Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Traveling abroad? Do these things first!

So I took a quick visit to London to see my best friend Allan, and I have to say I was the most prepared I think one can be for traveling international. When I touched down at Heathrow and turned on my phone I got an email from Allan saying he was sick and I needed to get to his apartment on my own. He gave me a great detailed guide (almost too much), but it wasn’t a problem because I was prepared. How was I prepared? Three simple steps:

1.       Credit Card: I called the credit card company a day in advance to let them know I was traveling to London, so when they saw charges coming from there not to freeze my card. This definitely saved me some hassle when I’m at the airport and needed to buy a train ticket.
2.       Phone plan: The day of my departure I called my carrier (AT&T) and bought myself an international voice, data, and text plan.  Buying these plans in advance and in the US is much cheaper than buying one overseas. Not to mention it’s a lot harder to gain access to the right number to call when your smart phone isn’t working.  This was super important for me because I planned on using the GPS feature of my phone to navigate the streets of London, which means I needed data.
3.       Cash: Pounds, to be specific. I contacted my bank four days ahead of time and got myself some cash. You get the foreign currency at a much, much better rate then at the airport. Cash was super important for me because the cabs/buses were cash only,  and they would not have appreciated me trying to use American Dollars.

So if you’re leaving the country, doing these three simple things will let you be prepared for anything that may happen.  Also, when you go to work out, make sure what you’re lifting is in kilos or pounds. Mistaking one for the other will lead to some definite surprises.