Doesn’t matter how much you have traversed within your own country, traveling to a foreign land will always make your experience a blend of emotions in which thrill and nervousness dominate. Taking your first trip overseas is both an exciting and nerve-wracking endeavor. Therefore, it is always useful to have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve.
This article is dedicated to all those who are taking their first step towards venturing into a foreign land. In this article, we will offer you the best tips for traveling internationally that will help you every step of the way as you traverse foreign realms. Journeying to some place new can be terrifying and confusing, however, the tips given below will help you overcome pre-departure jitters and will be your friend in an unknown land.
Best Tips for Traveling Internationally
1. When Traveling Internationally, Prepare Your Travel Document
When traveling internationally make sure to apply for your passport well in advance in order to avoid unnecessary stress. Because your potential travel radius is limited quite significantly if you don’t have a passport or a travel visa.
A passport validity of 10 years can make many people complacent, and they forget that they have to renew it at some point. A passport is an essential document for traveling internationally and if yours needs renewing you better do that quickly as many countries don’t allow travels to set foot on their soil if they have a passport with less than 6 months validity.
Moreover, if your passport is expired or is near expiration, and doesn’t have enough free pages, your request for a visa can also be denied. Therefore, when you are traveling internationally, make sure that your passport is valid well in advance. Because finding out the invalidity of your passport and applying for and receiving a new one will delay your trip.
Before traveling internationally, make sure that the destination you opt to travel to requires a visa or not. A visa is a document that allows the holder to legally enter a foreign country. Arriving at the airport without a visa may result in you being rejected and turned away, especially if you don’t have the option to apply for one on arrival. Those with a US or UK passport have the opportunity to enter quite a few countries without a visa, while some countries even offer then visa on arrival. However, each country has its own set of rules therefore make sure to research the entry requirements of the detention you are traveling to.
2. When Traveling Internationally, Research Your Destination
In order to optimize your experience, it is vitally important that you invest some time to do a little research on the destination you are traveling to. Although spontaneous travel sounds like a good idea, it’s always better and far more practical to know the pros and cons of the country you are visiting. Being able to anticipate the nuances of your travel destination will help you get once you reach there. Therefore, conducting thorough research to know about the culture, language, and laws of your travel destination is very important.
Foreign countries have rules that might seem a bit strange to you but that is only because their culture is different from yours for example, in Singapore, chewing gum is illegal. Therefore, knowing them will help keep you safe and out of trouble. Given below is a list of questions that you can research before embarking on your journey:
- Is it safe to drink tap water?
- What is the currency of the country?
- What is the dominant religion in the country?
- Does the country have rules around clothing modesty?
- What vaccines are required?
- How catered to tourism is the country?
- Are accommodations for tourists in abundance there?
- What is the main language of the country?
- Is English spoken there?
- What are the traffic laws of the country and how do they differ from yours?
3. When Traveling Internationally, Address Money Matters
Before embarking on your journey to the foreign land make sure to notify your bank and let them know that you will be traveling. By doing this, your bank wouldn’t suspect fraud when they see your card suddenly being used in some place in Japan. Moreover, depending on your destination, there is a possibility that you won’t have easy access to ATMs. In some countries, they run largely on cash economies and might not have card readers at most businesses or restaurants. Therefore, make sure to carry enough cash with you.
4. When Traveling Internationally, Compare Accommodation and Transportation Options
When visiting a foreign country, you are likely to be on the move every day, seeing sights, visiting attractions, and going to restaurants. Therefore, it’s better to research beforehand the most effective way to travel during your visit.
Websites like 12GO and Rio2Rome are exceptional tools for exploring route options as well as figuring out which mode of transportation, train, bus, or plane, will be the cheapest and the quickest for traveling within the country. Subway systems and buses are usually the most eco-friendly and budget-friendly transportation means. Moreover, they also give you the chance to see the city and also interact with locals. You can also download rideshare apps like Cabify, Uber, Grab, or Bolt if you want door-to-door service at fair prices.
Even though hotels are the most tempting accommodation options, you can opt for guesthouses, Airbnb, or hostels if you want to save some money and want a more immersive experience that allows you to meet other travelers and locals.
A hostel is the most cost-efficient option. you can opt for a boutique hostel as they often come with nicer amenities as compared to budget hotels. Some even offer complimentary breakfast. Also, scour the internet to find accommodations in your travel destination that offer discounts. You can also use the Hostelz.com website. This site compares various websites like Hostelworld, Gomio, Booking, and more to show you accommodations with the lowest prices that you can book.
5. When Traveling Internationally, Book Everything in Advance
If you have decided on your itinerary the best time to book your trip would be when you have the commitment to travel and the necessary funds. Even though making last-minute spontaneous plans and choices have their intrigue it is always best to plan in advance. Most importantly you must book your accommodation in advance as there is a chance that when you arrive all the best accommodations are already booked, or their rates have suddenly increased. When traveling internationally, not having a place to stay in can be extremely stressful, therefore make sure to book your accommodation before departing.
The same goes for plane tickets, as you will be able to find the best deals if you book early. Having your itinerary planned from start to finish will give you a peace of mind that is absolutely priceless. Planning ahead will also allow you to enjoy your trip to the fullest without having to worry about what’s going to come next.
6. When Travelling Internationally, Avoid Fatigue
The excitement of going on your first international trip can get the best of you and you might want to go all out. However, it is best if you take things slow and take your time exploring the place.
Tips for Travel Fatigue When Traveling Internationally
Recover from Jet Lag – Recovering from a long-haul flight is difficult enough but if you are in a new time zone another thing that might come after you is jet lag when you travel across time zones your circadian rhythm can get thrown off and it can take some time for you to adjust to your new schedule. Therefore, allow yourself some time to rest and recover and then move to the next destination.
When Traveling Internationally Be Prepared for Travel and Motion Sickness – When traveling there is a chance that you might get motion sickness. Therefore, make sure to pack some travel sickness medicine with you and also allow yourself rest to get over it.
Schedule Enough Time for Each Destination – When traveling internationally make sure to prioritize quality over quantity. Exploring fewer locations at your own pace is more rewarding than frantically scouring the entire country and not taking time to relish the experience. When people travel for the first time aboard they get too ambitious and try to fit a plethora of stuff in a small time frame which only leads to them getting tired and not being able to properly bask in the experience.
7. When Traveling Abroad, Prioritize Your Safety and Health
In order to enjoy your new adventure and stay safe, you need to be aware of your surroundings and also take precautions to protect yourself.
Protect Your Belongings from Petty Theft and Pickpockets – To deter pickpockets consider opting for a fanny pack or a crossbody to store your wallet and phone. Moreover, never keep valuables in the outer pocket of your backpack or in your pockets, especially the back ones. You can also wear money belts under your clothes and theft-proof wallets are a good option as well.
When Traveling Abroad, Stay Connected – Before leaving make sure to share your itinerary with your friends and family so that they can keep track of your travels. Also, give the address and contact information of the accommodations you will be staying in. If you are a citizen of the United States, you can register with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program or STEP. Once you register with them, the local U.S. Embassy will know to get in touch with you in case of political unrest, natural diester, or other emergencies.
Purchase Travel Insurance – When traveling internationally, getting travel insurance should be your first priority. It will help you in case of any emergency you face while traveling. From reimbursement for lost luggage to emergency evacuations, travel insurance can help you save a lot of money in case of a bad event.
When Traveling Abroad Use Common Sense – When you arrive at your destination, make sure to ask the locals and staff at your accommodation about the areas that you should avoid venturing into. If you go out at night, try to go with a buddy and make sure not to drink much, especially if you are alone. Moreover, always trust your gut when traveling.
8. When Traveling Internationally, Pack Appropriately
Packing appropriately can make your travels smooth. Packing too little too much, or haphazardly can have a negative impact on your travel experience. Given below are important tips that you must follow when packing:
When Packing Use Packing Cubes – Packing tubes can improve your travels by a lot. They are not only space savers but also help keep your stuff organized and your clothes neater. Packing cubes are also very cheap and can be found in various online stores including Amazon.
When Traveling Abroad, Travel Light – It is a good idea to have something for cold weather, warm weather, or rain. However, make sure not to go overboard. Hauling a heavy suitcase can make getting around difficult and troublesome. Therefore, make sure to pack light, and use a laundry service when you run out of clean clothes.
When Traveling Abroad, Keep Your Possessions Safe – There are many ways you can keep your possessions safe when traveling. Use. Lock on your suitcase or rucksack to keep it safe from baggage thieves. Pack your important possessions like jewelry, and electronics in a carry-on bag.
9. When Traveling Abroad, Read Airport Travel Tips
Both rookie and season travelers go through airport and pre-departure anxiety. The big vast building with departure boards and people rushing here and there can make one feel flustered and uneasy, especially if one is going to a foreign country. Navigating the airport can also be an overwhelming task, but it gets easy if you break it down bit by bit. The first course of action is to find the terminal you will fly from. Then you have to check in, make it through security, and in the end, enjoy your pre-departure coffee as you wait for boarding.
Tips to Improve Your Airport Experience
- To have a smooth airport experience, print necessary documents like visa, accommodation details, flight tickets, etc. beforehand.
- Find the terminal you will be departing from beforehand so as not to get lost wandering around the airport.
- If you are able to do so, check in online ahead of time.
- To help pass the time, download your favorite movie shows, games, or podcasts, or bring along your favorite book.
- Ensure that your bags are not over the limit by weighing them a day before.
10. When Traveling Abroad Consider the Connectivity
Even though traveling can be liberating and eye-opening, it can also get lonely at times socially if you are prone to homesickness and anxiety. However, traveling abroad does not mean that you will have to go days without speaking to your friends and family. There are many ways via which you can contact your loved ones while traveling internationally. We live in the digital age, where we have platforms through which we can call out families, share pictures, and also make them a part of our travel by video calling them and taking them along on foreign adventures. When traveling, keep connectivity in mind and consider the following:
Local SIM vs International Roaming – When traveling abroad you will need to decide whether it is a good idea to use international roaming through your current plan or get a SIM card while on board.
Public WIFI – You can take advantage of public Wi-Fi while you travel. Major cities around the world have public Wi-Fi available all over, whereas remote destinations do sometimes offer public Wi-Fi, but it is in limited areas.
Get a VPN – You might need a VPN to run social sites like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and others as some countries like China, UAE, and Turkey ban them. Therefore, make sure to search whether your travel destination places a ban on these platforms or not.
Travel with Confidence
Travelling aboard can be an exciting and scary endeavour, however, if you plan ahead and research you will be able to have a smooth journey. Even though planning ahead might seem a bit tedious it will help you in the long run and enhance your experience.
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