Traveling is an incredibly fulfilling and sometimes even life-changing experience, and it’s the ideal way to step out of your comfort zone and explore the wonders of the world. However, going abroad can also be a confusing and intimidating endeavor, especially when it comes to first-timers. But as long as you prepare in advance, your overseas travels will undoubtedly turn into exciting adventures. So, here are some tips and tricks to ensure smooth sailing when traveling abroad for the first time:
The first thing you need to do, before you even start looking for flights and hotels, is to apply for a passport, if you don’t already have one. As this process could take several weeks to complete, it’s always best to handle it well in advance, instead of waiting until the last minute and causing unnecessary problems and delays.
Another important thing you should take care of before you book your trip is to check whether the country you’re traveling to requires a visa, an official document that gives you permission to stay in the country in question. Applying for a visa can be a lengthy process as well, which is why it is also best to complete it a few weeks before your departure.
When you travel abroad for the first time, it would also be a good idea to do a bit of research on the country you are visiting, whether it’s through a quick Google search, a Facebook group, or by talking to people who have already visited the country before.
Find out everything you can about the local norms and traditions, in order to get more familiar with the culture and assimilate into it more easily.
Try to learn some basic words and phrases in the local language, such as “Hello”, “Goodbye” and “Thank you”.
Don’t forget to check with your bank to see whether your credit cards and mobile payment options will work overseas, and inquire about possible international fees and additional ATM charges.
Find out if you should exchange any currencies before you depart, and see if you need to set up a travel alert, so your bank knows when and where you are traveling.
Before booking your accommodation, think about what makes you feel the most comfortable, and then weigh your options. While hotels are always a safe bet, they can be quite costly for the average traveler. Hostels might be a more affordable alternative, although they usually require you to stay in a room with several strangers. If you don’t mind making friends with like-minded travelers, then a hostel might be a good option for you.
However, if you are looking for a homier and cozier feel, or even if you’re traveling with your friends or family, then the best option might be to find great studios for rent at your destination. Not only will an apartment like this give you more intimacy and freedom, but its comfort and convenience also make it the perfect ‘home away from home’.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when traveling abroad for the first time is packing everything they own, just in case they end up needing something they hadn’t planned on. However, not only does heavy, overpacked luggage often result in additional airport fees, but dragging it around the streets and the city transportation once you arrive at your destination can also be unnecessarily exhausting and time-consuming. That is why it’s always best to pack light and stick to the bare minimum. Bring a few versatile clothing items that you can easily mix and match into several different outfits, and opt for only one or two pairs of comfortable shoes, apart from your essential toiletries. Chances are this will be more than enough to get you through the trip, but in case you end up needing something extra, you can always buy it at your destination.
A common fear that crosses the minds of most first-time travelers abroad is “What if I lose all of my stuff?” or “What if something happens and I end up getting hurt?” In order to give yourself some peace of mind and ensure everything will be okay, no matter what, it’s essential to get a good travel insurance policy. Covering everything from canceled flights and lost luggage to certain medical expenses, travel insurance will keep your mind at ease while you’re overseas.
In case of any emergencies or unexpected problems, your country’s embassy can also be of great help, which is why it’s crucial to know their location and contact information.
Once you prepare yourself in advance for anything that may come your way, the only thing that’s left is to relax and enjoy your adventure. After traveling abroad for the first time , you will soon realize how confident and more willing you will be to keep traveling.
Do you have any tips for people traveling abroad for the first time ?
This is a guest post.