If you’re preparing for your return to the outside world, then you might be thinking about making that return in style. It may even involve going farther than you have ever traveled before, to an entirely different continent. If you are planning such a wide-ranging trip, then you had better be prepared to make sure that it goes as smoothly and as stress-free as possible. After all, you’re a long way from home so you want to make sure you’re not stuck with an unexpected and unwelcome problem. As such, here are a few mistakes that you might want to avoid.

Not preparing for jet lag

You’re going to be taking a long trip to reach another continent, so you should make sure that you’re ready for the dread specter that haunts many a traveler: jet lag. This sensation happens typically when you fly across multiple timezones, moving quickly from one to the other. It’s not just tiredness, too. The shock to your circadian rhythm can be pretty rough, including headaches, a loss of appetite, even some tummy trouble. The best thing to do is to try and force your body to adapt to your new timezone as soon as possible, sleeping at night time. If you can nap on the plane, that works well, too. There are plenty of tips online for getting over jet lag that are worth reading.

Overestimating how much time you will have to see everything

If you’re visiting any of the tourist hotspots of the world, you might have in your mind to see everything and do everything. However, if you’re traveling a long way, you really should account for the fact that you’re going to spend a lot of your first day there recuperating after the trip. Furthermore, you might find that you can get exhausted by trying to fit too much into each day. Take the time to plan an itinerary, but be conservative with your idea of how much you can do each day and be willing to cancel some plans for when you need a break or simply want to go explore on your own time.

Only hitting up the hotspots

If you’re making the trip over to Europe or to Asia, you might be tempted to go and see all the big cities, be it Paris, Milan, Rome, Tokyo, Bangkok, and so on. However, you can miss a lot of the appeal of these places if you only stick to the most central locations. There are sites that put together some of the best-hidden gems that you find off-the-beaten-track. If you’re staying for several days, then it’s a good idea to find at least one day trip you can take away from the city or town that you’re staying at, just to get a different perspective of the country that you’re in. The best option might be to make something of a road trip out of it, but that can be expensive.


Not checking the requirements for entering the country
Not every country is going to require you to jump through hoops in order to enter it. However, you want to make sure that you have any requirements ticked off long before you land at the airport because you’re likely to be checked for the papers that you need. Be sure to check your own eligibility for a visa if you need one due to the duration or the purpose of the trip based on its location. You might not need a visa for shorter trips but some travel areas will still have other requirements like an application that you have to make or fees you have to pay, so always do your research ahead of time.

Traveling during the peak season
There are good reasons to want to visit a far-flung part of the world during the peak season. It’s typically when the weather is at its most gorgeous and welcoming, as well as when most festivals and big events are happening. However, it’s also when things are going to be at their most expensive. Traveling during the off-season is also the best way to avoid crowds, of course, which will make it a lot easier to see some of the most anticipated parts of the country that you’re visiting. Capital cities are typically jam-packed during the off-season, however, even if hotels and travel will be cheaper.

Not checking out their public transport system
This might seem like a relatively small point compared to some of the other mistakes here. However, if you’re planning to get around a city, you need to make sure that you know how, exactly, is the best way to get around is. Domestically, you might be used to taking cabs, but a lot of places have much stronger public transport systems that can be a lot more convenient and cost-effective, especially if you can buy a transport pass to use them all throughout your trip. In Europe, especially, you should really avoid getting cabs as much as possible since their fares are so high and their other options are so much better.

Not knowing the cash and card situation over there

Do your research and get organized on a couple of things when you go abroad: first of all, how many ATMs are there to use, and how ready are you likely to come across them? Secondly, how readily do stores and services accept credit cards? Many places tend to have a lot of businesses that still operate on a cash-only basis. However, this doesn’t mean you have to withdraw a lot of cash, especially not if there are plenty of ATMs that will allow you to withdraw your money whenever you want. You never want to be caught unable to pay for some product or service, but you also don’t want to walk around with more cash than you need to have on you at any given point.

Any trip requires preparation but when you’re going so far afield, it demands a little extra vigilance to make sure you’ve got everything that you need. Hopefully, the tips above give you a good idea of how to start planning.