Traveling is an amazing experience, and it’s only getting easier and more popular each year. However, for first-time travellers, there can be a lot of uncertainty about what to do and how to prepare.
In this post, we’ll give you 10 tips to help you have a smooth and fun experience while traveling abroad for the first time.
1. Do Your Research
It’s important to do your research before traveling abroad for the first time. Knowing the basics about your destination—like what the currency is, what the climate is like, and what the customs are—will help you feel more prepared and less anxious about your trip.
You should also research what to expect when you arrive in your destination country. For example, if you’re visiting a country that speaks a foreign language, it might be helpful to learn a few basic phrases ahead of time.
In addition, if you’re traveling to a developed country, be aware that there may be certain things that are different from what you’re used to at home (e.g., poorer infrastructure, fewer safety precautions). Also, research that the lodge or place you’ll be staying comply with all the latest hospitality industry trends.
By taking the time to do your research, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your trip more!
2. Make a Packing List
Making a packing list is the key to not forgetting anything while traveling abroad. When you’re packing for the first time, it can be tricky to know what to bring with you. But by creating a list, you can make sure that you have everything you need without overpacking.
To start, think about the climate and weather of your destination. If you’re going to a hot country, you’ll need to pack lightweight clothes that won’t make you too sweaty. If you’re going somewhere cold, make sure to pack a warm coat and some thick layers.
In addition, you may need equipment depending on your activities. If you’re going hiking or camping, for example, make sure to pack your camping gear. And if you’re going on a beach holiday, don’t forget your swimsuit and sunscreen!
By taking the time to make a packing list, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your trip knowing that you have everything you need.
3. Make Copies of Important Documents
When you’re getting ready for your first big trip abroad, don’t forget to make copies of important documents like your passport and driver’s license. That way, if you lose them or they get stolen, you’ll still have a backup.
You might also want to scan your important documents and save them to a secure cloud-based storage account or email them to yourself. That way, you’ll always have them handy if you need them.
4. Get Travel Insurance
It’s important to have travel insurance, especially when traveling abroad for the first time. If something happens while you’re away—an injury, flight cancelation, lost luggage, etc.—travel insurance will help to cover the costs.
There are a variety of travel insurance plans available, so be sure to do your research and find one that fits your needs. Some policies even offer medical evacuation coverage, which can be a lifesaver if you need to be flown back to your home country for treatment.
5. Get Your Vaccinations
One of the most important things to do before traveling abroad is to make sure you’re up-to-date on your vaccinations. In certain countries, you may have to get vaccinated against diseases like yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A and B.
Make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic well in advance of your trip to make sure you have enough time to complete all the necessary vaccinations.
6. Learn Some Key Phrases in the Local Language
One of the best ways to make your trip a success is to learn some key phrases in the local language. This will show the locals that you’re making an effort and help you to get by when you’re not able to speak their language.
Some basic phrases that you should learn include hello, goodbye, please, thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry, and numbers 1-10. You can find a list of useful phrases for over 100 different languages on Google Translate.
7. Pack Light
When you’re packing for your first international trip, the temptation can be to throw in everything and the kitchen sink. But remember, you’ll need to carry your luggage around with you during your trip, so it’s important to pack light. Check out these tips for packing light:
- Stick to versatile essentials that can be worn multiple ways. For example, a dressed-up t-shirt can also be worn as a nightshirt, and a pair of sandals can also be worn as shoes for a more formal occasion.
- Choose clothes that are wrinkle-resistant and don’t require dry-cleaning. This will help to reduce the number of clothes you need to pack, and also save on packing space.
- Bring along a foldable bag to store any extra clothes or items that you might not need on your trip. This will come in handy if you do end up packing too many things!
8. Bring a Power Strip
One thing that you may not think to bring with you when traveling abroad is a power strip. But trust us, this little gadget will come in handy!
Not only will it allow you to charge your laptop, smartphone, and all the other electronic gadgets at once, but it can also be a lifesaver when you’re trying to sleep in a noisy hostel or shared room.
To make sure your power strip is TSA-approved, look for models that have a detachable cord. That way, you can leave the cord at home and just bring the actual power strip with you on your travels.
9. Stay Connected
Traveling abroad can be challenging, especially if it’s your first time. If you’re not used to traveling abroad, make sure to stay in contact with your family and friends.
Make sure you have a way to keep in touch, whether that’s through social media, messaging apps, or old-fashioned emails and phone calls. This will help you feel more at ease and connected to your loved ones back home.
10. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When traveling abroad, it is important to keep an eye on your surroundings. Keep your belongings close to you and be cautious when walking around unfamiliar areas. It’s also a good idea to research your destination before you go, so you have an idea of what to expect.
11. Have Fun!
So, you’re all packed and ready to go! But before you head out the door, make sure to take some time to enjoy your trip. Experiencing new things, making new friends, and learning about other cultures is one of the greatest benefits of traveling. So have fun, explore and savor every moment!
You’ve chosen your destination and you’re packed and ready to go–almost. There are a few final things to take care of before you leave, like making sure you have all the documents you need and aren’t packing anything illegal.