Flying international across an entire ocean is a lot different than going across your own country or continent. There’s a lot of nervousness that comes with traveling to a completely foreign land. With that nervousness comes excitement, stepping outside the known is part of the Tanzania adventure!
Tanzania gets over two million new visitors every year. It’s because of tourists, like you, that help make the country prosper. If you’re worried about preparing for such a trip, we have plenty of travel tips and tricks to help you.
Travel with confidence by following a few simple rules and preparing just enough to make your experience comfortable. We don’t want to make your trip predictable, we want you to feel in control the whole time.
Here are some international travel tips to get your adventure started.
Check Your Passports
The first thing you should do before planning your trip is to verify that all travelers have enough time left on their passport. The expiration date found on the inside of the passport doesn’t mean you have until that date to travel. Many countries will deny entry if their passport only has a few months left.
This is to prevent emergency situations where a traveler must stay an extended amount of time and their passport expires before they can return. Try to have at least six months left before the expiration date.
Get Cash for Your Tanzania Adventure
This goes for all developing countries for tourists. Cash is the only reliable form of payment when there are so few businesses who accept credit cards. Unless you don’t plan on shopping or dining local at all, then you should budget for a cash exchange.
The best method is to withdraw your spending cash at the airport, eat that one transaction fee instead of constantly withdrawing. Carry a money belt under your clothes and you will be safe from drawing attention from would-be thieves. Having local currency left over after your trip is not the end of the world.
Packing Light Clothes
The worst mistake you can make before your trip even gets started is overpacking. Clothes are important, but you should prioritize weight and space. Having to lug your suitcases during long trips overseas is torture.
Instead, bring about half as many clothes that you would normally bring for a trip. You can do this without having to constantly wash your clothes or walk around stinky. The key is in light, comfortable clothes. Tanzania is a hot place; you’ll never see temperatures warrant bringing pants or long sleeves.
Shorts, stretchy yoga pants, sandals, and breathable t-shirts. Those are your friends.
Be Careful, Yet Care-free
This next international travel tip can be considered the most important. Going on a trip with the right attitude is going to determine how much fun you have. This isn’t a business trip. You’re trying to see some beautiful animals, meet new people, and experience their culture, right?
Be ready to laugh in the face of setbacks, improvise on the itinerary, and make mistakes. Don’t let heavy rains dictate your fun, make the most out of every moment. Be prepared to try new things, go with your gut, and trust those around you. Go on a safari and actually see these amazing creatures for yourself.
Get in with the Locals
If you want to stay at a Western-style hotel in Tanzania, that’s fine. Just make sure that you don’t isolate yourself from the local communities. Don’t spend too much time talking with other travelers, it could turn into a dependence.
Yes, the familiar feels safe, but you should really use this opportunity to talk to locals, even if their English is bad. Swahili and English are the two official languages of Tanzania, so you can expect to find plenty of speakers. Tanzanians are very friendly people, many will invite you into their homes to taste their food.
It’s all about making genuine connections with the native populations that allow you to appreciate the country more.
Walk, Don’t Run
We know that most cannot stay more than a week on an international trip. It is important not to let your limited time dictate the pace. You should have moments of observance and relaxation to take everything in. Constantly moving from various points of interest is tiring and often overwhelming.
The most solidified memories will come from the moments sitting, waiting, and enjoying the atmosphere. Tanzania has such a vivid array of colors, energy, and vibrations.
Be a Shutterbug
We probably don’t need to tell you this, but don’t forget to take pictures and videos of everything. Seriously, technology makes things so easy to scrapbook and look back on our travels. The more you’re snapping photos, the more you’ll capture the essence of your trip.
What is recommended, though, is preparing for your trip by knowing which settings on your camera capture the best times of the day. Don’t be that person stopping every two minutes trying to find the right filter for your pictures.
Storage and the Cloud
If you have a system in place, you can avoid ever having to worry about using up your space. First, pack extra SD cards. Get them in bulk or wait for them to go on sale. Aim for at least 256GB cards, or you can also just grab a 64GB for each day.
Next, set up a cloud storage account. You should back-up your photos every chance you get. If you’re staying in a hotel, this should be every night as you are getting ready for bed. Oh, and don’t forget to make photocopies of all your documents, licenses, and important numbers.
Have a Flexible Budget
Traveling expenses can weigh down on your fun only if you let them. The key is to allow for a bigger budget than what you have in mind. Sure, you could follow a backpacker’s guide to eating on $20 per day, but you’ll be limiting your experiences.
Must-Have Travel Accessories
There are a few items you’ll want to have to make your trip easier to plan for the unexpected. Let’s start by mentioning how much earplugs are overlooked when traveling abroad. Whether you’re staying in a fancy hotel or a humble Bread and Breakfast, quality sleep is important.
You never know what your neighbors will be like until you arrive. Street noises, construction, arguing roommates across the hall, and barking dogs can really disrupt your night.
Packing a nice pair of earplugs can mean the difference between mid-day slumps on vacation and uninterrupted bliss.
Keep it Charged
Our second pick for vital travel accessories has to be spare chargers, batteries, and plugs. First, you have to account for the fact that Tanzania will likely have completely different outlets than you’re used to. Make sure you get an international charger, converter, or region-branded plug.
Next, make sure you pack plenty of spare batteries and power blocks. When you’re out on your Tanzania Adventure, you don’t want to have to cut back on filming just because your batteries are low.
Have All Your Shots
Whenever you’re heading to a different part of the world, you should be up-to-date on your vaccinations. This is to protect yourself and those around you. Tanzania has a number of prevalent, but preventable diseases.
It is also important to know that Zika is active in Tanzania. This means you or your loved ones should not travel if they are pregnant or could become pregnant. Talk to your doctor about prescriptions and preventable medicines before traveling abroad.
Another overlooked, but an extremely important thing to have before traveling is traveler’s insurance. This is to cover you from expensive emergencies, medical or material, while in a foreign country. There’s a lot of bad press about travel insurance, but it all has to do with the quality of coverage, not the necessity.
Look at the terms and conditions on travel insurance plans. Make sure there are no exceptions that could exclude you from being reimbursed or covered.
Our final word of advice for your Tanzania adventure is simple: start planning now! Don’t just wait for the perfect conditions to go, you’ll never find them. Traveling internationally, it’s hard to predict the exact weather forecast, how much you’ll spend, or what you’ll even experience.
Start out with a solid direction of where you want to go. If you’ve never been out of the country, plan your trip with guides who can offer you valuable advice.
Contact us to begin exploring what is possible while in Tanzania. Our expeditions provide the best value for your time and money.
Witness the greatest animal migrations in the world, the most impressive natural formations on Earth, and find yourself in its natural beauty.