Passport Life: 5 Ways To Prepare For Abroad Adventures

young African American woman sitting air airport duffle bag

Last year this time, I was preparing to head to South Africa for what would be one of the best weeks of my life. But, was I prepared? Absolutely not. It wasn’t the first time I’d left the country, but it was the first time I traveled internationally to a place where I’d be doing more than just lying on the beach and the first time being in the air for over five hours. I learned a ton of tricks in the process that I plan to implement in my next trip.

If you’re heading to a far away destination this holiday season, here are five ways to prepare:

1. Stay charged.

Charge up all electronic devices before takeoff and when possible — like with your cell phone — invest in a backup wireless charger that can work from anywhere. Then, test it out to be sure that it works. I didn’t test my external charger and it turned out to be faulty.

If you’re leaving the Americas, you’ll likely need a charger adapter, too. Each country is different so if you’re headed to multiple countries, it’s wise to lookup each one in an adapter travel guide.

MUST READ: Flight Risk: Tips To Prevent DVT While Traveling

2. Bring a comfortable pillow, your own blanket and snacks for the flight.

Most planes should have blankets and pillows, sure, but they will undoubtedly be thin. Your head will probably need more support during the long flight and the temperature on the plane might require something more than what’s provided. I didn’t bring either. I was freezing and uncomfortable for over 17 hours.

And, although meals are provided on long international flights, airplane meals can be pretty bad since it’s prepackaged, chilled and stored for hours. They’re essentially the equivalent of a frozen dinner because there’s only so much room on a plane for in-flight preparation. Bring your own snacks just in case you’re not a fan of the airline’s options. I brought a few snacks to last me the week, but I totally could’ve packed heartier options that would’ve filled me up more. I ended up just eating fruit the entire way.