If you have never taken an international trip, it can be scary. But, international travel is one of those things that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Travelling completely changes your life and you have to experience it to know how.
While international trips, especially if you are travelling abroad for the first time, require a lot of preparation, it is not as difficult as you may think. So, do not satiate your desire for travel by seeing pictures of your friends in London, Paris, Thailand or Maldives, on social media. Overcome your fears and do it on your own to experience life in a totally different manner.
Want to travel to another country, but don’t know where to start?
Don’t worry; we all have been there. But, this shouldn’t hold you back from exploring the world.
This blog provides all the information you need for international travel!
- Research and Plan Ahead
Once you have decided when and where do you want to go and how long you are going to stay there- research and plan your trip in advance. This is one of the most important tips for a successful international trip. You don’t want to waste precious hours searching for the tourist attractions or best place to eat after reaching your destination. So, research about your destination and what it has to offer.
Make a list of all the tourist attractions that you want to visit and map them out in Google maps. To save your time and money, purchase tickets beforehand. If you start early, you can find amazing deals online that are not only cheap, but also save you from the trouble of standing in long queues to buy tickets. You can buy tickets for local attractions, metro or city passes.
Similarly, find out all the best eateries in town that you want to try and that are near your hotel.
- Make Sure You Have All the Documents That You Need
When you are preparing for an international trip, the first thing to consider is your passport. Apply for a passport, if you don’t already have one, as soon as you decide to go on a trip because it takes time. If you already have a passport, make sure it’s valid for at least six months after your trip dates.
The next thing is visa. As soon as you finalize the destination, check its visa requirements on government website. Depending on your nationality and the country you want to visit, you may or may not need a visa. If you need one, make arrangements for it in the early stage as it can also take days, weeks or even months to obtain a visa.
It’s good to be prepared for any unfortunate incident when you are travelling. Check with your insurance company to know if they offer coverage on international trips. If they do not, buy travel insurance. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Find the Best Flights and Accommodation Deals
Rather than booking the first flight and hotel you came across on a website, take time to research and then go for the best deal. There are numerous travel websites, but not all of them are equal. So, do your homework before booking anything. Also, always book from a reliable website, such as Think Holiday Deals, to make sure you do not fall prey to any scam.
If you are going to visit multiple cities and are going to take flights, book them in advance as well. On your first visit to any country, it is advised to book a hotel in the city centre or near tourist attractions. You can find amazing reasonably priced deals, if you book early.
Some countries require flight and hotel bookings to issue visa, so do check it beforehand.
- Make a Budget and an Itinerary
You do not necessarily have to visit all the tourist attractions in a city. If you do not like museums, there is no point spending your money in museum tickets just because other people love them. Spend on activities that you really want to do and experiences that you will always remember. For example, if you love beaches, you may want to book a beach villa for a night to have one-of-a-kind experience rather than visiting museums or historical buildings.
Have a budget and then plan a detailed itinerary accordingly. If you are going to visit multiple cities, decide how long you are going to stay in each city, what places you want to visit and what activities you are going to do. Also, figure out how you are going to commute from one place to another and how long it will take. Many tourist attractions have operating days and hours and some even close during certain seasons. Do check all the details while making the itinerary if you do not want to miss out a place that you have always wanted to see.
- Have Some Cash
While a lot of people prefer to use credit and/or debit cards while travelling, it is recommended to have some local currency in hand for emergency situations. Exchange the currency at your local bank as you are likely to get better rates in your home country than overseas and it will also save you from the hassle of locating a money exchanger or a bank in a foreign country.
For cards, make sure to inform your providers about the dates of your travel and the places you will be visiting, so you won’t face any problem in using them abroad.
- Pack Light
Travelling light is another important tip for a successful trip. It’s the beginning of your new journey and you are going to have an experience of a lifetime, and you surely do not want to spoil it in trying to fit in your luggage in a car/ taxi or getting it through stations and airports.
There is a reason why experienced travelers always pack light – it gives you peace of mind, to say the least.
- Take Some Basic Medicines
Tracking down a pharmacy in a new city to get some medicines for your headache or upset stomach will only increase your anxiety. To prevent yourself from the trouble, pack some basic medicines in case of emergencies. This is particularly very important if you are travelling with kids and/or elderly people.
If you have to carry some prescription medicines, check with the embassy of the county you are visiting to make sure you are not carrying a drug that is illegal there. Even then, do carry a copy of the prescription, to be on the safe side.