Traveling to the strange places is often an eye-opening and invigorating experience. On the other hand, international travel always carries the certain risk and it may bring various inconveniences. If you are going to visit a foreign country, keep in mind that your travel experience will mostly depend on the previous planning for that trip. Aside from planning, every trip requires other things, such as restaurants, lodging, and a wide range of activities. International travel requires extra research and steps in order to ensure a safe and stress-free experience. Therefore, if you want to travel abroad, you need to consider the following 10 tips before your trip.
Security and Health
1. Medicine and insurance carrier. The first thing you should do before traveling internationally is to double check your insurance carrier. In addition, make sure that you’ve renewed all the essential prescriptions as well as the proper vaccinations. Consult with your doctor regarding these issues and get informed (with your medical insurance provider) whether or not your health policy applies abroad for emergencies. If it is not the case, you will have to consider supplemental insurance and to add extra coverage for your journey.
2. Bring a copy of your passport. As you certainly already know, any international travel requires a passport. Note that some countries also require a particular visa for the new travelers. There are also countries (e.g. China) that offer so-called “multiyear visas,” which allow for multiple exits and entries. You are advised to bring copies of your passport. Why is it important? If you lose your passport or if it gets stolen during your stay abroad, the copy of your passport will help you prove your citizenship and ensure you can get back home. For extra security, you should leave one copy at your home or with a person you trust. In addition, make an electronic copy of your passport, as it is easy to store online.
3. Register with an embassy in your country. If some problem occurs in the country during your trip, your government will be able to contact you and let you know what to do. That’s why you should register with your embassy before traveling.
4. Check for travel advisories and/or warnings. It is also useful to check for these notices before you travel abroad. This way, you can consider very carefully whether or not to go to a particular country. For example, you can get such information at Consular Information Program of the U.S. Travel Department. You can also register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program; it assists travelers in the case of an emergency.
Money – Prepare your finances
5. Bring credit card (s).Your travel will be much easier if you carry a credit card with you. Using a credit card while traveling safeguards you against theft and fraudulent transactions, meaning you do not need to carry a lot of paper money on your journey. Sometimes, banks may turn off your credit card(s) if they think that a fraud occurred. For instance, if a money transaction is happening in Indonesia when you are from Los Angeles, the bank will temporarily freeze your card for security reasons. That’s why you should call your bank (or card provider) and let it know about your international trip in advance. Additionally, you need to get informed if a certain credit card is accepted in the country you are going to visit.
6. Bring local cash. Keep in mind that you will not be able to use your credit card at any place, such as buses and trains. For that reason, you always need to have local cash with you while traveling. Familiarize yourself with the conversion rate before traveling internationally. You can also go to ATM and/or banks in the country you are visiting for local cash. Avoid conversion centers around the city or in the airport because these could be huge rip-offs.
7. Check out the fees for country’s entrance/exit. You might be compelled to pay a border fee in order to enter and/or leave some country. Note that this fee isn’t included in the price of the airline tickets. Depending on the country, it ranges from $20 to $200.
Credit: pictures of money
The language barrier
8. Learn key phrases and 100-200 most used words in the local language. Practice to learn basic phrases like “Thank you,” “Hello,” “Excuse me,” “Where’s the toilet?”, in the local tongue. The more words and phrases you know in a local language, the better for you. If your language abilities are poor, then you should print out relevant phrases on a paper and/or flashcard and always carry it with you. You need to make a selection where to travel if you already speak one or more languages. That will make your time much easier.
9. Research events that will take place while you are there. Do not miss the best events going on in the place you stay or visit. Make sure to experience things known for a certain place before leaving it – whether it is an event, landmark, or national dishes. Therefore, you should do local research and look for fun things such as ceremonies, festivals, natural events, and the like. Besides, you can get guidebooks, since these usually include useful things like maps, basic phrases or words, and provide enough information about a certain site. You can also download apps before traveling, which will guide you during your trip.
10. Get all the necessary electronics and gear. Bring a charger adapter because electrical outlets and voltage widely differ around the world. You are advised to purchase an adapter with multiple settings that is capable of adjusting to different outlets. Also, you need to check out the voltage (strength) of electrical current and make sure your electronics are compatible — computers and cell phones usually are. If your device isn’t compatible with a lower or higher current, then you need to purchase an appropriate transformer or leave it at home. It is worth investing in spare batteries and phone chargers, as these can be charged/swapped into cameras, phones, and other electrical devices while you are on the go.
In addition to these ten, there are also so many travel tips that are common to all types of travels like tips on packing, lodging, nutrition, choosing a destination, booking, travel ticket, and so on. When it comes to the international travel, just follow this travel guide and you will have a great time.
Credit preview image: Moyan Brenn