10 Helpful International Travel Tips For First-Timers


Your first international trip is surely an exciting event as it marks a new beginning. At the same time, there will be a part of you that will feel nervous because a foreign trip definitely differs from a local holiday. However, you shouldn’t let the nervousness kill the thrill because the first time is always the most amazing. A little awareness can take you a long way in making the trip easy and enjoyable. If you planning to travel internationally for your next vacation, here are some tips that will have you covered.

Get your passport ready

If you are an avid traveler, you should get a passport even before you start thinking about a foreign holiday. Since the process takes some time and a lot of paperwork, you should not wait till the last moment. Don’t plan a holiday or book a flight unless you have one. Once you get the passport, make digital and physical copies as a precaution. Keep it safe at home and when you travel because the loss of your passport spells big trouble.

Start planning

Once you have your passport, you can start with the actual planning part for the vacation. Decide the destination first and come up with feasible timelines. Have a budget in the first place so that you can shortlist the best options for travel and accommodations to fit it. Also, every country has different visa norms that you need to comply with as a traveler. Ensure that you have the visa done before making arrangements.

Get a health check and insurance cover

A health check is an integral part of international travel. You need to see your doctor ensure that your health condition is absolutely fine. Check whether you have the proper vaccinations and get all the essential prescriptions renewed. Talk to your medical insurance provider to confirm whether your policy covers medical emergencies overseas as well. If it does not, get that additional coverage through supplemental insurance.

Research about your destination

Obviously, when you have the paperwork and planning sorted out, the next step would be to research the destination. You can get plenty of useful information about any global destination online. Find the best time to plan a trip and make a checklist of things to do at your destination. Ensure that this list of top things to do includes sightseeing tours, best accommodation options, and places to eat and shop. Once you do the research, you are all set to make an itinerary.

Make travel and accommodation arrangements

The next key step for international travelers is to make travel and accommodation arrangements well in advance. Check your options online and you will surely find some good ones to match your needs and budget. Look for some deals and discounts, which you will surely find on early booking. Explore the idea of travel homes instead of hotels and resorts to economize your foreign holiday. This option saves you some dollars and offers privacy as well.

Work on the money matters

Managing your money when you travel abroad is the biggest challenge, particularly if you are a first-timer. Understand the exchange rates and have the currency exchanged locally before you leave. Take enough cash along because it is always handy when you travel. However, do not have too much in your wallet. Carry your credit card as well, but do ensure that it works in the country you are traveling to.

Pack smartly

When you travel abroad, you need to be extra smart with packing. The best thing to do is to travel light so that you don’t have to pay for extra baggage or carry heavy luggage around. Keep only the essentials and don’t forget stuff like your medicines, chargers, and camera. Carry clothing and footwear that are right according to the weather. Prioritize comfort as well because you would not want to feel uneasy while you are outdoors. Using a packing checklist is a good idea if you are traveling abroad.

Carry a map and guidebook

Once you are there, you should try and explore everything that the destination offers. The checklist that you made while researching the destination will help. Carry a local map and guidebook so that you can be on your own. Make sure that you have the internet on your phone for accessing Google Maps. If you feel lost, don’t hesitate to ask for directions from the locals. You may also seek help from the authorities and they will be more than happy to assist.

Prioritize safety

Whether you travel domestic or international, safety should be your top priority. Don’t wear expensive jewelry or carry expensive gadgets as these can make you an attractive target for criminals. Save the local emergency and helpline numbers just in case you get lost or stranded somewhere. Avoid going to shady places and being out too late. Do not get too friendly with strangers and avoid getting intoxicated as well. It is also important to stay in touch with family and friends back home.

Schedule realistically

When you travel abroad, you need to schedule your trip realistically. Factors such as late night and jet lag can upset your plans. And you may probably not feel like getting out of the bed after a long flight. So you should keep a buffer day or two while planning your trip. Keep into account emergencies like bad weather and travel sickness as well. You would obviously not want to miss anything when traveling to a new country but there are some things that you cannot control.

If you are a first-timer planning an international trip, these tips will definitely help. Beyond everything, you should prepare yourself mentally for the exciting journey. Be open to meeting new people, exploring new cultures, learning new languages, and relishing new cuisines. The more you are ready to absorb and enjoy everything that is new, the more pleasurable your trip will be. And don’t forget to take lots of pictures because your first international trip will also be the most memorable one!


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