5 Things to Think About Before You Travel


Nathaniel Lynch

Sitting among an empty street in Jerusalem, Israel.

Nathaniel Lynch, Visuals Editor

Traveling is amazing and I highly encourage every one to visit other countries and cultures anytime in there lifetime. Traveling to and living in another country for any amount o f time can change your life and give you a better perspective. I have been traveling my whole life and have currently been to 26 countries total. From one seasoned traveler to all of you, here are 5 tips or things to think about before you start your adventure.

1. Look up Visa and make sure you give yourself enough time to get them. Often you will have to mail your passport and application off to the proper embassy. Sometimes it could take as much as 3 months to get your passport back to you, so give yourself plenty of time. A great resource to find the right information is www.visahq.com. On this site you can find all the information you need about the types of visa and how to get them.

2. Be sure to look up before you travel if any vaccinations or shots are required to travel to that country. Trust me it is not fun to be turned away at the airport because you don’t have the right shots to travel to the next country. For more information about vaccines you can look at www.cdc.gov/travel

3. One more thing to look up before you go is possible travel restrictions. There are some countriesthat you need to prep for, that just don’t like US citizens or there could also be inclimate weather out there. You can find current travel warnings here at travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings.html. All of these are just warnings so if you really wanted to just go to one of the countries listed, I would say just go for it, who knows what would happen.

4. Another good thing to do is to do a bit of research and read up about whatever culture you are going into. Every culture has different things that are inappropriate and appropriate, so it is good to know these things before you get yourself in trouble. If possible learn a few phrases in the local language, trust me most people will be more friendly to you if you try to speak there language or embrace there culture a little bit.

5. My last point is to be willing to be outside your comfort zone. Do things that you would not be able to do at home, try local cuisine. Talk to the locals, maybe dare I say it step out of the tourist parts of the cities. There are much better places waiting for you outside of the main tourist attractions in almost every city, trust me. Finally don’t be a jerk, try not to mess up Americans reputations around the world even more, be friendly, embrace the culture, and have fun.