Are you gearing up to travel abroad for the first time ever and need some guidance? Click here for 8 must-know tips and tricks for traveling overseas.
Traveling locally is one thing, but if you’re about to go international then you’re headed in a whole new direction.
Among choosing your destination, how long you intend to stay for and other fun aspects, there are so many other things you need to be aware of. Who will be joining you? What’s on your have-to-have list? What can you absolutely not forget under any circumstances?
Don’t find yourself at a point of no return.
If you’re gearing up to travel abroad for the first time ever, you’ll need some guidance. Keep reading for 8 must-know tips and tricks for traveling overseas.
Table of Contents
1. Absolute Must-Have Documents
First and foremost, your passport is the single most important document that you will carry with you abroad, so keep it safe and keep it close. It is the only document that will allow you to cross borders and will be used as identification at many of your check-in points.
Secondly, research travel and health insurance. Keep these insurance documents safe and on your person at all times. These are what you will use in the event of an emergency.
If your luggage is misplaced, something is stolen from your hotel room or your accidentally injured or fall ill, your insurance should cover all these events if you’ve taken out the right package.
2. Be Currency Ready
There are many ways to carry currency with you. First off, find out what currency is used in the country you intend to visit.
Then check out the conversion rate. Your travel destination will be largely based on your budget, you don’t want to travel somewhere that your money falls short of the currency used and you have less to spend.
Call up your bank and inform them where you’re going and for how long, you can open up your debit and credit cards for purchasing internationally for the duration of your trip.
The third tip, try not to exchange money at the airport, it’s very expensive. Have some notes on you to travel to your hotel, and then find a local bank or money exchange to do the bulk of your money exchanging.
3. Do Your Homework
We’re sure that you have a few countries in mind, all with different qualities and coming with their own reasons for you to want to visit.
Make sure that you do your homework thoroughly.
Every country is different, and even within those countries, each city or town can be different from each other too. For example, in some countries you may not be able to drink water straight from the tap, so you’ll need to prioritize buying drinking water.
The cuisine in countries can be so different from what you’re used to, you’ll know if there are foods that don’t agree with you. Have a look at the local cuisines and see what the predominant ingredients are. Nuts are used frequently in Thai dishes, so if you’re not able to eat them you’ll know to look out for them.
Look into the local laws and severity of punishment if they’re broken, just get a broad understanding of what can and can’t be done. Jaywalking and other small offenses are punishable by jail time in some countries, so make sure you’re in the know.
The best way to get acquainted is to find an in-depth guidebook on your intended destination and read it from front to back.
4. Check On Visa Requirements
Another huge tip you need to know, make sure that you know if you require a visa beforehand. Many countries do offer visas on arrival, but some other countries require that you pre-apply for a visa for their embassy, and you’ll have to wait weeks for an answer on this.
A visa is a document that is issued by a country which grants you permission to enter for a certain number of days. Unfortunately, you’ll need to have your flights and hotel booked before you can apply for a visa, so make sure you start this process as far in advance as possible.
5. Book As Much As Possible In Advance Within Reason
Booking the most important things in advance is important.
Especially if you know that you’ll be traveling to a country that is in its peak season. So look into the accommodation options available and see if you can book in advance.
On another note, don’t get swept up in the pre-planning and pre-booking of too many activities. We know it’s tempting, but you don’t want to book everything in advance, only to wake up one day with horrible weather but have to still go on a four-hour boat trip because they have a no-money back policy.
6. Smart Packing: Be Prepared
Just as mentioned above, the country of your choice is going to have different weather and conditions, so once you’ve chosen your destination to get in the know with what kind of weather you’re going to be expecting, and pack appropriately.
Aside from packing for the right weather, here are some other basic tips to go through when doing your packing:
- Always pack extra underwear, it will always come in handy and it doesn’t take up much space.
- The same goes for socks.
- You don’t need six jackets, just one good one that you can pair with other clothing. Jackets and jumpers take up a lot of space in your suitcase.
- Pack a small first aid kit inside your luggage, and not in your hand luggage (it may get confiscated in your hand luggage depending on the airline you’re using). Things like plasters, a small antiseptic cream, a bandage and after-sun cream.
- Put in some ziplock bags to use for your dirty laundry as you move through your trip, that way you’re not mixing dirty clothes with clean clothes inside your bag.
The most important thing is to pack smart. Be clever about how much space you’re using up, you won’t need more than one pair of dress-up shoes. So use your space wisely.
7. Staying Safe
Staying safe will range from country to country. Try to do some research into the country you’ve decided to go to, see if you can find any stories or reviews online from previous travelers to that destination, they will definitely tell it like it is.
Another good idea is to look into local publications from the city you’ll be staying in, see the king of local stories that are being told, check the levels of petty crime and be aware of the area.
While traveling, stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Never, ever walk around with all your cash on you, and make sure you lock valuables up safely in your hotel room before you go for a night on the town.
This is one of the most important tips to be mindful of, ensure that you share your itinerary with family and friends.
There’s one simple reason for this if something happens while you’re traveling and you haven’t made contact in a few days, then your family and friends know where to start. They’ll know which hotel or hostel to check in with.
Which leads us to the final part of this tip, stay in touch as much as possible. Most countries will have very affordable sim cards that you can purchase at small mobile phone shops or even in the airports, you can buy a small amount of call time or a data package with it. Simply pop it into your phone, and you’ll be immediately online.
Traveling Overseas: The Right Way
If you follow all 8 of our tips for traveling overseas, you’ll be headed in the right direction for sure. Make sure that you write yourself a checklist from your first step to the moment you step on that plane.
Keep emergency contact numbers on you for family, for your hotel, and for transfer companies just in case.
If you’re heading to Europe, check this article out for where to go.