There’s almost nothing as exciting as international travel. You get to see foreign landscapes, observe different cultures, and meet all kinds of people who you never knew existed. Of course, planning for such an experience can be kind of daunting. You don’t want to pack too much and be weighed down, but you also don’t want to be unprepared. So, let’s break it down a bit. Here are five tips when planning your first international trip.
- Make sure that you have your passport on the ready – if you don’t have your passport ready, you won’t be able to travel internationally. If you don’t have a passport at all, make sure you send in your application at least 2 months prior to your trip. If your trip is already less than 2 months away, you can pay for expedited service, but it will cost you a hefty fee.
- Make sure that you have a hotel booked – the last thing you want is to be looking for a hotel when you get to your destination. For instance, there are a lot of hotels in Seoul, so you don’t want to be stuck reading signs that you can’t understand. Booking a hotel room in advance will also be much more affordable. You can usually save up to 50% on your nightly rate by booking 3-6 months in advance.
- Make sure that you have a visa – in some countries, you may need a visa. This is especially the case if you are going to be working. In most countries, an automatic 3-month visitors visa is issued – well it’s not issued really, but the time between having your passport stamped at arrival, and having your passport stamped upon return should not exceed 3 months. So, be sure you know how long you can legally stay before you book your flights.
- Make sure that you have all the right items packed – ideally, you want to do your research on the weather and the type of climate you will be entering. Chances are, you can always buy extra clothes once you get there, but unless lots of shopping was on your list of travel plans, you might spend a lot of your time looking for clothes that you can feel comfortable in. You can avoid all that stress by simply making a list of items to pack based on the weather and the activities you plan to engage in while abroad.
- Make sure that you brush up on some of the key phrases of the language that is spoken – if you don’t know some conversational words, it will be hard to fit in. Not only that, but if you get lost somewhere, you want to be able to ask for directions, ask for the bathroom, or find your way to the train station. If you bring a little pocket guide with you, you may find that it will get you out of a jam more than once.