Traveling Internationally: 15 Tips And Tricks For First Time Travelers

by Contributor
by Contributor 2023

No doubt, overseas travel is exciting, but at the same time, it involves a significant amount of preparation too. There is an important to-do list that stands between you and your favorite trip destination. The first and the most important step while planning a trip abroad is establishing your budget. Once the budget is sorted, you pick the place you desire to visit. However, that’s not all! A lot more needs to be sorted for that ‘dreamy’ international vacation.

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your first overseas vacation.

1. Check Your Passport

This is the first thing you need to do if you want to plan an overseas trip. After all, you’re not going to be able to go anywhere without it. Check your passport for expiry date, as many countries require your passport to be valid for six month beyond your stay. So, its better to get your passport renewed in case its too close to the deadline.

 2. Select Your Destination

The first step of planning an international trip is choosing the best travel destination that excites you and meets your travel budget. The primary motive of taking a trip is to get away from the hectic daily routine and spend some time relaxing and having fun. However, city breaks can also be perfect if you wish to explore a new place. Make reservations in advance, book tickets for tourist attractions, plan day trips, rent a car if needed and lastly make sure you carry printed copies of all the bookings. It will just make life so much easier, especially if you’ve paid for something upfront.

3. Know The Visa Requirements

You should be aware of the visa entry requirements of the destination where you are planning to visit. Don’t leave this as the last-minute task because each nationality and country will be different. For this reason, it can also take some time to get the visa.

4. Time Management

If you have taken just 1-2 weeks off from your work, then you need not spend a lot of time traveling and need to plan your trip accordingly. In contrast, if you have 2-4 weeks or a whole month for your vacation, then you can move to some of the best places on the earth and spend mesmerizing time. So, plan your destination depending on the number of days you can afford to take off.

5. Traveling Companions

This one’s extremely important because your travel companion can make or break you whole trip. Ask around and pick the best travel companion. Or even better, travel solo! Sometimes it’s perfectly alright to crave for some me-time away from all the worldly chaos. Solo travel makes sense, whether you’re employed, married or full of social commitments. And in case you’re planning a solo trip to the Middle East, here an Ultimate Solo Traveler’s Guide To Dubai. 

6. Check The Weather For Your Destination

This might seem too easy and obvious, but this is something we all over-see. Crows and weather also play an essential role in your trio. Make sure you have checked the season of the place you are traveling. Make a note of the high and low temepratures, humidity levels etc, so you can plan your packing accordingly.

7. Book Flights

After choosing your destination, book your tickets. All international destinations come with a hefty price tag. So, ensure you book in advance. You can opt for cheap flights or fly premium if your budget permits. Once you select the flight, book immediately as the airfare can surge in minutes.

8. Book Accommodation

 If you are traveling with kids then choosing the most comfortable accommodation should be your priority. For a shorter stay, you can choose the best hotels as well as take advice from agents that offer sustainable tourism. However, if you are going for an extended period then staying in an Airbnb will help you save better.

9. Transportation 

Another critical thing to consider traveling to a foreign country is finding transportation options. If you’re going to be driving, getting an International Drivers Permit (IDP) must be the first thing on your checklist. Once this is sorted, check car rentals and block or book a car as per your convenience. Bus and taxi services in foreign countries are excellent as well:

  1. Taxi: If you find the road to the place you are traveling to quite confusing, then it’s better to take the taxi service. Many countries of the world have clean, safe and new taxis and charge reasonable rates.
  2. Bus: Bus network is an impressive way to travel to your desired places. The bus trip is comfortable if you get a proper seat, The only downside of traveling on the bus is that they move slowly and some of the stops are quite confusing to find.

10. Top Attractions 

When you plan a trip, the first thing every traveler which you will be curious about is the must-visit places of that destination. Planning in advance is essential, especially if you are visiting a destination during its peak season. It’s advisable to make a list of:

  • Day Trips
  • City Tours
  • Free Things to Enjoy
  • Playgrounds and Parks

11. Places To Eat And Drink

Isn’t this one of the most important and exciting part of traveling? You can learn a lot about a destination by through the cuisine it offers. So make sure you do a thorough research of the family-friendly places to eat that are under your budget, coffee shops, street food, bars, picnic spots, famous local dishes, and anything else that the place is particularly famous for. This will not only help in savouring the best delicacies, but will also help plan your expenses.

12. Accessing The Money

 All we desire to have while traveling is convenience and ease. In a like fashion, we want easy access to money, in a reduced transaction fee. The more money in cash we have with us, the more we spend it. International transaction fees can be a big headache when using the wrong credit cards.

1. Debit Cards: Debit cards perform well as compared to the credit cards on overseas trips. Debit cards have a Visa or MasterCard logo. This way you can use them at the places where the Visa or MasterCard is accepted. There is also one more benefit of the debit cards that you need not fear of overspending.

2. Credit Card: A credit card is needed to book flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. The benefit of using a credit card is that it provides some security and insurance for you.

 13. Travel Insurance

Don’t take the risk of going on an overseas trip without travel insurance. Anything can go wrong, and if it happens, then you can be in for a lot of inconveniences.

Travel insurance covers the unexpected medical emergencies such as the damaged or lost luggage, trip cancellation and other related losses that occur while traveling. For example; if you are traveling to Dubai and opted to experience Jet Ski or Dirt Bike riding, then you must consider having travel insurance because these adventures come with unavoidable risks/accidents or damage of gear under any circumstances.

There are various travel insurance depending on the plan, the size of your deductible and the insurance company you are going to purchase with. Other essential things that you need to consider when buying travel insurance are:

  • Extent of coverage
  • Payout time
  • Available upgrades
  • The exclusions

14. Pack Smart

The most stressful job while planning to travel overseas is packing. The best thing you can do is to pack the bare minimum. Encourage your family to pack their stuff to avoid the complaints and to teach your kids travel planning skills. Also, check the weather in the place you are traveling to and carry clothes accordingly.

15. Get Immunized

Depending on where you’re traveling, it is important to get booster shots for vaccines. It might be a good idea to take help from a doctor or a pharmacy that deals with travel vaccines so that you are well aware of all the necessary vaccinations before hand.

This article is by Curly Tales contributor Charles Hughes