When I travel I usually am pretty prepared. I have all the necessary equipment, I always have a medical kit somewhere, extra shoes, plastic bags, Etc. For four years I have been on and off the road and with those four years comes knowledge and experience. Of course, that is in a place that I know pretty well and it is in a country that has 24/7 coffee shops and gas stations every half mile or so (if you're in the right places). When it comes to international travel, that is a whole other ball game and one that I have a lot to learn.
Iceland has taught me that I am not great at preparing for long-distance trips and that I really need to get my act together when it comes to vacations such as these.
So here are some things that I was not prepared for and learned on this trip.
One: Always bring a towel, even if you think you won't need it or if you think that the company you rented through will supply you with one. Bring one. It doesn't matter how you fit it in your bag, just bring it. It will help in the long run.
Two: Bring a second pair of shoes, it could even be a pair of slippers. Something to put over your feet so you can go into stores and restaurants while your other pair of shoes dry after a long, wet, and muddy hike.
Three: Make sure to always have a source of light (preferably not your phone) just in case if your phone does die while you are out in the middle of the woods or on a hike of some kind and you end up stranded in the dark for whatever reason.
Four: Make sure to have more than one kind of credit card. I never thought I would need more than one but this trip has shown that yes, yes I do need to have more than one because not everywhere takes one type of card.
Five: Bring a pen. Seriously, it helps. It's weird to think that we need to have writing utensils with us but I have found myself needing one, or two, or three when I go places. Having extras is never a bad thing.
Six: Bring a small amoung of Band-Aids. I have gotten injured on this trip a few times and it would have been nice to have sometimes to put over them but due to not wanting to spend the extra cash I just put up with it and did my best with the injuries. Luckily there was no infection and they are healing nicely.
Seven: Your patience. In Iceland, my patience has been tested more than once and its usually been with the people. There have been few natives that I have met that I have been able to communicate with well and then there are others that I have had trouble communicating with. Just paying for a campground can really test your patience and you find yourself repeating something you just said three or four times because they didn't fully catch what you said the first time.
Of course, those are small things but having those would have saved me quite a bit of trouble while being in Iceland and for my next international trip I will do my best to be more prepared.
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