Are you planning your first international trip?
Your excitement is absolutely justified and you must be experiencing those pre-trip jitters as well. To be honest, no matter how much you've explored your home country, the first foreign trip is always special - it's all about landing up in a new destination where people speak different languages, eat different food, have a completely different way of life apart from other things.
As you start planning your first international trip, there are certain things that you must know in order to avoid confusion later as well as to have a great experience abroad. In this article, we shall discuss some of the essential things that every first-time international traveler should know.
Essential Things Every First Time International Traveler Should Know
Decide Where You Want to Go
Choosing the destination wisely is an important part because the entire experience will be shaped by where you choose to go. If it's a solo trip, then it's better to head towards a land where people can speak/understand English. Do proper research before you fix your plan, know about the places that you can explore and how you'll travel within the country. If you are planning a trip with your friends, then ensure that you get to see places of your interest as well.
For example, if you are a mountain lover traveling to Thailand, then places in the northern part of the country will be preferable for you than the south. So, make your decisions wisely.
Book Your Tickets
There's a catch in booking tickets - while flight tickets would be cheaper in case you book early, hotels are usually more price-friendly if booked closer to the staying dates. So, make sure to get your flight tickets as soon as you decide where you want to go - compare flight prices on Skyscanner.
If you want to keep the accommodation costs lower, then it's better to choose homestays/couchsurfing options or backpacker's hostels that are found almost everywhere in the world. If you are traveling with a group, then you can choose Airbnb to book your accommodation.
Make a List of Things That You Have to Pack
Before you start packing your luggage, make a list of the things that are essential for your trip. The priorities in the list should be your passport, air tickets, travel insurance documents and visa, as well as medical documents that you require. Make photocopies of the passport and other important documents, and leave a copy back at home.
Next in the list should be the clothes, shoes, and accessories that you'll carry. Check the weather of your destination and pack clothes accordingly. Don't carry too much, because no one knows you in that distant land and no one will be there to judge you! Pack comfortable shoes and slippers. If you are in doubt about something, don't pack it, because you won't need it!
Then comes toiletries and cosmetics - if you are planning to travel to any beachside destination or a place with tropical climate, don't forget your sunscreen lotion. Keep wet wipes handy, so that you can wipe the sweat off your face. On the contrary, if you a traveling to any place having a colder climate, don't miss your moisturizer and chapsticks. Pack a small medical kit with all essential medicines that you might need in an emergency.
Prepare Yourself for the Adventure
Whether you are going solo or with a group, your first trip abroad will be nothing less than an adventure in itself. You'll learn to instantly act in situations and understand the fact that not everything is in your control. Try the local cuisine and know what kind of food the people eat there. Try and interact with the locals as much as you can - they can give you the best travel advice to explore their homeland. Take the local transport as it'll help you to save money.
Try to pick up a few words in the local language. Don’t judge things you see that are different to back home. Instead, think about how interesting they are. Read a few blogs on the internet about the Do’s and Don'ts and try to follow those - you'll be safe from offending anyone. Explore thoroughly, because you never know if ever you'll return back to this place or not.
Remember That Your Safety Majorly Depends on Your Actions
When you are traveling for sightseeing or elsewhere within the country, you don't need to carry all your important documents as well as expensive things like laptop etc. Leave them at your accommodation. Keep your wallet safely in your bag while traveling in local transport, Avoid going out alone in the night. If you feel a stranger is behaving weirdly with you, then try to avoid him/her or inform someone. Always keep the card of your accommodation/hotel with you for any emergency. Don’t drink with strangers.
Make Your Journey Meaningful By Joining A Volunteering Program
Have you ever wondered how wonderful it can be if your first trip abroad is for volunteering? Several organizations provide amazing and affordable volunteering opportunities in different parts of the world. If you are planning to travel solo, then there can be nothing more exciting than being a part of a project - as it'll give you a chance to make friends with people from other countries and also to help the host community in the most meaningful manner.
This journey will be a life changing experience for you - as you'll get to do things that are out of your comfort zone. The first international journey will always remain special for you, no matter how much you travel later. The experiences you'll gather and the memories you'll make will last for a lifetime.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started and choose where you wish to go...