Traveling can be fun. You get to pack all of your favorite clothes, get on a fancy cool plane, check into a hotel and explore the new town, city or foreign country you are in. But it can also be challenging. You have so many things to worry about. If you are with your family, you have your children. If you are leaving the country, you have all of those passports to worry about. You have to get on the right plane, at the right time, and at the right gate. You have to adjust to the time difference and exchange your money to whatever the new currency is. Traveling can be a complete eye opening experience, but it can also be a huge challenge, and to some people, it is simply not worth it.

I love traveling. From an age younger than you would think, I have been to several different countries in Europe, Canada, at least 25 different states in the USA and Mexico. Not to mention the many Caribbean islands and cruises that I’ve been on with my family. I understand that it can be hard but I like to consider myself a pro. This article will give you tips on how to travel lighter, smart ideas to keep yourself safe especially in a foreign country, and how to make traveling worth it.

  1. One of the most important things to remember when traveling to a foreign country is your passport. Keep a copy of all of this information in a separate bag in case something should happen. Keep the original copy close to you as well. It is also a good idea to keep some of your money with you. But not all. If you keep your money in different places, you have a better chance of not losing it due to thieves.

  2. Learn the language. Even if it is just a few simple phrases like, “where is the bathroom?” “how much does this cost?” “I will have the...” or “Excuse me, but where can I find the...” they will help you. Knowing some words like left and right will also help in case you get lost. The people native to that country will also appreciate it when you try to speak. If you are in a popular city like Paris or Barcelona, people will most likely speak English, but it is always good to try their language.

  3. Now let's go to the packing. People pack on average 15 items that they will never use on their trips. For women, it can be up to 25 items. Make a list of everything you need. Counter in the fact that there may be a washing machine. If you are sure that there is one, pack enough for half of your trip. That way, you can wash your clothes halfway through. When packing your toiletries, make sure they are sealed tight and keep in mind that airports only permit about 3 oz. Also pack clothing that you can wear more than once and in different ways. For example, you can wear jeans as well as sweatshirts a few times before you wash them. Utilize every possible pocket because you really don't want to over pack. Once you make your list, stick to it!!

  4. Be aware for thieves. You are a tourist and you stick out like a soar thumb. Keep your wits about you and look out for people who look suspicious. Some people like to wear clothing with zippers, to ensure that their belongings will not fall out or be stolen. Be especially careful when in the subway system, if you chose to take them. This is a breeding ground for thieves. They will steal your things and by the time you notice, they will already be on the subway...gone.

  5. Another thing is to spend your money wisely. The last thing you want is to run out of money. Always evaluate what you are going to buy. If you think you are going to over spend, map out a daily budget for yourself. For example, on day 1, try to spend $75.00 on food and $25.00 on entertainment. On day 2, try to spend a little less on food and more on entertainment. If you know you are running short on money, maybe skip the J'aime Paris T-shirt and go for the Eiffel Tower coffee mug instead.

  6. Also plan out your days in terms of what you are going to do. Check out museums and shopping malls you can visit. Counter in your transportation. Are you going to walk everywhere? Are you going to take a taxi? What about the subway. You have to be aware to thieves, homeless and understand the maps and how the subway system works. What if you are going to drive. You have to make sure that you have an international license as well.

  7. Make sure you also know some of the laws. You don't want to get in trouble with the police, and you don't want to get hurt. Do a bit of research about where you are going. Some laws or other things you should be looking for are as follows.

  1. In England, they drive on the “wrong side” of the road.

  2. The Brits not only drive on the opposite of the road, but they also have the steering wheel on the right side.

  3. Also keep in mind that a good 90% of the cars in the UK are sticks. So you should start to get used to driving one way before you go on your trip.

  4. In Canada, they do not gauge their distance in miles, but in kilometers.

  5. Canadians also measure their gas in liters rather than gallons.

  6. In Germany, the far lane to the left is strictly for passing. You can only pass or overtake a car if you are on the left.

  7. In India, drivers usually drive in the left lane, which is the complete opposite than in America. The drivers seat is also on the right side, rather than the left.

Keep in mind that these are only driving laws. There are so many more that are highly recommended to learn. Other than these few tips, use your best judgment. Be smart about your choices and have fun. This is a moment you will want to remember for a long time.