Travelling internationally can be an exciting adventure filled with new experiences and meaningful memories. If you haven’t travelled abroad before, you might find yourself feeling some butterflies, too. There is a fair amount of preparations that need to go into a safe and successful trip, so find some tips below to help you have a bon voyage.
Research the Place
Get to know the culture and geographical features of the destination. You likely chose the place based on things you want to do and see, the cuisine, and art and architecture, but it’s also wise to get a full picture of the whole environment beyond these known features.
Take advantage of guidebooks, information written by locals, and blogs that tourists have written about the area. Guidebooks will contain helpful maps, associated language and rules, and tips that you’ll want to know ahead of time. Plus, it’ll be cheaper to get them now instead of buying booklets within the tourist locales. You can be spontaneous to some degree, but planning will help tremendously.
Get Your Finances in Order
Look up information about currency and exchange rates and familiarize yourself with the conversion. Get cash in the city for accurate rates and not at the airport which will charge more. Know if your credit card will work in that nation. Many places will only except cash, anyway. Let your bank know you’re travelling, so when charges appear far from home, they won’t suspect theft or fraud. You might also need a visa to travel to certain countries and will have to apply for this far ahead of time.
You’ll need to be up-to-date on your vaccinations and get any relevant ones to the country you’re going to visit. Make sure you have refills for your prescriptions, too, because you won’t be able to get them filled there. For more information about vaccinations related to travel, you can learn more at your local pharmacy and ask a pharmacist. Check out your private medical insurance to see what it covers regarding travel. You may want to purchase extra temporary coverage for the trip. Travel insurance can help in more scenarios than regular medical coverage can.
Protect Your Passport
Make copies of your passport in case you lose it, or it’s stolen, and take one with you, plus leave one at home with a loved one. It’s a good idea to have a scanned copy available digitally, as well. Always have your passport in a secure place either on you or locked in a safe place where you’re staying.
Carry-On & Go
Put all your essentials and a change of clothes in your carry-on luggage in case your checked bags get lost. This can easily happen if you have multiple connections. If you’re only going for a short time, and depending on baggage allowances, consider only bringing a carry-on bag and a shoulder bag/purse with you to make it even easier.
Know how you’re leaving the airport. If you’re taking a taxi, check to see if it’s a flat rate or will run up a meter. A meter may end up being pricey. Look at the distance and weigh which is best.
Deal with Jet Lag
A general rule for world travellers is it takes about one week to fully adjust for every eight time zones. Sleep and wake according to the time zone you’re in. It’ll be difficult for a shorter amount of time versus trying to slowly shift and take naps.
Plan as much as you can before you go, and you’ll have a smoother and safer journey. Ask experienced friends for more tips and warnings!