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How to Plan A Trip for Beginners Pt. 5 – Planning Your Arrival

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Destination, check. Itinerary, check. Bookings, check. Now onto the final part of getting ready for you vacation, planning your arrival. 

A smooth arrival is crucial for a trip especially if it’s your first time traveling. A hectic travel experience and/or arrival will put a sour taste in your mouth So, these tips are meant to help you have a smooth as possible arrival.

How to Plan A Trip for Beginners – Planning Your Arrival

how to plan a trip for beginners - planning your arrival

Planning Your Arrival

Figure Out How You’re Getting to Your Hotel

Before you leave home, decide how you’re going to get to your accommodations

With knowing how you’re getting to your accommodations,  you don’t have to scramble upon arrival. Whether you choose to take an Uber, book a transfer, schedule a pick up with your hotel, or take public transport, just have this pre-decided. Also, figure out where you need to go to get picked up for your chosen mode of transport. 

If you’re staying in an Airbnb, send your host your flight info in case something happens and you can’t get a hold of them.

Also, if you’re arriving late consider pre-booking a transfer or Uber. The last thing you want is to get to a foreign place and realize there’s hardly any taxis or Ubers around and you’re stranded. 

Know Where to Pick up Tourists Cards

If you pre-purchased a Barcelona Card, Lisbon Card, or any city card, and you’re planning on using public transport when you arrive, know where to pick it up. Most of the time you can redeem your voucher at the airport, major train stations, and/or by popular attractions. You can also purchase the cards if you haven’t done so already. 

Find out Where to Grab Sim Card

If you have an unlocked phone (check with your home provider), you can swap out your sim card for a local one. Many countries offer a tourist sim card or a pre-paid option. With a local sim, you don’t have to wait until you reach wifi to look something up, get directions, or post that amazing photo in front of the Eiffel Tower. Google “tourist sim card x destination” to figure out your carrier options. Then, locate where you can pick one up. Many airports have carrier booths inside, but sometimes they are pricier than if you went to a shop outside the airport. 

General Travel Tips

Gather Important Documents

Here’s a quick list of items to make sure you have printed out or saved somewhere you can access abroad. Also, send a copy to a friend or family member along with your travel plans. 

  • Copies of passport and IDs
  • Travel Insurance Cards
  • Reservation confirmations for tours and activities

Get Currency When You Get There

You will get the best exchange rate waiting until you arrive at your destination. Also, don’t do this at the airport. Look for a free ATM in town. Your home bank will still charge you a fee, but you can avoid getting hit twice. 

NOTE: Bank of America has sister banks around the world that will allow you to withdraw money with no fees. Charles Schwab also offers free ATM withdrawals to their customers. 

Always select the local currency when given the option at an ATM or point-of-sale. 

Pull Up Directions Before Leaving a Wi-Fi Area 

If you’re not getting a local SIM card, you can still navigate around by pulling up directions before you head out. The route you pull up will still work even when you lose connection. 

Ask for Your Check

Outside of the US, it’s often seen as rude to put a bill on a table until it’s asked for. That being said. you have to ask for your check to be brought to you after a meal. I learned this after waiting 35 minutes after eating at a restaurant in London. 

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