Whenever you decide to travel abroad, there are many things you must keep in mind in order to ensure your safety. With all the information you need to know on everything from customs policies and import restrictions to travel abroad, this guide will give you all the important information you’ll need to know. If you follow these handy tips, you can be sure that your next trip abroad will be as safe and enjoyable as possible.
Plan Your First International Trip
Visiting the pyramids in Egypt or seeing elephants in Thailand have long been dreams of many people. Despite not knowing exactly where to go, you know it’s necessary to go. After getting a passport, you may find it difficult to decide where to go on your first international trip because there are so many incredible places to explore. It is important to decide whether you want to go on an adventure trip or normally on a vacation or business trip.
In order to narrow down a literal world of options, ask yourself the following questions:
- Where would you like to go? Would you like to stay nearby or go far away? When you’re just getting started as an international globetrotter, it’s okay to start close to home and venture out as you become more comfortable.
- Do you speak any other languages besides English? If you don’t speak the language, are you comfortable traveling there? I was completely overwhelmed by not being able to communicate in France, my first country without an English or Spanish-speaking population.
- Looking to make new friends and connect with locals? Taking a tour is a wonderful way to meet locals and meet other travelers it’s a great way to meet locals.
- What are you looking forward to the most? Do you enjoy beautiful structures and architecture, consuming delicious or unusual foods, relaxing on a beach, climbing a mountain, or just partying? If this is your first time overseas, it might be helpful to make a quick list of 1-2 things you find most appealing.
- Traveling to countries with different cultures and lifestyles? Does poverty, pollution, and crazy traffic make you uncomfortable? Feeling safe on your first visit to a country is no reason to be ashamed.
If you think about these questions and then decide which countries you would like to visit for your first international trip, you will, hopefully, be able to narrow down your options to just one or two countries, depending on the amount of time you have to spend abroad. For anyone who is still unsure of what to do in case they are heading on their first trip abroad, a good recommendation would be to travel to Western Europe or the United Kingdom. There are a lot of good transportation options (buses, trains, and airplanes), the majority of the population speaks English (even if it isn’t the national language), and there are many cultures and ethnicities to explore.
Maintain a Current Passport and Visa
U.S. passports must remain valid for six months after the date of return to most countries. No less than nine months before your passport expires, the State Department recommends renewing it.
Make sure your passport expires soon, and if it does, visit the United States State Department’s website to locate the nearest passport facility if your passport is due to expire soon.
The processing of a passport application typically takes 8 to 12 weeks. The expedited service is available for an extra fee if you need your passport faster than that. Your passport will arrive in four to six weeks if you choose this option. It can be accomplished more quickly with private expediting services, but they are much more expensive.
We do not have to worry about language barriers any longer thanks to Google Translate, but don’t rely too much on it – what if your network goes down? There is a risk of getting into some serious trouble if you say the wrong thing.
Learning the language doesn’t have to happen overnight, but you should at least attempt to learn some common phrases and words. By doing so, you will avoid being conned by anyone, and you will be able to make friends with the locals.
Secure Your House Before Travelling Abroad
You should ensure your home is secure before you travel abroad. If you’re not careful, your home could be an easy target for burglars. You have to secure your home not only indoors but also outside. For indoor security, one of the best methods is to have a security system installed. If you have a security system, make sure it’s armed before you leave. And for outdoor, One way to do this is to use a storage shed. You can keep your belongings safe in storage sheds while you’re away.
State Department Travel Registration
In case you plan to travel outside industrialized countries or to remote locations, you may wish to register online with the U.S. Department of State. U.S. government officials will be aware of your presence in the country in case of an emergency. If you specify the Department of State can share your travel information with third parties, and family and friends can locate you if necessary based on your travel information. It is free to register.
Prepare Your Wallet with Payment Methods
Call the issuers of the credit cards you plan to take with you shortly before you leave and let them know where you plan to go. The issuer may be suspicious of international activity, which could result in denying your credit card. Make sure to leave behind any credit cards you are not planning to use on your trip in order to reduce fraud risk.
In many countries, especially in developing countries, traveler checks are no longer universally accepted. Withdraw money using your bank card instead, which is available at even the most exotic locations. The keypad of some ATMs may not display our numeric PIN, or it may display the letters and numbers differently.
Make Sure you Pack Appropriately
Leave valuables at home unless you need them for your electronics. Jewelry that is expensive is often targeted by thieves who target tourists. If you are going on vacation with valuables, always keep them in your carry-on or hotel safe. It is a good idea to pack an extra pair of prescription glasses if you wear them. Each bag should be labeled with a closed baggage tag. In your luggage, you should put your name, address, and telephone number.
Make sure your luggage is always locked, and buy locks approved by the Transportation Security Administration. If your bags are locked, check if they can be sent on an in-country flight. To inspect your bag, the TSA may cut your locks if they cannot recognize them.
Bring Some Useful Technology
Overpacking is a common mistake. You will be able to travel much more easily abroad if you pack light. There will be less hassle getting on and off public transport, and you will be able to carry your luggage up a flight of stairs more easily. Be sure to adjust your packing accordingly based on how long you plan to be staying.
Don’t forget to pack enough clothes to last you the whole time you’ll be there (and remember to do laundry abroad) and consult the weather forecast for the country you’ll be visiting. A parka would be a big no-no in Bali. By not overpacking, you will have more room for important items, such as medicines and technology, as well as some space for souvenirs.