You’ve set your eyes on that international destination and are super stoked to book your flight to that country that’s been on your wish list for ages. Well, international travel can be stressful – even for a seasoned globetrotter. But for a first-timer, it can feel outright overwhelming. First, there’s all the pre-preparation like obtaining a passport if you don’t already have one, applying for visas, planning out where you’ll stay and how to get from point A to B. And then, after a long flight, you have to orient yourself in a foreign country, where the time zone, language and the currency may be different from what you’re used to. Not to mention any surprises that are likely to pop up along the way.
But the beauty in travel lies in the fact that you don’t need to know everything; it’s a learning process. As long as you’re equipped with some basic knowledge to cover the most important aspects of first international travel, you’ll have room to grow and learn and build some confidence for your next trip abroad.
With this in mind, preparing for international travel ahead of time will make for a smoother journey. Here are a few international travel tips to get you ready for your first trip abroad.
Do Plenty of Research Before You Leave
Don’t just rely on the established travel guides and books. The web has an almost endless supply of information. Want to know what it’s like to walk from one tourist destination to another in a foreign city? YouTube it and more than likely you will find someone has already put a video of the route online. This gives you a bird’s eye view before you leave home.
Uncertain about trains or buses? It will be on a travel blogger’s site somewhere, showing you all sorts of things no book or brochure will ever show you. I particularly like creating posts about getting from one place to another, including photos of buses, trains, and stations. This is vital information for first time travelers. Want to know how much a cab fare should be? Give it a Google and you will know.
Phone Maps and Paper Maps
While a smartphone can do everything with Google maps, it does need a good internet connection. Don’t use roaming as it will send you broke before you reach your destination. Also, do you really want to be pulling out your phone every few seconds and waving it around? With a paper map, you can show everyone from bus drivers, taxi drivers and helpful strangers exactly where you want to go. You can also draw on them, that helps.
Keep Yourself Safe
Your first international trip may seem scary, but it’s almost always scarier in your mind than it will ever be once you’re traveling. You can check our another blog where you will find sacurity tips for solo travelers.
Buy travel insurance
For most people, this is really only necessary if you are traveling outside of your home country.
There are a variety of travel insurance plans and optionს and they typically cover emergency medical coverage, evacuation, lost luggage, and trip cancellation.
Always carry a small amount of cash with you
This way, if your ATM card doesn’t work, you can always use your cash and exchange it into the local currency. It’s also a good idea to carry a bit of the local currency with you in case you go to a restaurant or shop that doesn’t accept credit cards.
Check your documents
Before you start booking flights, there are certain documents you need to make sure are in order. For starters, international travel requires an updated passport. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough pages in your passport for visa stamps. While most countries only require a quarter page for their stamp, others may require a half of a page or more.