1) Toiletries: Not sure how long your carry-on sized liquids will last? Do a test run ahead of time. That way you can plan how much toothpaste, shampoo, etc. you’ll need to pack. You’ll probably find that each bottle lasts longer than you thought it would. If you need more than what will fit in your liquids bag, restock while you’re on your trip.
Also, consider using non-liquid alternatives. They won’t spill and they won’t count towards your liquids limit.
2) Contact lens solution: If you wear contacts and you need to buy more solution on the road, look for optical shops. In the US you can find contact solution in grocery stores, pharmacies, and lots of other places, but this usually isn’t the case in other countries. If the store sells glasses and contacts, they should also sell solution.
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3) Finding your hotel: Before you leave home, find out how to get to your first hotel or apartment rental. Check out ToAndFromTheAirport.com to see the options from getting from the airport into the city, and have directions printed out to get to your specific hotel. If you’re not sure what the best option is, email the hotel and ask. Knowing how to get there ahead of time will save you a lot of stress after your journey.
4) Snacks: It’s always a good idea to have some kind of food with you, especially on travel days. A granola bar, crackers, whatever works for you. Options on planes or trains might not be the best, if even offered at all, and having a snack can hold you over for a few extra hours. While sightseeing, a quick snack might be the thing that keeps you going until you find a restaurant for your next meal.
5) Museums: Research ahead of time the opening days and hours for any museums you want to visit. Often museums are closed one or two days each week, and sometimes there’s a free day. Plan around these times to avoid missing out on a visit and to potentially save money on entry fees.
6) Religious places: Prepare to dress conservatively for religious places, no matter what religion it is. Cover your shoulders and cover your knees at a minimum. If you’re visiting a mosque, you will be require to take off your shoes, and women will have to wear a scarf covering their hair. Please be respectful when visiting any religious building, temple or monument, indoors or outdoors, and follow their requirements.
7) Immigration forms: Most countries have some kind of immigration form you will need to fill out. The questions are pretty self-explanatory, but one seemingly simple item that can catch you off guard is about where you will be staying. Know the name and address of wherever you’re staying upon arrival. Some countries are fine accepting “HOTEL” written in, but others are more picky. I’ve had to get out of line to dig through my bag for an address to put on the form, so best to just have it ahead of time.