Travel abroad for the first time might be intimidating for most people. It can be confusing regarding what to prepare, how to guarantee safety, or maybe some concerns about the language barriers. And you won’t be able to enjoy your trip if any unplanned trouble arises. So to carefully prepare for your first trip abroad, here are some highlights you should pay attention to.
1. Travel documents
You need to prepare some personal documents in order to get on the plane and have permission for immigration. For most trips abroad, you should prepare a passport and a visa.
Make sure that your passport will be valid for at least the next 6 months. If you haven’t had one, or need a new passport, apply right away. The process might cause you some valuable time so don’t wait.
Not all countries require visas on arrival. Depending on your nationality, each country has different arrangements, and requirements can change. Waiting for a visa can take up to a month, so submit your visa application early and ensure it will be valid for your entire stay.
Furthermore, there might be some additional documents required, depending on the regulation of the country of your destination. To be sure, check with your travel agent, or visit the embassy or consulate’s website. They will show you what kind of documents you need for your trip.
2. Medical preparations
It will be the worst nightmare to get sick on your trip. However, you should prepare yourself for every scenario that might happen. Pack some basic, unprescribed medicine like painkillers, flu medicines, allergic medicines or medicines for stomach ache. It can be helpful in case you cannot cope with the unpleasant weather or the foreign food at your country of destination.
If you use prescription medicine, ensure you have enough to last throughout the duration of your trip. Carry a copy of your prescription for added security. Also, if you are undergoing any special treatment, consider carrying a scanned copy of your records or a letter from your doctor detailing your treatment.
On the other hand, some countries might not let you enter without proof you’ve been immunized against certain diseases, such as yellow fever or malaria. All immunizations must be recorded and presented on an official International Certificate of Vaccination, also known as the “yellow health card.” Check with your travel agent before departure for details.
3. Financial preparations
Financial is definitely one of the travellers’ top concerns when travelling abroad. You can either prepare yourself with adequate amounts of cash, or you can carry your credit card, as long as it’s accepted in that country.
Furthermore, when you use credit cards for payment, pay attention to the Conversion Rate. Your bank may charge you some additional fees to convert the currency of your credit card into the currency in the country you’re travelling to.
4. Research your destination
Lastly, you can never go wrong with a good investment in research. Check out the country of your destination thoroughly about every aspect regarding your trip such as Immigration policy, Travel requirements, their Languages, Dos and Don’ts, etc.
It’s also a good idea to download the city map beforehand. Many apps are available that will help you plan your trip and navigate while you’re there. To avoid data charges from your wireless carrier, download all your travel apps before you leave and ensure that any apps you choose can be accessed offline. Translating apps could also be helpful if you travel to a country using a different language.
Last but not least, it’s good to stay in touch with people from your home country when travelling abroad. Let your loved ones know your travel plans so they can contact and check up on you in case of any unlikely events.