So my sister in her usual fashion joked I should have named this post; ‘How to not get deported’, ‘Green card waka’ or ‘How to go abroad’.
Jokes aside, this is a practical guide to first timers traveling out alone (like I did), everyone and anyone who plans of leaving their national shores for a holiday. It’s fool-proof because these are the tips I adhered to for my summer vacay at the US and I got back in one piece and it made my trip stress free. Talk about striking gold!
So let’s hop right into it.
- Ensure your visa is intact. You honestly don’t want to make a trip and have your visa expire mid trip. I think that would be really awful.
- Have a copy of your identification page and visa page in your box, just in-case your passport makes a disappearing act.
- Have a form of identification on you too. This could either be your driver’s license, school ID or national ID.
- Have a small book containing the contacts you have in that city on you always (thanks Pops for this!). You never know when your phone might die and then you discover that power bank you left plugged in? It wasn’t charging one bit.
- Don’t fill up your box/ bag, travel light. Especially if you plan to go shopping. You might also consider taking an empty travel bag folded and kept in your box/bag as this will save the cost of buying a new one after a shopping spree. This comes in handy if and when you’re being cash conscious.
- Pack for the trip. Base your clothing on the event you’re traveling for and take the weather into consideration. Cotton and light fabric for warmer temperatures and thicker ones for cooler temperatures.
- Jeans, sneakers and sandals are a must have. You can’t go wrong with those.
- Cash. Separate it in bits everywhere. It will prevent you from being stranded ever. I had cash in each piece of luggage I had and the bulk of my cash in my heaviest box and this was constantly under lock and key. I know, I’m extra.
- Use your sunscreen! I went with the intention of getting that Ronke Raji tan but instead got the knock off version. Thank God I ended up falling in love and rocking it at the end of the day.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I can’t over emphasize this important tip. Trust me on this. I nearly passed out once as a lack of hydration one sunny afternoon and now I always have my bottle of water on me even back home here.
- Know the currency. I was constantly frustrated each time I got change in coins because I couldn’t count them. I remember each time I tried to make a purchase using coins and I would be so slow the cashier would actually reach over and help me out to speed up the process lol. But can you imagine, I finally got the hang of it on the day before I was due back in Nigeria? Talk about catching the late train.
- Download Uber, lyft or what other transport app applies to the country. It’s a savior. And you might also want to find out the public transport workings too. I rode the subway from Times Square to the Bronx courtesy of directions, google maps and signboards. Even though I stood for most of the trip -_-
- Be alert and aware about your surroundings constantly. If you feel uncomfortable around an area, you might want to find a police man/ station or any other security officer. Avoid dark areas and try not to walk alone especially in those creepy looking areas like the ones in the movies.
- Be friendly but be wise know what sort of information to share and what to not. Don’t go telling a stranger how popular and rich your family back home is or how accomplished and …. You get the drift.
- Know what the emergency number is and know where a station is. 911 was on my speed dial. Can’t blame a girl for being too careful.
- Be conscious when spending. In as much as you want to have fun, you have to keep track of how much is really going into the fun. Spend but not all in one place and at one go. 😉
- Be true to yourself. Don’t go around stunting for the gram so much you forget who you really are and you forget to have fun.
On another note, I’ll upload in two segments (hopefully) the two parts of my summer trip. But if your curiosity is getting the best of you, you can have a glimpse via my instagram till the new post comes up. You’re welcome.
P.s I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it and also thank you for sticking with my inconsistent self on this blog. It has been a beautiful and trying journey and it has also been worth it. On this note, do a big favor and (as the you tubers say);
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Have a lovely week!