Both Spring and Klein remind you not to forget your pills – this includes birth control, other prescription medications as well as things like basic pain relievers and antihistamines.
Bring 'em with you
Apart from the basics, there are some other things you'll want to pack – like common personal hygiene products. Believe it or not, buying tampons (or even sanitary napkins in parts of Africa and Asia!) can be a challenge. Finding feminine products is more like a scavenger hunt, depending on where you are. Condoms, too, might be hard to find, of poor quality or past their expiration date.
Unless you are staying at a prestige hotel, don't expect there to be sample-size goodies like shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. (However, you'll typically get at least a little bar of soap.) You might also want to think about bringing along some of your own toilet paper... unless you like rubbing newsprint-quality paper on your nether regions.
Be size wise
If you're particularly tall or wide, doublecheck your accommodations: a lot of hotels abroad are very old and just aren't built (or weren't retrofitted) for bigger people. For instance, an elevator at an older Paris hotel might fit two people... two skinny people with no luggage. We have also seen photos of a shower stall in Italy that had such a narrow opening, one woman -- a size 12 -- had to slide through the door sideways. And in Wales, a reader who was just 5'6" had to duck to get through some doorways.
Another consideration? Bring something to cover your shoulders and possibly your head. "It's definitely something to consider whenever you travel," says Klein. "Even in Europe, it's considered respectful to cover your shoulders and not wear shorts when entering a church, especially in smaller towns… A scarf would probably do it, although [you] may not need to. And it might not be advisable to wear a traditional headscarf." (Sorry ladies, baseball caps won't cut it most instances.)
Be a good guest
You are the visitor, so that means you need to behave accordingly. (Also remember that you're also serving as an unofficial ambassador of your home country!) Don't be rude, be patient give the benefit of the doubt if micups occur -- and learn how to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you in your host country's language.
Without a doubt, traveling solo can be an incredibly eye-opening learning experience. Just take these hints and tips into consideration for your next trip abroad -- and have a safe, healthy and happy experience, too.
SheKnows Editor Nancy Price contributed to this story
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