On my very first solo overseas trip, I spent three hours standing around a deserted airport in Bombay (it was still called Bombay, back then), waiting while my luggage sat, unattended, on the tarmack. On another trip, I plugged a borrowed laptop computer (borrowed from my employer, that is) into the wall in Hyderabad and watched, dumbstruck, while the outlet popped and sizzled before I yanked the power cord out of the wall.
On other trips over the years, I’ve ripped my luggage, packed wayyyy too much, packed wayyyyy too little, misplaced a passport, lost my purse, been unable to change money (pre-Euro) (who knew that Belgian Francs and French Francs weren’t interchangeable? Not me, then), had killer headaches and no medication in sight, and been inappropriately dressed while sight-seeing — all things that could have been prevented, if only I knew then what I know now.
But you can learn from my experience — and, of course, share your own in the comments! Here are some other things I wish I’d known the first time I traveled abroad by myself. And if you’re about to start traveling overseas for business, it might be good to print this out and pack it in your carry-on.
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