Planning an international travel is exciting because it’s more than your typical out of town vacation. At the same time, it can be a little scary and confusing. But it’s a normal feeling if it’s your first time to travel out of the country. International travel may take longer than normal out of town vacations and you need to prepare for more requirements.
If you’re feeling a little confused, here are some tips which may help you prepare for your first international travel.
Check Your Passport and Apply for Any Necessary Visas
Before making any international travel plans, make sure to check your passport first for information such as its expiration date. It should be valid at least six months after entering a foreign country. If your passport’s expiration date is approaching, you’ll have to renew it first before your overseas travel.
Tourist visas are also needed in order to visit many nations, however, they are not a universal requirement. If you have an American passport, you may check with the State Department’s website to determine if you need to apply for a tourist visa based on the countries you plan to visit.
Get Vaccinated and Stock Up on Medicine
You may need to get special vaccines or medications depending on where you’re going. Also, if you’re taking prescribed medication, make sure that you have enough stocks to cover the duration of your travels so you won’t run out while you’re abroad. It’s also important to pack non-prescription medicines such as aspirin, Imodium, and others for emergency purposes, especially when you’re travelling to remote regions where they are difficult to find.
Prepare Your Finances
Before going out of the country, it’s better to call your bank and credit card providers to let them know where you’ll be going. It’s because when your bank or credit card provider notice foreign charges and they do not know that you went abroad, they might freeze your accounts. Also, make sure that you’re aware of the exchange rate and how much things cost in the country you’re going to. This will help you determine how much you’ll be spending.
Make Copies of Travel Documents
Another important thing you should do is to have at least one copy of your passport’s ID page, as well as visas. You can also make copies of your hotel reservations, train tickets, and other travel documents. These can help you if ever you lose one of the original ones.
Get All the Necessary Gear for Your Electronics
Since electrical outlets are different all over the world, it’s important to have adapters that will allow you to plug your devices into foreign sockets. It’s also a good idea to invest in portable phone chargers as well as separate batteries which can be swapped into phones, cameras, and other gadgets you plan to bring with you on your trip.
Learn Key Phrases in the Local Language
When you’re travelling to a different country, it’s important to learn the basics of their language such as how they say, “Hello”, “Thank you”, “Where is the bathroom?”, and more. If you have medical conditions or allergies, it’s also important to learn how to inform others using their local language. You can also print out a document with relevant phrases that you can bring with you.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
When you’ve planned out where you’re going, and all your documents and finances are ready, another thing to help you is to prepare yourself mentally. As your departure date gets closer, you may feel more nervous and excited at the same time. Just remember that most of the people in the world enjoy connecting with people from other cultures. Don’t stress yourself because it’s easy to meet other people when you’re travelling.
Give Yourself Enough Time to Get Over Your Jet Lag
It can take up a week to adjust for every eight time zones you change. For example, your flying to London from Los Angeles, you can expect several days where your body will adjust to the new time zone.
Some tips to easily get over from jet lag are drinking plenty of water, sleep on your new time zone, eat the first meal possible at the appropriate time in your destination. Resist naps even if you arrive at an odd hour. Try to put yourself on a normal sleeping schedule. Also, be sure to consider a day or two to be able to adjust with the time.
When the day of your flight comes, make sure to arrive at least three hours before departure. That will give you enough time to check in, get through security, and find your gate without rush. And the last and most important tip is to enjoy and make your first international travel memorable.