Are you planning an international trip? It can be very stressful if it’s your first time leaving the country. You’ll need to make sure that you have everything you need so that you can enjoy your time abroad.
However, deciding what to do before your trip can be challenging. Luckily for you, we put together this helpful guide. Make sure to keep reading to learn more about what preparations you should make. Let’s begin!
1. Prepare Documentation
Before booking your flight, you must have all the correct documents. First, check that your passport is current. If it isn’t, you’ll need to update it, or you won’t be allowed to leave the country. You should be able to update or replace it.
Your passport will also need to have enough space for visa stamps. You’ll want to ensure that the place you’re visiting will have enough room since every country uses different stamps. While most countries use stamps that take up ¼ the page of a passport, some use larger ones that take up about half the space.
Of course, since this is your first time traveling out of the country, you’ll have plenty of open pages to use. But, it’s essential to consider for the future.
After checking on your passport situation, you’ll need to make sure you have the correct visas for the country you’re visiting. Some places give you one when you arrive, while others require one before you land. So, you’ll need to do some planning.
Preparing your documents in advance will save you a lot of stress later, so don’t put it off.
2. Pack the Essentials
You’ll need to make sure that you bring everything you’ll need with you. While there are some things you can get during your trip, there’s a lot that you’ll want to already have on hand.
Here are the essentials to remember:
- Your documents, including your visa and passport
- A day bag
- A universal travel adaptor
- A reusable water bottle
- Any medications you take
- Debit and/or credit cards
- Travel insurance
- Ear plugs
- Comfortable shoes
- Comfortable clothing
- One nice outfit
- Locks for your luggage
3. Talk To Your Bank
Next, you’ll want to make sure that you talk with your bank or credit card issuer before the day of your trip. It’s common for financial institutions to shut down cards that make transactions out of the country. While it’s a good protection feature, it will be frustrating when traveling abroad.
Simply call your credit card company or bank in advance and let them know when you plan on leaving and where you’re going. Doing so will prevent them from locking you out of your accounts during your trip.
4. Book Well in Advance
It’s also a great idea to book your trip months ahead. If you do, you’ll get the best ticket prices on your flight. You’ll need to know where to look to get the best deals.
Always plan your flight first. You can pick the cheapest flights, then schedule the rest of your trip around them. It’s a simple hack that can save you hundreds of dollars.
When you plan your trip first, you’ll need to be there on specific dates. If there aren’t many flights, you could spend way more money than you need to.
5. Get Good Traveler’s Insurance
Next, you’ll need to ensure you have good traveler’s insurance. Anything can happen when you’re abroad, so you’ll need to be prepared.
Traveler’s insurance, sometimes called kidnap and ransom insurance, covers expenses from kidnapping, which can happen when traveling abroad. It also protects you from extortion, making it essential for your first-time international trip.
Overall, you’ll want to consider getting good insurance before you leave the country.
6. Check for Travel Warnings and Advisories
Before planning your trip, you’ll need to know if there are any travel warnings or health advisories for the country you’re going to. The U.S. government will sometimes issue these warnings where it could be risky for its citizens to go.
If a country has a warning like this, your travel insurance will likely not cover your expenses. So, it’s essential to know before booking.
The U.S. Department of State offers a website listing all its travel advisories. It’s constantly updating, so you’ll want to check on it often when planning to travel abroad.
There are four different levels of advisories on the site. They go from number one to four, with each recommending that you take more caution.
Level 1 is the most common, meaning you can practice simple safety. There’s an average amount of risk in traveling to that country. If you see a Level 4, you should not travel there. There are life-threatening risks, and you’d be in great danger. The government also doesn’t have much ability to provide you with assistance should something happen to you.
In short, you’ll want to consider any travel warnings and advisories the U.S. government puts out.
7. Register Your International Trip
Registering your trip with the State Department is also a good idea. Once you have everything booked and know when you’ll travel, you can visit the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program’s website (STEP). The program is free and can offer you more protection during your travels.
Once you enter information about your trip, the government will have it in case of an emergency. They’ll know where you were planning on being and when allowing them to better offer you assistance if you need it.
Registering before leaving the country is always good because it can help you protect yourself when traveling abroad. The site also allows you to subscribe to their email updates which feature information on travel advisories.
Plan Ahead for Your International Trip
As long as you take the time to plan ahead for your international trip, you’ll have a good time! It’s stressful to put everything off until the last minute. So, ensure you have all your documents, insurance, and payment details ready. Plus, you’ll want to pack and book your trip in advance.
We’re sure you’ll have a nice trip abroad if you can do that.