Exploring your home country and traveling abroad are wholly different things. Even if you’ve traveled much in your native country there’re countless places left to explore. It is even more fascinating and thrilling about taking a trip to the rest of the world. I’ve been traveling the globe full-time for nearly 5 years to almost 80 countries — and I’ve learned quite a lot along the way, including some top travel tips for first-time travelers.
Going somewhere completely new, different, and unknown place is endlessly exciting but can also be a little scary and confusing. But it doesn’t have to be I’ve created top questions to ask yourself when planning a trip. It works perfectly for any kind of trip and no matter how long you’re going for! Just answer these questions to yourself and you’ll be off in no time!
1. Do I Need A Passport And A Visa?
It’s essential to have a piece of knowledge about visa and passport requirements prior to booking flights.
Being a traveling consultant, I double-check my customers’ travel documents are in order but sometimes it’s too late. Also, changing or correcting names on tickets is nearly impossible or otherwise very costly. Even one wrong letter is enough to create huge dramas.
Obtaining a visa in this travelling era is easy. however, it is not always as easy as it might seem and you need to make sure you leave enough time before your trip in case of any hiccups. It is also a good idea to ensure that your passport is up to date as well before buying your flights.
2. Which Vaccinations Will I Need?
Some destinations don’t require vaccinations, while some places such as India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia will require you to take a trip to the doctor to get your essential vaccination shots.
If you planning to visit places which requires immunization against certain disease, it is good idea to get your vaccinations accordingly. You may have to get vaccinations for cholera, diphtheria, polio and tetanus booster, tuberculosis, hepatitis A, combined hepatitis A and B, and typhoid. You can find a full list of destinations that require vaccinations online on the official website of NHS, along with the injections you’ll need as well as their cost.
I suggest you seek your doctor’s advice a minimum of eight weeks before you travel. It is important to discuss with your doctor how your vaccinations will affect any other medications you may be taking.
3. What Payment Methods Can I Use?
This is the most ignored yet most important question to ask yourself while planning a trip abroad. To make your holidays cheap you should always check your spending. I believe in cheap holidays, however, I don’t believe in cutting the spending on essential things but things like currency exchange rates, luggage charges, flight tickets as well as hotel bookings.
I prefer to use a credit card for purchases when possible and using ATM to get local currency when I need cash to pay for things in foreign destinations. By using this method, you will have to pay little for currency exchange compared to that in exchange facilities on an airport or at bank teller windows.
This is because when you use credit cards or ATMs you pay wholesale currency exchange rates rather than quite expensive retail one at other currency exchange facilities.
Make sure to inform your card issuers before a trip abroad. It is because sometimes unusual transactions trigger a fraud alert that will freeze your account.
If you’re planning to explore some exotic destinations which aren’t so popular, I advise you to do your homework ahead of time whether it’s possible to use credit cards or ATMs there.
4. What Are The Essentials For A Light Travel?
No matter whether you’re traveling abroad or in your home country, avoid packing the day before your trip. Instead, make a packing list and think about what you need to bring, at least a week prior to your trip.
Start with selecting the Right Bag. When it comes to packing, people tend to stuff the entire space they have. The most effective way to pack less is to give yourself less space. When you choose to travel in a carry-on sized bag, you will be able pack more efficiently and traveling lighter.
When you go for light travelling, remember it requires sacrifices. You can’t bring outfits for every possible situation. Bring the clothes based on what you wear on the average day.
I prefer to Pack with the Pareto’s 80/20 Principle, in mind.According to this Principle, you have to choose and pack 20% of things in a manner that account 80% of what you wear. Bring clothes that you wear the most at home. Those clothes are more than enough cover around 80% of the situations you will encounter on the road.
5. Who Should I Contact In Case Of An Accident?
If you get sick or suffer an injury in a foreign destinations, knowledge of what steps to take might help to alleviate your stress and worry. In such a scenario you should contact local emergency number of the country you are in.
Call 112 or 911, in most countries these numbers are allotted to the emergency services.
If any country has a specific emergency number other than these, almost all SIM cards and mobile phone operators will automatically divert emergency calls from 999, 112 or 911 straight to the relevant authorities.
it is a good idea to research about emergency contact list of the country you’re going to visit and save it in your phone’s contacts book before you arrive.
If you suffer an injury or get hospitalized, make sure to notify the nearest embassy as soon as possible.
Go on your most awaited trip and have fun! Head to the airport, board your plane (don’t forget your passport and other travel documents!), and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve worked really hard to get here. If you’re feeling a little bit nervous, don’t worry – that’s perfectly normal! You’re about to board on an amazing adventure.