Did you know that there are 1.4 billion tourist arrivals each year globally?
It’s never been easier to book a flight and jet off to a new destination. However, while most of us are accustomed to domestic travel, international travel is a bit more of a challenge.
If you’re planning your next big adventure abroad, you might be wondering the best way to prepare. Is it really as daunting as it appears?
Don’t worry—it’s less intimidating than it seems! Keep reading below for 5 tips on how to prepare for international travel!
- Pack Smart
Everyone’s heard horror stories of people losing their luggage during international travel. The simplest way to avoid this is by only taking carry-ons. In fact, some international flights don’t even allow checked baggage.
This means you should pack smart. When traveling domestically, it’s easy to overpack. When traveling internationally, you should only pack necessities.
Find out which necessities you can buy when you arrive, such as shampoo and toothpaste. If you’re still struggling to pack light, packing cubes can save you space—just be mindful that they can make luggage quite heavy.
- How to Prepare for International Travel Through Documentation: Passports and Visas
Perhaps the most crucial step when it comes to how to prepare for international travel is securing a passport and any necessary visas.
It can take several weeks for a passport application to be processed, so you should plan on obtaining a passport several months before traveling to be safe.
Many countries also require visas upon entry. Some offer student visas, work visas, etc. It’s important to research your destination’s visa requirements depending on your purpose for traveling.
- Secure Your Finances
When traveling internationally, you should always inform your bank of the dates you’ll be away. Otherwise, if they see transactions taking place in another country, they’ll suspect your credit card has been stolen and freeze your account.
Additionally, find out where you can get the best currency exchange rate, and swap some of your cash for the local fare. It’s best to have both a card and cash on you since some vendors only accept one or the other. If you choose to take out money internationally, be aware that ATM fees can be pricey.
- Traveling Safely: Insurance and Checkups
If you’re going on an extensive trip, it may be worth your while to invest in travel insurance. If you want to avoid travel insurance, consult with your health insurance provider to ensure they will cover any potential international medical expenses.
Before you take off, it’s wise to set up an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor can fill you in on any precautions you should take before you travel, such as receiving necessary vaccinations.
If you take prescription medication, your doctor will also be able to refill your prescription to ensure you have enough to get you through your trip.
- Research Your Destination
Take some time to research the area where you’ll be traveling. Having at least a small grasp on the culture will help you feel more comfortable when you arrive.
If you’re going somewhere where the primary language isn’t English, learn at least a few basic phrases to help you get around. And, speaking of getting around, learn the best ways to navigate the city before you arrive.
Read up on the hotels or tourist hubs you plan to visit along the way. Whether you’re taking a religious trip and are searching for Umrah services or are traveling for leisure, a bit of research can help you find the safest hotels for the best prices.
Enjoy Your Travels
Figuring out how to prepare for international travel might seem a bit overwhelming, but you’ll quickly become an old hand with enough practice! The tips above will give you a head start as you prepare for your first trip abroad.
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