International Travel Tips: We’re ecstatic that you’re about to embark on a journey to discover the world around you! It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve traveled inside your own nation. Taking your first vacation abroad is both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. I’ve been traveling full-time for nearly four years, visiting nearly 60 countries. And I’ve picked up a few travel pieces of advice along the way. Traveling to a place where you’ve never been before may be both exhilarating and intimidating at the same time. There is, however, a way out of this situation! Make sure your logistics are in order by following these basic guidelines.
Begin By Getting A Passport Well Enough In Advance Of Your Trip: International Travel Tips
International Travel Tips: First-time overseas travelers? What are the most crucial tips to follow? Apply for a visa well in advance of your planned vacation to avoid additional stress. Do not make any final plans, such as a flight. Until you have in your possession the small book and open doors all across the world. Having your passport number before you begin booking foreign flights is a good idea because it may be necessary to input it at online check-in.
U.S. passport application fees for adults are $145, while those under the age of 16 are charged $115. In the event that you need your passport urgently, you might pay an additional cost if you’ve already started arranging and paying for your trip (the official term is “expedited”). Expedited passports typically arrive within 2 weeks from the date of application.
Make paper and electronic copies of the identifying page as soon as your passport arrives. Keep one in your wallet and give the other to your parents for safekeeping. Keep a high-quality digital duplicate of the photo in Google Docs. Take a photo of your visa stamp as well.
More than just for flights, you’ll want to keep your passport on hand at all times. Many hotels need a copy of your passport’s identity page for check-in. Make no mistake: You’re not alone in feeling this way. As an additional security measure, some might hold your passport as a credit to ensure that you pay for your lodging, but also to protect it from theft. In some remote nations, it’s not uncommon for travelers to find themselves in this situation (although it’s less prevalent now than it was before online booking became common).
There are pickpockets & bag snatchers everywhere, so it’s not a good idea to keep your passport on you at all times, even if the law requires it. This is where your printed copy comes in helpful. You should be prepared to show a photo of your valid passport on your phone to any foreign law enforcement officials you encounter while traveling. Explain that the physical copy is away at your hotel and volunteer to go fetch it if they request to view it. Never put your visa in a place on your bag that is easy to get to. The ideal place to keep your passport is in a hotel safe or a hostel locker.
Choosing Your First International Destination: International Travel Tips
International Travel Tips: It’s possible that you’ve always wanted to see an elephant in Thailand or a pyramid in Egypt. You may not know exactly where you’re going, but you know you have to get there. Your first overseas trip may be difficult to plan because of all the amazing destinations you can visit now that you do have a passport.
As you begin to filter down a seemingly infinite number of options, keep these considerations in mind:
Would you like to stay local or venture out into the world? It’s fine to begin your journey close to home and gradually expand your horizons as you gain experience as a world traveler.
Are you fluent in another language? Alternatively, are you confident enough to visit a foreign country even if you do not understand the language? France was the first non-English or Spanish-speaking country I had ever visited, and I was absolutely overwhelmed by the inability to converse with the locals.
Are you looking to meet new people and build relationships with the locals? If that’s the case, you might want to consider arranging a guided tour, which is a terrific chance to meet other tourists and meet local guides.
What are you most excited about? Beautiful structures, delicious or exotic meals, relaxing on the beach, summiting a mountain, or simply having a good time? Make a brief list of the top two or three things you want to see or do on your first trip abroad.
Traveling to countries whose cultures and lifestyles are vastly different from your own is a matter of personal preference. Will you be apprehensive to be in a place where poverty, pollution, and traffic are prevalent? It’s quite OK to begin your travels in locations where you feel secure.
You should be able to limit your options to one or two countries after considering these points, depending on how much time you have available for your first international vacation. If you’re still unsure, a trip to Western Europe or the United Kingdom is recommended for first-time tourists. A majority of people (even if it is not the official language) can communicate in English, and there are many ways to get through the world via public transit (buses, trains, and aircraft). Getting to Australia and New Zealand from the U.S. requires a long-haul journey and a bit of strategic planning because they are both very huge and have a lot of fun things to do.
If you’re looking for a completely different experience from the United States, consider a trip to Costa Rica or Thailand, both of which are well-known destinations for tourists. Traveling to Morocco and India, two of my favorite destinations, as an inexperienced 19-year-old is something I would never have been able to accomplish.
Find Out If A Visa Is Required: International Travel Tips
International Travel Tips: Prior to making your travel arrangements be careful to verify whether or not you’ll require a visa. As a tourist, you’ll need a visa to enter and remain in the nation or countries which you plan to visit. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter most of Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia, or Latin America, while many other countries in those regions do. Even if you don’t need a visa, arriving at the airport without one will result in you being turned away from the plane and losing your hard-earned money. Citizens of the United States can look up visa requirements for any country by going to the Department of State’s website and typing in the name of the country in question.
Ascertain That You Have Access To Your Money Abroad
International Travel Tips: To travel to another country, you no longer need to bring cash or traveler checks (what are they?). While traveling throughout the world, managing and accessing your funds has never been easier. To ensure that your bank knows where and when you’re traveling, check in with your bank to see whether you need to set up a travel alert. It’s also a good idea to ask about international fees and whether or not they can assist you to save money on expensive “foreign transaction” ATM fees at the destination bank. Open a free checking account with Charles Schwab or Ally to avoid all of that. Even when traveling, you can use these ATMs without incurring fees because neither of these banks charges any fees for international transactions.
Despite the fact that your debit card is likely to function anywhere on this first trip, it is crucial to have a well-thought-out backup plan. On your first international travel, make sure you have at least $100 in cash, as well as a debit card and a credit card. Always leave a credit card in your hotel in the event that your wallet is taken; I’ve had this happen to me a few occasions. If your wallet is taken, you’ll still be able to get your hands on money because you’ll have another option.
By Comparing Transportation And Lodging Options, You Can Save Money.
Most overseas vacations necessitate a plane ride, but if you’re looking for a way to move around your new location, explore bus or rail choices. You can use Rio2Rome to find the most efficient and cost-effective method of transportation to get from point A to b
If you’re on a tight budget, a bus ride is a great way to see the sights and meet the locals, all while saving money and the environment. The BlaBlaCar app is popular in Spain and Germany and could be more efficient than using the bus.
Before making a reservation, consider all of your alternatives. There’s nothing wrong with staying in a hotel, but if you want to meet other visitors and the locals where you’re going, consider staying in a hostel, guesthouse, or Airbnb instead. Hotel-style hostels are growing increasingly popular, and they often have more luxurious amenities than their budget counterparts.
Hostels are generally less expensive than hotels. You can get a free comparison of pricing at Hostelz.com between Hostelworld, Booking, and Gomio, as well as other lodging sites. With Hostelz.com, you can see how much each hostel costs and make a direct booking to save money. But I like to book through Booking.com because there is no booking cost and reservations can be changed for nothing well before the arrival date on most occasions.
Preparation Is The Key To Success!
In order to plan your vacation, where in preparation should you begin? Unfortunately, it’s impossible to determine because Covid is still running its course. As airlines try to fill their planes, reserving close to your scheduled departure can result in last-minute savings. As an alternative, a recent poll found that 180 days before a trip was the best window for finding affordable flights to Europe.
If you’re under the age of 26, you’ll be eligible for a discount on your flight merely because you’re young! To get a good deal on a flight, try using a search engine like Student Universe. The optimum time to arrange your first foreign trip is anytime you have the funds and thus are ready to make the commitment. Many airlines will not allow you to board an aircraft on a one-way flight, so make sure you have return flights for each country.
Despite the fact that I’ve been traveling for quite some time, I’m a stickler for reserving my lodging in advance. It makes me nervous to arrive in a new place after a full day of travel not knowing where I’m going to stay that night, but for others, it’s an exciting prospect. Plan ahead of time for your arrival by making a reservation for a hotel room. Almost always, you’ll be asked to include your intended lodging on customs papers. If your phone breaks while you’re out, keep a card from your hotel on hand in case you get lost.
Get Over Jet Lag By Giving Yourself Enough Time
Tips For First-Time International Travelers: Logistics
While planning your first overseas trip, you may be tempted to squeeze in as much as possible. One journey to how many different cities? Every day, what can you see?! Let me give you some advice: take it easy for the first few days to help you recuperate from jet lag, the scourge of all travelers.
Even without a time change, getting over a long-haul flight might leave you feeling jet tired. For every eight time zones you cross, it can take up to a week to get used to the new time zone. It’s very uncommon for people to have several days of jet lag when flying from Los Angeles to London.
Prepare for jet lag by obtaining plenty of rest before the trip and shifting your schedule by an hour or two to help your body acclimate to the new time zone. Meal times should be the same. Before, throughout, and after your flight, make sure you drink enough water.
Even though your body begs you to take a nap after you arrive, resist the urge. Go for a walk around your neighborhood and stop for a cup of coffee to unwind it truly helps! No matter what, take into account whether or not you’ll need an excess day or two to acclimate to your new routine. Each time I fly between Asia to the U.S. and back, I break one or more of these unwritten regulations.
Ensure Your Own Security: International Travel Tips
International Travel Tips: First overseas trips might be intimidating, but they’re nearly always worse in your head than they are when you’re actually on the road. While traveling, there are a few things to bear in mind:
Petty theft and pickpocketing can happen at any time, so keep a close eye on your valuables and keep the bag you’re carrying secure. Pickpockets are scared off by the visibility of a crossbody purse or fanny pack. A backpack should never be slung over one shoulder or left unattended on the ground or behind a chair. Keep your phones and money out of your back pockets. Wearing a money belt or a wallet that is impenetrable to thieves is an alternative if you’re particularly concerned.
To stay in touch, you can sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program of the Government of the State of the United States (STEP). So, if there’s an emergency, the local U.S. Embassy may know where to find you and get in touch with you. It’s always a good idea to provide contact information for your host or landlord to loved ones back home in case of an emergency.
Insurance coverage is a need for any experienced traveler. Get a plan that covers both your health and your home. When you’re on the road, you’re more vulnerable to illness and injury. Malaria, staph, parasites, and other illnesses are all too common among visitors. Travel insurance can save you a lot of money in the event that something catastrophic happens while you’re overseas, including emergency evacuations and compensation for lost luggage.
If you’re traveling alone or with a group, you don’t trust, use common sense and seek locals for advice on which neighborhoods and parts of town to stay away from; travel late at night with a companion; avoid drinking excessively; make new friends at public areas, at least to begin with. If you’re meeting up with someone via a dating app, make sure the date is public. Follow your instincts when someone or something isn’t right with you.
International Travel Tips: While worrying about the worst-case scenario is counterproductive, being aware of the surroundings and taking modest precautions to keep yourself safe can allow you to fully appreciate your new experience.
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