It’s been a few weeks since I returned from my trip abroad in Croatia. In that time, I have done a lot of reflecting on my trip. Since then, I’ve realized a few ways in which I should have prepared better for the trip. If I could go back and do things over, here’s what I would do differently:
First, luggage. On our trip, we moved pretty regularly, only staying in a city for a few nights before traveling elsewhere. I decided to travel using only two carry-ons: a backpack and a small suitcase. That might be work for a trip that lasts only a few nights, not a trip that’s nearly three weeks long. Working with a small wardrobe was a point of stress for me, as I was unsure whether or not each place we went would have laundry. Just check your bag and bring some extra clothes; it may be a hassle, but it’s worth it.
Second, a phone plan. Europe is pretty good about public internet access. Most cafes will offer free wifi, and many cities offer wifi in big public areas such as squares and parks. That being said, it would have been nice to have the stability of a phone plan. There were some times when I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find my way back to our hotel, because I couldn’t connect to Maps. Get yourself a phone plan, it saves you a lot of stress.
Third, don’t worry. Trust in yourself. Leading up to the trip, I was fretting everyday about if I had done everything right, and whether or not everything would be ok. I made a few mistakes, as I discussed in my first two points. However, these issues, while annoying, really did not cause me any serious problems. The anxiety leading up to the trip, however, was rough. For about a week leading up to the trip, I was nervous about forgetting something, or catastrophizing all the different ways that something could go wrong. That quickly changed once I arrived; I was enamored with Croatia and instantly forgot my worries. Take a deep breath, whatever you forget at home won’t be a big deal. You’re going abroad, enjoy it!