“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Traveling abroad is an adventure that is best planned ahead of time as you have to deal with ticketing and packing and everything that involves you or your family or friends. Sure, you don’t want to show up at the check-in counter without your passport, or worst you miss your flight! If you have wanted to travel for a long time or you are going for the first time, then you have to focus on ensuring that the necessities, such as health and safety, are covered. Well, to save you time here is that it will save you some prep time. It includes your international travel checklist for your next long-distance journey.
Get your travel documents early – Most people don’t have a passport. If you are planning to travel, then you may require up to six weeks to receive a passport when you apply. Be patient as sometimes due to some issues, your passport might be rejected. If you have a passport, then do check the expiration date if it is still valid as you don’t want to travel with an expired passport. Also, as you are traveling international, get a visa or letter of invite or recommendation to gain entry to your chosen destination. Do ensure that you have prepared your travel documents early.
Have a travel budget – One of the most novice things to do is to travel without a budget. We all know how risky traveling can get, and traveling does cost a lot. Well, I’m not telling you to spend money by going into debt, but consider all your expenses and arrange your budget according to this. It is better to determine your budget according to your travel destination.
Pick a destination – Have you always dreamed of visiting either Paris or the mesmerizing beaches or Bora Bora? Well, if you are traveling for the first, better pick a destination of your choice. Everyone has different ideas from all the places they want to visit. If you’re going out on a limb, then check with your travel agent, who will inform you about the cheapest flights to amazing places.
Get your travel insurance – It is recommended to get your travel insurance while traveling as it will help you in many situations. The insurance company covers all the problems that you can face while being in a foreign land.
Learn about your destination – If you don’t want to appear as a novice or someone with less general knowledge, it is better to learn about your destination. Read about the region you are traveling to in advance as it will help you gain some insights into what important while being there. Do keep a tab on the exchange rates, useful phrases, tipping norms, appropriate clothing, and cultural/legal customs. Be prepared if you don’t want to land yourself in a compromising situation.
Book your accommodation – If you are traveling during a peak period, then it is advised to book your accommodation beforehand. In some countries, you are asked to present a letter of invite which pertains to where you are going to reside when traveling to that country.
Pack light – Remember, you are traveling for the first time, and yes, you want to grab every souvenir or that pretty black dress to feel pretty in Paris. Well, it is essential that you pack light when traveling. You can take your luggage up a flight of stairs more quickly, and the process of getting on and off public transport will be way less cumbersome. As you’re packing, determine the number of days you’ll be staying, and adjust accordingly.
Many people usually get vaccinated when they travel internationally. However, it is also important you do the same for national travels. This way you’ll prevent yourself from getting any undesired and unnecessary diseases when you travel. Think about it and save yourself the trouble of getting sick by taking care of vaccinations beforehand.
Avoid Motion Sickness:
If you’re prone to motion sickness or other such problems when you travel by road, then it is highly likely that you will be affected when you travel by air. So as a precautionary measure, make sure you take anti-emetic medicines before you start your travel to avoid discomfort.
Keep Important Things Handy:
Stuff like your passport and ticket will be required frequently, and you need to keep it someplace where you can readily take it out and where it won’t be lost. Also, make sure you have some extra cash with you at all times (keep it in your socks). Just in case you lose your stuff, you won’t have a problem traveling around.
Limit electronics. Will you need your laptop, tablet, e-reader, and smartphone? “You want to enjoy the country, not your electronics,” says Wood. Bring what’s essential, such as your smartphone, and make sure the charger is compatible with the electric current where you’re headed. Call your mobile carrier ahead of time to add an international plan temporarily to avoid surprises on your next bill.
Leave copies of your itinerary and passport with family or friends. Bring a copy of your passport with you, in case the original is stolen, because it will be easier to replace – the US. Department of State also offers the new Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which allows you to register your trip so the nearest Embassy or Consulate can contact you to keep you informed about safety conditions in your destination country or case of an emergency.
Traveling internationally for the first time makes you more confident and become more experienced to travel from one country to another. After a while, you will be sure to travel like a pro!