You are off to attend a wedding in a beautiful far-off location?—a place sure to be full of foreign languages, interesting customs, and mysterious strangers. Plus, you are going for a wonderful reason: you, a friend, or a family member are getting married! What a delightful way to celebrate the occasion. It's all new and exciting! So what should you do to get ready? Packing the regular items like swimsuits, special occasion dresses, and toiletries is important, but you are going abroad...are there special things you might need?
Why, yes! Here are four things you should remember as you pack for your destination wedding.
Maybe your camera is your phone or a separate one. Either way, consider some enhancements since this is where your memories of your adventure in this foreign country will be stored. Pretty areas tend to also be crowded areas which lend themselves to a higher chance of bumps and fumbles. A sturdy case could be the difference between a broken phone or camera and your sense of relief at your brilliant foresight when you pick your phone up, and it is unharmed. Aside from the potential mishaps due to the crowds, scenic views also often include overlooks with steep drops or water. A wrist strap or neck strap paired with waterproofing for your device might be the way you want to go to keep your phone from becoming one with the nature you are trying to preserve, photographically speaking. And since we are speaking of phones...
This is key. We don't always realize how much we rely on our phones until there is no signal or you use up your data. And there may be situations you will want to have a working phone. Figuring out where you are if you get lost, contacting your party for the day's activities, or being within reach for a stressed-out bride or groom?—all of these things are a lot harder to do without a phone. Before you run up a massive international bill or panic over the lack of service, plan and make sure you have your phone covered for your trip.
And bring your phone charger with you!
Your phone can be useful, but sometimes conversations move too fast, the menu doesn't have pictures, or you don't know how exactly you are supposed to type a Japanese street sign into your translator app. Having an actual person who knows the language, your surroundings, and the country's currency can be a lifesaver in many situations. Think about when you might need help.
This will be different for everyone. Review how long you plan on staying and how much exploring you want to do. Consider too where you are going. If you are going to a country that doesn't speak English, check to see how much the people there are likely to know. Some countries, particularly in Europe, have populations that tend to be quite familiar with English. Other countries in Latin America and Asia may know a little less. It may depend on what area your destination is in. Cities tend to have more diverse language speakers, while rural areas often stick to the native language. Be prepared not just by packing your cotton nightgown but by figuring out where you are headed and how you can overcome potential communication obstacles!
In America, we tend to use cars as our main mode of transportation. Our country is fairly large and spread out, so we don't usually think much of driving a few hours to get somewhere. Other countries have different preferred modes of transportation. In some places, people tend to walk everywhere. Locals have good shoes and strong legs. You may think you can do the same. Set yourself up for success by choosing the right shoes and socks and taking some good long walks a bit before you go. Sometimes, despite all preparation, we find we have overestimated ourselves. Have an alternative ready if you wake up and find your feet are killing you after day one.
If a country doesn't walk and doesn't drive, it probably bikes; maybe it's scooters. For America, cars, scooters, and bikes belong on the same roads (aside from perhaps, highways). Some other countries use scooters and bikes because certain alleys and neighborhoods were sized primarily to accommodate people?—at most, a horse. Cars cannot make it through. If you are thinking of using Uber or Lyft, make sure these apps work in the country you are visiting, then make sure your phone will be functional in that country. All of these elements are important to keep in mind when figuring out how you are going to get where you want to go. When you have all of these elements planned out, you can focus on why you're there: to celebrate a beautiful commitment with friends and family in a stunning location.