Shoes. Check. Shorts. Check. Scarfs. Check.
When planning for a trip, you want to make sure you have everything. This past June I had a wonderful opportunity to participate in a study abroad trip to France through Texas A&M. Looking back at my experience, I want to share a couple of do's and don't's when traveling abroad.
Do: Make Copies.
Before I left, I made at least three copies of my passport, drivers license, A&M student i.d. and even birth certificate any evidence which showed I was an American citizen. I would keep at least one set of the copies with me at all times. Another copy in my luggage just in case it got lost (they would have a form of identification) and the last copy went to my parents. This turned out to be extremely helpful knowing that if anything were to happen, my personal belongings could be identified.
Don't: Over Pack.
This was the hardest component for me to limit. Just like any girl, I tend to over-pack. Because I did not have a clear idea of the weather, I tried to pack my whole closet into this suitcase and clothes that represented every season throughout the year. And then of course, the accessories to match the outfits and do not forget the shoes. This was definitely a downfall for me because I did not give myself enough room for souvenirs like I would have wanted. So ladies, I know it's had to leave your favorite pair of shoes at home, but it's okay because paying for overweight luggage is not cheap.
Do: International Security.
Before you go abroad, call your credit card company and have them send an international card with a security chip. For example, if you are with Bank of America, their international plan will grant you security if your card happens to get stolen. When the card begins to show "suspicious" activity or rapid purchasing, they will notify you, and cancel the card. Great security, while you enjoy your adventure!
Don't: Go in Blind Sided.
This was another negative for me. I went to France not researching the language prior to boarding the plane. When I got there, I was lost in French translation. For the first couple of days, I have became fluent in charades, sign language and even my Spanish improved! Thankfully, for the remainder of my stay, I lived with an all speaking-French household so eventually, my French did get better. Tip: Learn the simple phrases of the country you are visiting.
Now that you have these simple tips for a great time abroad, Happy traveling!
For information on studying abroad, (Texas A&M)