Things to keep in mind for the First Time Traveller to International Destination!
Traveling abroad is exciting feeling but at the same time it is nerving. Multiple thoughts go through the mind as to how to manage traveling and other various things related to the trip.
Here is list of Things to keep in mind for the first time traveller to international destination.
Often to make our passport in the excitement of travelling but we fail to use it many times. In such scenario, we forget to keep in mind the expiry date of the passport and make plans. It is important to know that you can not travel to any country if your passport is expiring in next 6 months. Ensure that you are well aware about expiry date on your passport / visa before making any travel plans.
Make copies of Passport & Booking Documents
As a first time traveller to international destination, you want to ensure that all documents related to traveling like copy of passport, booking vouchers, flight details etc are available with you either as hard copy or soft copy.
We opt for carrying currency of the country we are traveling to but apart from that you can also look at taking currency cards. Incase you are carrying credit card or debit card, ensure that international transaction is enabled. Most important thing to keep in mind while traveling abroad is to limit your credit card limit as security.
At the time of Immigration verification, be ready with your itinerary and hotel name as they might ask you about your travel plans. Especially in Europe and USA, Immigration officer will ask you few questions as part of their process. Don’t be scared, just know your trip details.
Planning & Booking
Unless you are traveling with a group, prepare an itinerary of your trip and things to do. While booking, book around 80% of your plans and keep 20% unplanned to explore on your own or move around freely. It’s always better to explore the city on your own at times without a fixed plan in place.
Read about the place
Wherever you are traveling, spend some time reading about the destination, understand the culture, language and type of food available for you to explore while traveling. It is good to learn new things about the place and get a chance to explore it when you are there!
As first time traveller to international destination, airport transfer will be first thing you will be doing as you land in unknown territory. It is always better to have that arranged for the first trip for smooth first experience. Later, you can look at various other options as you matured as traveller.
Safety of your belongings
As a first time traveller, keep a check on your belongings whenever you are traveling as many places especially in Europe, theft happens and you don’t want to be in a situation where you are left with nothing in an unknown country.
If your trip involves staying in different hotels, then spend sometime organising your luggage and day pack. Pack luggage in such way that you don’t open all the bags in all locations and pack again. You might end up losing stuff during re-pack. I divide my clothes and keep toiletries in a bag so I don’t open all the bags everyday. Also it is important to know what to carry in check-in luggage and carry-on luggage. Things like power bank, laptop etc needs to be carried with you as carry-on luggage.
Weather & Local News
Keep yourself updated with weather condition about the places you are visiting so you can pack clothes accordingly. It is always better to check local news for any current happening in the country/cities.
Apps in Mobile
Before your trip, download important apps like Google Translator, Google map, guide, local taxi application of the country. Configure those apps before leaving to avoid last minute hassle.
It is very important to be well aware of your jet lag especially for a long distance travel. Keep note about the time of your arrival and time differences based on that you plan your day of recovery. Try to recover on first day for smoother trip ahead.
I generally opt for local sim card rather than international roaming as those generally are cheaper and has better network. The international roaming plans on some network in India are very expensive whereas as service provided by local sim turns out to be cost effective. Most countries allow you to purchase SIM card on your passport and are easily available at the airport. With FaceTime and WhatsApp calling, opting for data plans is the best!
We don’t pay attention to return flight and end up purchasing cheaper tickets with either 2 stops or longest layover or weird arrival time. For happy experience till the end of the trip, book most convenient flight back home to reduce travel time and arrive on feasible time to relax before resuming work
We are spoiled by having option to save numbers on phone instead of remembering it. Note down important phone numbers on paper and keep copies in case you loose your mobile phone. We don’t want to be in a situation where we lose phone and don’t remember any numbers to call anyone for help!
Little things matter and making list of some important stuff is important for those traveling for the first time to unknown country. This blog was to help you have the best first time traveller experience and make most of your first international trip.
Let me know in the comment section your experience of first time traveller to international destination.