Lessons I’ve Learned From Being Abroad

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I’ve been traveling abroad for about three weeks now and I’ve learned a lot. I am not only more thankful for my living circumstances after witnessing some crazy things in Europe, (you have to pay to use a public restroom here!) but I have also gained insight into my travel habits. Today I’m sharing a few tips and tricks on the best ways to prepare for a trip abroad.

1. Always wear sneakers/some type of comfortable shoe: There were too many instances during my trip where I assumed I could wear sandals to a restaurant “just around the corner”. I absolutely love my Superga sneakers, which can be worn with almost anything and are incredibly light.

2. Hide change in areas that cannot be accessed by anyone besides you: Europe is notorious for pickpockets. There were many times when pickpockets would distract me in order to gain access to my belongings. My dad was clever and purchased a small pouch that he could wear around his neck and that could be easily disguised by his shirt.

*On the same note, always carry around some type of change. Several of the restaurants we went to/food stands on the street would not accept credit cards.

3. Pack an umbrella: An umbrella can not only be used to shield yourself from the rain, but it also has the power to protect you from the sun. Portable umbrellas are light, easy to use, and effective.

4. Check to see if service is included in a meal: My parents and I were tricked one too many times into believing that we still needed to tip even if the menu said that “service” was included. Also, be aware that some restaurants (especially in Italy) charge you for sitting at an outdoor table.

5. Always review receipts/change: Sometimes waiters/grocery clerks/shopkeepers take advantage of foreigner and charge you for nonexistent items/give you the incorrect amount of change.

Although my parents and I have been taking many precautions during our trip to Europe, we’ve been having a wonderful time. Remember to always be on your guard and pay extra attention to your surroundings when traveling in a city/country that is unknown to you.

Happy travels!

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