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Before going abroad, it is better to prepare your trip so as not to forget anything and to organize your preparations well to avoid unpleasant surprises.

It is not always easy and it is often a headache. But, thanks to this very complete general guide, you will have a better idea of ​​the elements to check on your check list before setting off on an adventure!

1. Organize tr

ips on site
2. Prepare your luggage
3. Change currency
4. Find out about your bank card options
5. Purchase travel insurance
6. Learn about using the Internet

1. Organize trips on site

Once the route has been plotted on your map, all you have to do is decide which means of transport you will use during your trip. This is essential when you want to prepare your trip optimally. As said before, if you are arriving by plane, make sure you are able to reach your accommodation or first stage of your stay.

Quite often you will find counters of car rental agencies at airports such as Europcar in France.

Perhaps there are public transport networks that you can use? Remember to keep track of your decisions, it will be much easier to find your way.

If you take the car, we advise you to calculate the journey time for each stage but also to check the fuel consumption and the price. Depending on the gas station where you fill up, the cost is likely to skyrocket. So be careful!

2. Prepare your luggage

In our opinion, the best way to prepare your trip is to plan well in advance. This will allow you to add the things you will need as you go and avoid oversights. Bring clothes suitable for the climate of your destination and the activities you have planned.

For example, if you plan to hike in the spring, you will have good walking shoes, rather loose clothing to facilitate travel without getting too hot.

Above all, put only the essentials in the suitcase because you risk unnecessary clutter. Think of the memories you might bring back, so make room!

In addition, you can choose different ways to take your things. Some are minimalist and only carry a backpack, ideal for long walking distances. Others will set their sights on a travel bag.

Most often, we will still have one or more suitcases that we will leave in our accommodation during the day, and another bag (travel or backpack) to explore.

Whatever choice you make, ask the airline about the authorized dimensions of your cabin baggage and your checked baggage.

3. Change currency

Unfortunately, not all countries in the world use the same currency. Those in the euro zone have the euro as their common currency and you can pay in this currency without any problem.

For the others, we recommend that you inform yourself beforehand about the exchange rate through online converters such as Xe.com . This will help you in particular to have an idea of ​​the amount of your expenses in euro to define your average budget and the amount of money to change into cash. However, beware of exchange fees which could reduce the final amount you will have.

For currency exchange, you can turn to a bank or exchange office. Otherwise, withdraw once on site directly from distributors or exchange offices in the desired currency. In both cases, watch out for the rates offered which differ from one establishment to another!

4. Find out about your bank card options

Practical, the bank card is used to pay your various expenses on site but also to withdraw cash. It saves you from having to carry too much liquid before leaving and panicking at the thought of losing even a single ticket!

Before departure, make sure you have an up-to-date map that can be used anywhere in the world . That is to say in general, an international visa card or a Eurocard Mastercard.

Note that since July 01, 2017, transaction fees on purchases and withdrawals made within the euro zone are free . In the worst case, identical to those practiced in France.

Outside this area, transaction fees vary by bank, country and currency. Count between 3 to 12 € per transaction made by bank card. Check with your bank and inform your banker of your trips.

Take your precautions and have useful numbers to object in the event of theft or loss.

In addition, certain banks established abroad do not charge you the withdrawal of cash if you carry out the operation in one of their distributors. This is particularly the case for HSBC. However there may be an exchange commission to be paid in case of withdrawal in another currency. This is valid for any other bank.

Finally, find out about the withdrawal limit and the payment limit . The first is authorized on 7 rolling days. The second on 30 rolling days. It would be a shame if you could not pay your expenses!

5. Purchase travel insurance

Depending on the location and duration of your vacation, it is not necessary to take out travel insurance . Indeed, if you have, for example, a premium visa card, certain essential guarantees in the event of a travel accident are included.

For example, cancellation of the trip, delay or loss of luggage, repatriation. In addition, as mentioned above, traveling to Europe allows medical expenses to be covered on presentation of the European health insurance card.

However, if you are traveling outside the EU, it is strongly advised to take out insurance to deal with hazards such as food poisoning, hospitalization or an allergy.

Finally, in some countries, medical costs are much higher than in France. This is particularly the case of countries such as Japan or the United States where the lack of health insurance can hurt the wallet!

6. Learn about using the Internet

Going and discovering new corners of the world with Internet access is better! If only to share our pretty photos of beautiful landscapes with our loved ones or avoid getting lost in the mop!

If your telephone plan includes an Internet offer and your route is confined exclusively to France, no worries on that side.

What if we use our French package with one of our neighbors in the European Union? Well, according to the article on roaming within the Union , since June 15, 2017, no more roaming charges to pay. Concretely, this means that you can use your plan at the national rate, so as if you were using it in France. The same goes for calls and texts.

Be careful however, because roaming must be occasional and not permanent. Beyond a certain limit, you will have to pay fees. Ask your operator and read your contract carefully.

Elsewhere, the bill risks being salted because of homelessness. Even incoming and outgoing calls are charged! However, there are more affordable solutions for staying connected.

For example, deactivate the data network on your smartphone and connect to the Wi-Fi network of your hotel or a place providing this service. So you will have plenty of time to share your travel photos on social networks, call and send messages to your loved ones.

On the road, it is better to have a portable Wi-Fi device if necessary. Consider researching the existence of such a service in your vacation spot. For example, when we went to Japan, Southeast Asia, we used Ninja WiFi while on the go.

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