The notion of traveling abroad holds a certain amount of magic and myster, as the idea of visiting other countries is an idea full of excitement and wonder; before you take a trip to another country, however, make sure you are prepared for the surprises that international travel can present you.
The first thing you need to know is exactly what your money will do for you in the country you plan to visit; for instance, if you are traveling to a third world country, you will find that your money will usually go further than it will in America (though perhaps not as far as you are thinking!), while in many European countries your money will not accomplish nearly as much as it would in the States! When you go into your trip with a clear understanding of what your money will be able to accomplish on the trip, you will minimize the chances of running into unpleasant financial surprises!
Having a basic grasp of the language will be another big part of experiencing successful international travel; of course, you are not going to be able to become fluent in every language you will encounter in your travels, but you should still try to have a rudimentary understanding of the different languages in order to get by more smoothly.
You also should make sure you gain a full understanding of the culture in which you will find yourself; realize that not everything is viewed the way it is viewed in America, and you should always be aware of these differences so you can be respectful toward them.
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Finally, be aware of the element of safety; while you can certainly get pick-pocketed anywhere in the world, you would hate to get stranded in a foreign country without your passport and without any money, so you should always keep your money divided up in different places, and should keep a close eye on your passport!
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While these tips will not guarantee an international travel experience completely devoid of bumps, they will get you much closer than you would otherwise have been to experiencing a smooth journey