Thanks to affordable ticket prices and a growing economy around much of the world, international travel is on the rise. Traveling internationally for the first time can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Use these tips and tricks to make your international trip a success.
- Get Your Passport as Early as Possible
In order to travel abroad, you’ll need the right travel documents from your home country. Leaving your application to the last minute is never a good idea. Leave at least eight weeks for your application, processing, and arrival. Although expedited options are available, they can be costly.
- Make Copies of Your Travel Papers Before Your Trip
In addition to getting new travel papers, make sure you have copies. Keep a physical copy separate from the original, and take a few pictures so you have digital copies too. If the originals get lost or stolen, this will expedite the process of getting new ones overseas.
- Tell Your Bank About Your Travel Plans
Whether you’re traveling for a few days or a few weeks, keep your bank in the loop. Let them know when and where you’ll be traveling so that your credit and debit cards aren’t unexpectedly declined.
- Check to See if You Need Any Visas
Often, travelers just need their passports when visiting a new country. However, you might also need to apply for a visa. Americans need visas when traveling to countries like Brazil, Russia, India, and Vietnam.
- Stay Organized With a Checklist
There are so many things to organize when you travel. From places to see, things to prepare, even packing your bags. One of the best travel tips is to get a great checklist and tick off each item once it is complete.
- Look Up Conversion Rates in Advance
How much is that cool souvenir in Denmark? Know your conversion rates in advance so that you have an accurate idea of how much you’re spending on everything from food to accommodation.
- Check the Voltage of Your Electronic Devices
There is nothing worse than lugging a hairdryer halfway around the world only to find out that it won’t work at your final destination. Check the voltage of your various devices and ensure that it will work overseas. Purchase a converter or adapter if necessary.
- Figure Out How to Use Your Phone Abroad
Are you planning to update Instagram from in front of the Eiffel tower or send emails from Tokyo? While wireless internet is readily available, you might also want to make calls or otherwise use your phone internationally. Invest in a global sim card or check out your roaming options in advance.
- Look Up Your Airline’s Baggage Restrictions
Every airline has its own baggage limitations. This includes the weight and size of checked luggage and carry-on bags. Make sure that your packed suitcases aren’t over the weight limit, or you might face a hefty additional fee at the airport.
- Anticipate Boredom
Traveling is a thrilling adventure, and heading overseas means lots of new experiences. However, there are plenty of moments when you’ll be a little bit bored. This can happen when you’re waiting for flights, on a train or just in line at customs and immigration. Prepare for this by bringing along something like a book or a journal to keep you busy as needed.
- Pack Necessities in Your Carry-on Bag
It’s tempting to load up your suitcase and then board a plan with a tiny bag with just the essentials. One of the international travel tips that come up again and again, however, is to bring along extra items in your carry-on bag. If your suitcase is lost or delayed, you should have a change of clothes and other essentials on hand.
- Don’t Get Foreign Currency at the Airport
Every international airport has a currency exchange booth where you can switch your dollars for Pounds, Yen or Euros. If at all possible, get your foreign currency elsewhere. Airports are typically the most expensive place to exchange currency. Even an ATM will be a better option most of the time.
- Get Attraction Tickets in Advance
Some of the biggest attractions in the world require admission tickets. Whether you’re hoping to ride the London Eye or tour the Eiffel Tower, try to book your tickets. Often, you’ll save money, and you’ll also usually avoid long lines at the attraction itself.
Traveling the world for the first time is an experience you’ll never forget. With these international travel tips, you’ll be ready for the excitement of seeing the world from a whole new point of view.