Updated: Sep 16
This one is a given. You have to know what season you’re packing for right? Here are a few more things to look at when checking the weather beside the degrees:
Humidity Level: This is especially for my women when we’re thinking about our hair.
Sunrise & Sunset times
Chance of Rain
2. CURRENCY/EXCHANGE RATE
It’s important to know this before hand in general but especially if you want to get money in x country’s currency before going. You can do this by going to your local bank. I suggest going about 2 weeks before your trip to do so as some banks have to order certain currencies to your specific location. Make sure to look up these components in regards to currency.
What is the currency in x country?
What is the exchange rate? The exchange rate in the airport is typically very bad. I suggest ordering money ahead of time with your bank, going into town to exchange in x country or using an atm when you’re finally at your destination.
Is their dollar stronger or weaker than your own?
Are credit cards commonly used in x country?
Is American Express accepted in x country? This is important to me because this is the main card I use out of the country due to the benefits. Unfortunately, it can be common depending on the country, size of the business and other factors for them not to accept it. You can almost always depend on Visa credit and debit cards working for you worldwide.
3. POLITICAL CLIMATE
This is one of the more important topics to google before leaving but often not thought about. It’s important to know this because it could also impact your safety. Some questions to look up:
What is the overall political climate in x country currently?
Is x country going through political unrest?
Are protest going on in x country?
This is important for everyone, but especially women, black women and female solo travelers. A few good things to look at first would include:
Is x country overall safe?
Is x country safe to walk around in at night?
How are women viewed in x country?
What is appropriate/inappropriate dress for x country?
Is pickpocketing common in x country?
5. BEST FORM OF TRANSPORT
When you get to a new country your first day can be a bust if you don’t know the best way to get around or you’ll end up spending way to much on taxis or Uber/Lyft. Things to look up:
What is the best form of transportation in x country?
Is Uber/Lyft available here?
Look up their rail/train system if that is the best option.
Look up rental car deals if driving is the best option. Also check parking availability if driving is the best option.
6. NATIONAL CUISINE
One of my favorite parts about traveling is eating. I love street food because it’s so authentic. If you are traveling to 2nd and 3rd world countries you may have to use some precaution when doing this but just use your common sense and try things at your own discretion. Look these things up before heading out.
What is the national food/meal?
What is the “must try” item to have in x country?
What is the main source of meat in x country?
What is the traditional form of food preparation?
Not all countries require a visa but there’s many factors that play into this. If you’re visiting certain countries from the United States you may not need one but if your visiting from somewhere else you may. Doing your research on this is really important because it can effect your entry into x country.
Do you need a visa to enter x country?
Where can I obtain a visa?
How far in advance should I get my visa?
How much will it cost to get a visa?
Now your ready to start trippin’!