Tips for Travels Abroad


Will Putney '26, Writer

When traveling to another country it is necessary to be fully prepared for what is going to happen. When I went to Rome with the Austin Prep choir, I got a chance to experience the journey of traveling to another country. Thankfully we had a tour guide to help us navigate through the busy streets of Rome so we didn’t have to worry too much about going to places. This is because we had a schedule already set up for us which I don’t recommend if you plan on having a relaxing vacation. These eight tips are in my opinion the most important in order to have a successful and relaxing trip:


  1. Make sure you thoroughly plan what you want to do and visit in the country. When you visit another country you have to consider what places you want to visit. You will most likely end up not visiting everything you intended to visit so it is important that you visit the top places you want to go to in case you can’t see everything


  1. Make sure you have a passport and other documents that are required to have when traveling and that they are up to date. Before traveling, be sure that your tickets, reservations, and other documents are ready for when you arrive. 


  1. Take time before your trip to learn the official language. I highly recommend that you learn the basic phrases you can use in your country’s language. Apps like Duolingo and Babbel really help you learn a new language. Even if it is just a few weeks before your trip, learning a bit of the language can help you in ordering food, asking for directions, and even having basic conversations.


  1. Prepare your luggage appropriately. When I had to pack for Italy I packed a lot of clothes that would have been appropriate for chilly weather but when we got there, it was very warm. Because of this, I say that it is necessary to check what the weather is going to be like in another country. If you are staying for a longer period of time, you should try to pack clothes that are comfortable and easy to roll up into a suitcase. I suggest looking up ways to pack a suitcase or luggage bag and trying what works best. Along with that, it is important to not be missing anything that you want to bring. What I do when I pack for trips is to go through my daily schedule in my head and think about the things I will need in order to make it through the day. 


  1. Be secure with your personal belongings while traveling and staying in the country. In countries where people visit for tourism, there are a lot of pickpockets and people trying to trick you into buying things you don’t intentionally want. To avoid this, stay away from highly populated areas and keep your personal belongings like your phone and wallet in a secure place. If people come up to you trying to sell you things then just politely refuse or ignore them. I also recommend dining inside if you are in an area with a lot of people like this because they do come around to people who are dining outside. You don’t want to stick around in these places for too long because it can get overwhelming and ruin your trip. 


  1. Interact with the locals. One thing I regret not doing when going to Italy was not interacting with the locals that much. The places that we visited were in tourist areas so there weren’t many locals around. If you do get a chance to talk to one of the people that live in the country, they can tell you a lot of useful information about restaurants to eat at and other helpful tips.


  1. Make sure you have room in your suitcase for souvenirs. From my experience in Italy, I realized how essential it is to leave room in your suitcase for goods you may want to purchase at your travel destination. Italy has a lot of shops and areas where you can buy things to take back home. It was almost overwhelming how many stores and markets there were. Some souvenirs that you won’t regret buying from whatever country would be ones that are explicitly found in that country or something that will last for a while so you can always look back on the fun times you had there. For Italy, olive oil is essential to buy because there are hoards of olive farms in the countryside. 


  1. Have fun and don’t worry about not being able to visit everything. It is a good idea when traveling to accept that you probably aren’t going to see everything unless you are staying there for a while. Staying a week and Italy was a great length of time because I got to witness most of the places in that span of time. However, there were places I wish I got to stay in places like Positano on the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii. This may seem odd but I would highly recommend not visiting everything you want to because it gives you a good reason to go back in the future. 


If you use these tips, you will have a fantastic journey no doubt. These are just suggestions that you can use or not use depending on how you want to in your desired country. If you ever feel stressed about anything on your trip, try to relax and enjoy the moment because traveling to another country is an incredible opportunity.