No matter where you are going, it is important to look up current events to ensure that each of the areas you are traveling to are safe. Just a few minutes of research can make your trip that much more smooth. Weather is a part of this as well. Visiting parts of Southeast Asia during monsoon season can be very dangerous!
Cultural norms are also extremely important. For example, if you plan on visiting temples or walking around areas that are highly religious during your trip, shoulders and ankles should be covered in these areas. Body language is important to understand as well. It took Danielle and I a few weeks in Sri Lanka before we understood that someone who is tipping their head from side to side was actually telling us "yes"....
The debit card I recommend for frequent or even one-time travelers is the Charles Schwab Debit Card. This card is awesome because it has no foreign transaction fees AND no ATM fees. Although technically you will pay the fee upfront at the ATM, Charles Schwab will reimburse you for all of your ATM fees at the end of each month. In some places, like Vietnam, this isn’t a huge deal because the ATM fees are only $1-$2, but in places like Thailand where every ATM fee is $7-$8, this card can really help you save money while you’re on the go!
You don’t need to get vaccines for most places you go, but when traveling to places like Asia, checking to make sure you’re vaccinated is an important step in preparing for your trip.
I’ve found that getting vaccinated at my local county building was the cheapest option for my vaccines. Call ahead of time though because travel docs are only in the clinic certain days of the month! (Downfall of county buildi