Summer will soon check most of us out of school and take us to new, exotic and distant places.

To prepare ourselves for such journeys, many of us have probably been hitting extra sets of burpies and drinking god-knows-what protein shakes to shape up our beach bodies.

We the Echo fully support your efforts to be your best physically and also mentally. Especially when it comes to traveling outside of the country.

You never know when you’re going to have to out run a bull in Spain or navigate yourself through a small French village where maybe no one speaks English.

Since the unexpected can happen when traveling abroad, we recommend that you prepare yourself the best that you can.

Maybe even run yourself through a little “I am not in Chattanooga anymore” prepartations.

The preparations can vary, but generally they include a list that contains the emergency contact numbers of the countries you plan to travel to, the names of the hotels we plan to stay at and the general info about the sites we plan to visit.

A list like this can be very helpful if you find yourself in a tricky traveling situation.

Also, we believe that learning a few key words or phrases of the country’s language can make traveling much safer and genuine.

For example, take your time to learn the most basic parts of the language such as greetings, directions, “excuse me,” “Sorry, I don’t speak Mandarin” and “Help!”

Some foreigners may feel threatened if you come at them full force, slurring English.

We suggest starting in the language of the country you are in and then transition to your native language.

Whoever you may be talking to will acknowledge your effort and be much more likely to help you with whatever you need.

Just to recap: make an informational list with a few copies to give to your parents or whoever you’re traveling with, learn a little bit of French, German, Afrikaans, Swahili, Mandarin, Russian or Pig Latin depending on the country you’re visiting and have a good time out there!