Somewhere Far, Far Away

Headed abroad this summer? Here is your ultimate guide for preparations!

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Somewhere Far, Far Away

Catie Heerman, Staff Reporter

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With one week left in the school year, everyone’s favorite season quickly approaches. Finally; just you and your grand summer plans. Several of the students at WCHS this year (including myself) have the pleasure of traveling abroad this summer. As exciting as this sounds, if you’re anything like me, you know nothing about international travel. That’s why I have decided to do my research and be well prepared for the trip abroad this summer. No matter what your international destination is this year, you need to be well prepared.

  • Where to, Ma’am?

Catie Heerman
On the plane and ready to leave!

Obviously, your first step in travelling abroad is deciding where you are going. I have had the blessing of being selected by the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute to visit multiple areas of China during my trip. However, the options for internationaly travel are practically endless.

  •  Getting ready here at home

There are several things you can do before you make the trip across the pond. First, be mindful of where you are going, and remember that the culture of the place you are visiting will likely be different of that of the United States. It is always important to be respectful in an unfamiliar place, but to also know how to remain safe. The country you are visiting may predominently speak a language other than English. Knowing basic phrases such as “where is the bathroom?” or “where am I?” may help you later on. Additionally, it is important to remember that the country you plan on visiting may do something you do every day differently. For example, not only is the type of food available in China different from that of the US, but table manners are also slightly different. Just being mindful of small things like this can greatly improve your trip. Additionally, make sure that your passport is valid and up to date, and that if you need a via in the country you are visiting, you have applied for it and recieved it before you leave.

  •  A trip to the Doctor

Depending on where on the map you are going, you may need to get immunizations before your travel. A visit to the doctor can be very helpful, particularly if you have any health concerns that may not be able to be addressed during your travels. Making sure you are best prepared for your destination and for any possible medical emergency may help you significantly later on. If you have any regular medication, it is important to consult your doctor about it before you arrive at the airport.

  •  International Internet

The AT&T international phone plan

Ever wondered how you’re gonna Snapchat your entire trip when you have no cell service? That’s where international phone plans come in. These range in prices depending on your service provider. It is important to keep in mind where you are going as many places have wifi just like here at home. However, an international phone plan will provide you with constant coverage without wifi, just like your regular LTE. Also, keep in mind that some websites may be blocked in other countries.

  •  Money, Money, Money

How am I supposed to exchange my money to a different currency? Luckily, ATMs make this process extremely easy. The most simple way of having money at hand is to put your spending money on your credit card and withdraw from ATMs periodically when you need cash. While there is a fee with the withdrawing process, you won’t be stuck confused with loose dollar bills floating around.

  •  Into the Airport

You’re finally headed to the airport. You may think you are done, but there are still several things to be mindful of. Make sure your luggage is not overweight, and that you follow guidelines for bag sizes and number. Also keep in mind that customs will take time. Make room for this in your plans, and do not miss your flight!

  •  Additional Things To Be Mindful Of

Passports should be valid and present when traveling abroad

Visiting can give you even more information on the place you plan to visit. If possible, ask family members who have traveled abroad for any tips and tricks. Make sure that you are prepared for any scenario. Make sure you have extra copies of any important information in case of an accident.

  •  How to Bring the Experience Back Home

To take the joy of your travels back home, you need to take lots and lots and lots of pictures. This way, you can take the memories you’ve made on your trip and share them with others!