to be in top-notch shape if it’s going to take us to a different country and back.
But it’s not just about making sure it works properly. We also need to clean it, outside and inside. Presentable cars rarely look shady to border patrol agents.
4. Bring Medication
Yes, we will have health insurance, but it’s always a good idea to take as much medication as we can with us. That’s especially important if we’re allergic to something, like insects or pollen. In addition, we will require a proper First Aid kit. Better safe than sorry!
5. Bring Bathroom Paraphernalia
While our hotel room might provide us with towels and soap, it’s always good to take our own. Naturally, we will also need our toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and a shaving kit.
6. Stock Up on Food and Drink
Now, it’s never a good idea to take too much food or drink since we will also be buying them when we reach our destination. But for long trips, it’s always good to have a trunk full of sustenance. A 2-3 day supply will do.
7. Bring Both Cash and Credit Cards
Cash is always the ’safer’ option of the two, but it never hurts to have a few credit or debit cards. We should also check which banks will take our cards in our destination country and plan accordingly.
And speaking of cash, it’s always a good idea NOT to get a fanny pack or a belt bag. We need to blend in, not show thieves where we keep our money and important documents. Pockets are the safest option.
8. Take a Map or a GPS
Getting lost on a trip can be dangerous, so having a map with marked routes makes sense. But with modern technology, a decent GPS device will do, or even a GPS app on a smartphone.
9. Research, But Don’t Overdo It
It’s definitely better to know more about the place where we are going. However, trips are better if they have that element of surprise. The best solution is for us to research the destination slightly — just enough to get an idea of what it’s like. After we get there, we can discover new sights by exploring. Maps and GPS also come in handy there.
10. Meet the Locals
Every single trip is made better when we meet new people and share our experiences with them. Meeting folks from a different country will benefit us in several ways.
First, it will help us get by in a foreign land. Next, it will enrich our lives and broaden our scope of knowledge about the world. Finally, it will give us a chance to do a little cultural exchange. Just like we are learning about their culture, the locals can learn about ours just from our life stories.
A Key Component of All Trips: a Language Translator Device
We’ve all come across this gadget under different names. Usually, it’s marketed under names such as ’pocket translator’ or ’two-way translation device.’ So what is it?
To put it simply, it’s a real-time translation device no larger than an MP3 player. We can use it to communicate with people outside of our culture. After all, not everyone around the world speaks English, and there are many languages that are spoken almost as commonly as English. With that in mind, we need a way to speak to them when we travel abroad.
Can’t We Just Learn Their Language?
That is absolutely an option. In fact, it is the best option. However, not everyone has the time or capacity to learn new languages. Some people are just not built for it. But that shouldn’t stop them from wanting to see the world. That’s why a translator device is the best purchase for any traveler.
Why Get a Translator Device When We Have Apps?
Translator devices aren’t as versatile as apps, but we’ll argue that they’re still the better option out of the two. After all, an app will drain our phone’s battery quickly, whereas a translator device can work uninterrupted for days — anywhere between 4 and 12 days, in fact. And some of these translators, like Muama Enence, don’t even need an online option. They already store over 40 languages, including different dialects.
There’s a reason we put having a translator device as the last travel tip in this guide. It’s extremely important that we communicate with the locals in the best way possible. Because of that, we’d recommend portable translators to anyone who takes long trips.