10 Tips for Your First Trip: International
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!!!
1. Check Your Passport
Many countries require 6 months validity from time of arrival. So if you plan on travelling in March, your passport needs to be valid until at least September. If not, you may want to consider renewing prior to your trip.
2. Bring Copies of all ID’s
If you lose your passport or it gets stolen and you have no other proof of ID, you my friend, will be short! You need to be able to prove citizenship when crossing borders.
*I recommend storing an electronic copy of your ID and passport in your email somewhere*
3. Check VISA requirements
Many countries require a visa of some sort to enter their country. Be sure to google the VISA quick check through CIBT. All requirements will be listed and information will be provided to help you obtain the information you need for your destination.
4. Register with your Embassy
Registering with the local consulate gives you extra security in case of lost or stolen identity and weather emergencies. This is also a great tip for solo travel!
5. Exchange Money in Advance
It is a lot easier and cheaper to convert money at your local bank rather than the sky high airport rates or waiting until you get to your destination. Be sure to bring some cash in local currency to the country you’re visiting just in case the trains, buses, taxis, restaurants don’t take cards.
6. Contact your Debit/Credit Card Provider
A lot of banks will block your card as a security measure if it randomly begins making transactions in a foreign country that you are not from. This helps prevent fraud and identity theft. Be sure to give them a call in advance and let them know you will be out of town! Nobody likes that embarrassing feeling when you're holding up the line because your card doesn't work. "I might be broke but not today Devil"
7. Buy Tours/Attractions in Advance
To ensure you have access to everything you want to see and do, you should buy your tickets to shows and tours online, in advance. This helps you skip long lines, find great deals and understand the offering in your own language. Note: there are a few attractions that you can negotiate, in which case, it may be cheaper to wait until you reach your destination.
8. Research Local Cuisine
Know what food/dish is the staple food of your destination. You’ll want to experience what the country is known for. For example, you can’t go to Asia and not have a rice dish, just like you can’t go to Jamaica and not have plantains or Maryland and not try crabs. The best way to experience a culture is to eat your way through it.
9. Pack Clothes in Your Carry-On
If you are not a part of the carry-on only gang, you will want to be sure you pack an extra pair of clothes in your carry-on/personal item. There have been too many cases where bags get lost and people are forced to buy a $100 outfit or be stuck in the same underwear and clothes for 2-3 days. No ma'am/sir, don’t let that be you, I will laugh. I warned you!
10. Know the Basic Language
You should learn how to count 1 thru 10, say hi, goodbye, yes, no, please and thank you. A lot of people think a few head nods and hand gestures will do the job but you will get a rude awakening in some countries. Remember, not everything has the same meaning everywhere.
These are just a few essential tips to help you have a worry free first time international traveling experience. You will likely learn more along the way but these starters should get you right! If all fails, prepare to beg for money on the street and wash your draws in the sink 🤣
Good Luck and Have a Blast!! 😊