Photograph provided

Leslie Meredith

This yr was a Thanksgiving like no different, celebrated in South Korea with out turkey and all its trimmings (hen katsu was as shut as we may get), gentle temperatures and no soccer video games enjoying within the background. My oldest daughter had been invited to provide a weeklong workshop on Jeju Island, Korea’s equal to our Hawaii, to the DeafBlind Heart employees and different particular training employees from throughout the nation. With a 1-year-old, Dad and Grandma in tow, we took three flights to succeed in our vacation spot. The ten-day journey underscored quite a lot of journey preparations which might be important for an abroad journey — some we did and others we missed — that can make any vacation journey a lot simpler.

Verify the journey doc necessities in your vacation spot nation. Visa-free for South Korea didn’t imply doc free. Along with COVID monitoring data, the federal government additionally required a type to be submitted and permitted earlier than check-in on the airport. Had we accomplished the shape the day earlier than, we might not have needed to reschedule our flight for the following day. You won’t be able to examine into a global flight lower than an hour earlier than take-off.

Most international locations have apps for these procedures, which let you take the required images of your passport and your self within the app for automated add. If you happen to’ve ever deposited a examine in your cellular banking app, it’s an analogous course of. You’ll discover it a lot simpler than taking images, emailing to your self after which importing to the federal government web site.

Plan your itinerary upfront, together with making an inventory of the locations you’d wish to associate with their addresses. Verify for Uber or related providers like Bolt, however be ready to make use of taxis and public transportation if experience apps should not accessible. In case your taxi driver doesn’t converse English, you’ll be able to present the deal with. Additional, don’t depend on Google Maps in sure elements of the world, together with South Korea. Whereas we may open Google Maps, few locations had been designated in our space. Our host stated that the federal government had requested Google to find its servers in-country due to safety issues round North Korea. Google refused and its maps listed here are woefully incomplete.

The answer was to make use of a neighborhood pair of apps, KakaoMap and KakaoT. The primary was a alternative for Google Maps and the second a transport app that allowed you to name for a taxi, discover a bus path to your vacation spot in addition to different public transportation if accessible. Prices, size of journey in kilometers and period are included. You’ll be able to add a bank card to the app as you’ll do with Uber or pay in money. Word that with these apps you’ll be able to navigate in English however many of the data in is Korean. You probably have a contact at your vacation spot, ask what apps they use to get round or do some on-line analysis. As a result of public transportation is usually extra broadly used exterior of metropolitan areas within the U.S., native apps are the best way to go.

Whereas Google Maps will not be as useful as a neighborhood different, you’ll discover that Google Translate is a vital journey companion anyplace you end up needing to speak with somebody who doesn’t converse English. During the last decade or so, use of Google Translate has elevated all over the world, particularly in areas that entice vacationers. Your cab driver is simply as prone to hand you his telephone to hearken to his translated query as the opposite manner round. On this journey, we found you need to use the app to translate sort by picture in addition to utilizing it with texting and typing. Assume indicators, handwritten notes and menus. Simply open the app, choose the digital camera and also you’ll see the phrases translated within the picture — English phrases change the international ones in your display. This was a lifesaver for us when ordering in small native eating places!

If you’re touring to a rural or extra distant place, trade sufficient money to see you thru the journey for taxi rides, entrance charges to points of interest and incidentals, Right here on Jeju Island, there have been few ATMs to be discovered even in bigger resorts. Plan forward, so that you don’t end up wanting money and stranded.

Leslie Meredith has been writing about know-how for greater than a decade. As a mother of 4, worth, usefulness, and on-line security take precedence. Have a query? Electronic mail Leslie at


Be part of 1000’s already receiving our day by day e-newsletter.