Traveling internationally could be the start of a great adventure. Whether you're going to the country that immediately borders your own or flying half-way around the world, new experiences will await you. Before you set off, there are a few things that you'll want to do to make sure you're ready.
1. Sort Out Passports, Visas, Important Documents
The one thing that you don't want to happen is to find out you can't travel at the last minute. You run the risk of this happening if you don't take care of the legal side of travel before your trip. It's your responsibility to check if you need a visa or should apply for a visa waiver program.
You also need to make sure your passport or travel card hasn't expired. Some countries require you to have at least six months left. Even for those that don't, it's a good idea anyway.
2. Take Out Travel Insurance
What will happen if your flight is cancelled, you're ill or injured, or you have something stolen from you? All of these things can be expensive, and you could end up out of pocket. Travel insurance can protect you from things that go wrong, so you're not left paying hundreds or even thousands to cover the costs of a new flight, a hospital visit, or a new laptop.
You can find some excellent travel insurance deals, so there's no reason you shouldn't take it out. Just make sure that it offers an adequate amount of coverage.
3. Organize Your Money
Everyone needs to get their money sorted before they travel. It's more likely than not that you will be paying for everything in a different currency, so that's one thing to consider. Will you convert some cash? Use traveler's checks?
There are some credit and debit card options that won't charge international fees too. In addition to this, a budget can really help you to stay on top of your travel money. It will help you to avoid overspending and make sure you can afford all of the things that you're looking forward to doing.
4. Get Vaccinated
You won't always need vaccinations for traveling, but it's worth checking. If it's time for a booster for standard vaccinations, such as MMR or tetanus, now is a good time to get them. Check if there are vaccinations required for entering the country, as well as which ones are recommended for the region you're visiting.
As well as vaccinations, think about any other medical needs. A first aid kit is always handy for traveling. If you take any prescription medications, make sure you can take them into the country and the requirements for doing so legally.
5. Learn the Local Language
No one expects you to be fluent in every language when you're traveling internationally. However, it is polite to learn some key words and phrases to help you communicate with local people. So if you're visiting somewhere where English isn't a main language, take the time to learn some of the local language.
6. Check Travel Warnings and Advisories
It's smart to have the right knowledge before you travel internationally, which includes knowing about any dangers or circumstances to navigate carefully. Before you go, and even before booking a trip, you should check if there are any warnings or advisories about the place you're visiting.
This could include weather warnings, updates about the political climate, or general advice about traveling within the country or within particular regions. It's easy to check these things with the relevant government website or resource, which usually provides the information that you need.
7. Take Care of Immediate Needs at Your Destination
When you first arrive at your destination, you don't want to have to spend a long time getting on your feet. At the very least, it's useful to have somewhere to stay for your first night and a good idea of how you're going to get there. If you're going to hire a car, organize it before you leave, so it's ready when you arrive. You could also prebook a taxi or buy a ticket if you're planning to take a bus or train.
8. Sort Your Electronics
Are you planning on packing some of your most important devices to take with you? It's likely you'll at least want to take your phone, and perhaps a tablet or laptop. You might also wish to take other travel electronics, such as a hairdryer. Make sure you have the correct adaptor to use the local plug sockets.
You should also check if your devices are compatible with the local current strength. If not, you'll need a transformer. Some backup batteries or power banks are also super useful to keep your devices running.
9. Ensure Suitable Clothing
Whether you're visiting somewhere very hot in the middle of summer, stepping into a winter wonderland, or arriving in the middle of monsoon season, you need to be prepared. While you can pick up clothes at the other end, it's much better to pack what you need.
Failing to pack the right clothes could be costly or else leave you feeling very uncomfortable in inappropriate clothing. Check the weather before you leave and collect some tips on what you should be wearing.
10. Plan Some Fun Activities
Of course, it's not all about being organized and well-prepared. International travel is an opportunity for having a lot of fun too. You might be the type of person who likes to create an itinerary and book activities in advance. But even if you're not, you can think about some of the things that you would like to do.
A bit of research can give you some ideas on how to spend your time. Get ready for your trip with these international travel tips, and you won't have to stress about any part of it.