Traveling around the world is one of the most exciting, adventurous and educating things you can do for yourself. As you learn more about the world and its people, you often discover more about yourself. If you’ve never taken an international trip, though, you may be wondering what you may need for your journey.
It’s certainly easier to travel from state to state in the US than it is to take an international trip, but don’t let that stop you. It’s not that difficult to prepare for a trip abroad, you just need a little prep work and a few essentials to get you started.
Taking time to know what you need before you jet off will help make your trip more enjoyable. Just follow our list of six things you need to do before your international trip to help get you started:
Update Your Documents
Passport and other legal documents are a must. Once you decide which country you are traveling to find out whether you need a visa to enter its borders. If you do, arrange to get one before you leave.
For safety reasons leave a copy of your visa, passport and other relevant documents with a trusted family member or friend. This can prevent and reduce complications abroad if your documents get lost or stolen.
Learn About Your Destination
Before traveling to any country you should find out some basic facts about it. Even if you have lots of information you still may suffer from culture shock. If you are aware of the local customs and culture then adapting and reacting appropriately will be easier and more comfortable for you.
Read up on the culture. Learn a few of the basic words and pleasantries. Find out about laws and customs. You should easily be able to find the bulk of this information online. A great resource to begin with is https://www.usa.gov/americans-abroad
Schedule A Wellness Check-Up
If you’re going to a third world country you may require an immunization update. Check with the travel agent as they should be able to advise you if you require any shots before you embark on your travels.
Developed countries probably won’t require immunization but the less developed ones are likely to.
It’s also a great idea to check in with your doctor for a wellness overview and to obtain adequate prescription refills to cover the length of your trip.
Consider Purchasing Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is an important consideration when are traveling internationally. Things happen when you least expect it and while it’s unlikely that you will need to use your travel insurance it’s generally better to have it than not to have it.
If something happens medical costs and costs of return flights can be significant. Take the original travel insurance documents with you and keep a copy at home.
Analyze Your Tech
Contact your cell phone company to check on their rates for international service. Find out when you need to activate the service and the best phone number to contact them if you experience any problems with service while traveling. There are also pre-paid calling plans available. Be sure to explore all your options.
You’ll want great photos from your trip but may not want to lug around an expensive case of camera equipment. A good small digital camera will generally suffice for your international journey. You want something that’s light and easy to carry regardless of whether you’re scouring the streets, checking out a local market or hiking in the Alps.
Don’t take more tech than you need. Kindles are wonderful devices to have, but outside of reading on the plane, will you really use it during your travels. On the other hand, earbuds or headphones may be something you use more regularly and they are fairly compact, making them easy to carry with you.
Remember to have fun. Traveling is meant to be an adventure, so be prepared to be out of your comfort zone. Hotel rooms are often smaller, customs vary and you may encounter extremely crowded venues.
Again, try to research the area you are visiting and pay attention to comments from other travels. Chat with someone you know who has visited the country you are going to. Keep an open mind and be willing to learn as much as you can, that way your international travels will be more worthwhile.