For the past two months, my husband and I have been traveling through Turkey and Morocco. We’ve both learned so much (the hard way) about international travel, packing, and everything that goes with it. I’ve compiled a few travel tips to share below, in no particular order.
List compiled by Abby Cota
Invest in good, backpack-style luggage
THIS is an absolute MUST you don’t realize until you invest in it. Your hands are free for anything else you need to do and you’re are able to keep it with you at all times. This type of luggage is awesome if you are going from place to place taking different modes of transportation.
Purchase a portable phone charger
When traveling, your phone becomes your everything: your camera, GPS, translator, bank, etc. so, carrying a portable charger with you is extremely convenient.
Plan your outfits around two–fine, maybe three–shoes, MAX!
This will limit the amount of shoes–AKA weight–you carry and the amount of clothes you take too.
Eat or buy snacks BEFORE you go to the airport
Airports will take your money so fast–it’s unbelievable. $7 for a bottle of water? No, thank you!
Check the dates you’re traveling for any religious/non-religious holidays occurring in the countries you will visit
This is super important, especially when traveling to Islamic countries, such as Turkey and Morocco, as they celebrate Ramadan. During this time, many places close. My husband, Giray, and I flew to Morocco from Turkey during the last week of Ramadan and the places we really wanted to go to were closed during that entire month. It was nearly impossible to find a local restaurant that was open, which was a bummer. I would, however, like to send a special thank you to McDonald’s for being open during this month as this is how we survived in Morocco, lol.
Plan what you want to do ahead of time
Going with the flow can be great, but it can also cost you time and money. Giray and I didn’t fully plan our days in Turkey, so when we decided to go to Morocco, we purchased our plane tickets last minute, which was way more expensive (obviously). Purchasing the last-minute flight also made us lose time, as there weren’t many flight options. This also affected the flights we took within Turkey. So, plan ahead, guys!
Map out your routes
This is especially important when planning on seeing different cities or sites within the same country. Giray and I spent about a month and a half traveling to different cities in Turkey without planning ahead and mapping out routes–BIG MISTAKE. We went back and forth to cities multiple times because we didn’t make time to map our routes. This in turn also cost us a lot of money on gas, bus tickets, and flights.
Pay a little extra and get an international phone plan with your carrier
This is something I really wish I had done this time around. You don’t realize how much you use the internet on your phone until you don’t have it. Nowadays our phones are basically our life–we use them for everything. In Turkey, the wifi was never free. We had to purchase something at a coffee shop or restaurant in order to get the password. Surprisingly, Starbucks was the same way, too. Their password for the wifi prints out on receipts. I thought I’d be able to connect to wifi as easily as I do here in the states, but that was never the case. A lot of places don’t even have it. This made it really difficult to communicate with my family throughout the entire two months I was overseas. So, if you’re able to afford the international plan, I highly suggest you do.
Keep Google Maps open when exploring
If you don’t have an international data plan, but have access to wifi, be sure to track your route for the day on Google Maps before heading out. Google continues to track you so you can see exactly where you are on the map without having an internet or wifi connection. This nifty trick helped us throughout our travels in Morocco and Turkey. There is one little trick to this though: you cannot exit from the map because once you do, you will still be tracked but your route will have erased.
Compare flight and bus ticket prices
It’s only natural to think that taking a bus is cheaper than flying, but is it really? While in Turkey (after buying multiple bus tickets), we realized flying was sometimes either the SAME or a little more, but not by much. Also, If you think about the time you’re saving, it’s absolutely worth it.
I’m Abby and a new contributor for Shuffle Online. I like eating, spontaneous adventures and watching cat videos on YouTube (yes, in that order). I have skydived, swam with sharks and have bungee jumped. You’ll find me over on the Shuffle Snapchat where I’ll be sharing my favorite eats, travel and more. Follow my blog, The Spotted Bannana here.