Tips for Traveling Internationally for the First Time
September 23, 2018
If you have never traveled outside of the US before the prospect can be exciting and a little scary. Seasoned travelers will tell you it is easy but when you are doing something that is new and unknown, you might appreciate a little help.
The first thing you must do before leaving the country is apply for your passport. The U.S. Passport Help Guide explains all you need to know about this, and you must follow the instructions if you want to get one without any hassle. It is not a bad idea to keep copies of your passport in a different place when you are traveling, in case the original gets lost or stolen. You could also keep an electronic copy on your smartphone.
It depends which country you are traveling to if you will need a Visa, but they are usually easy to get online. If you have no criminal record, a visa is unlikely to be refused. They normally last for much longer than a vacation time, 6 months or more is the norm. Some countries do have entrance and exit fees and you will be charged these at the airport - they usually range between $25 and $200.
Make Contact With Your Card Providers
You need to contact your card providers a couple of weeks before you leave, If you do not let them know the dates you will be out of the US and the country you are going to, your cards could be blocked the first time you use any of them.
You also need to check that the cards you have will work in your destination country, as not all of them can be used worldwide.
Don’t change any money at the airport, as these places often give a bad conversion rate and tend to be expensive.
There are some countries where using cards to pay is more unusual, and there are businesses that will only accept cash. You need to make sure you have local currency on you, even if it is only a small amount.
It is worth researching the location you are visiting. Finding out about local customs can be a huge help. You can also see reviews online regarding the different attractions, and if your time there is limited, that will help you pick the ones you are most interested in.
It will also let you see if there are any local events or festivals during the time of your visit. Some of these are great fun and you would not want to miss out on them because of others plans you have made.
Guidebooks can be very useful in this respect and often have maps or tell you which public transport to use.
Get Your Luggage Right
Each airline has its own rules regarding luggage and you need to make sure that yours complies with the rules of the one you are flying with. If your cases are overweight or you are carrying something you shouldn’t be it can get very costly at the airport.
International travel can be a great experience, and you will see and do things that you would not do in the US. Do not let concerns of traveling ruin it for you, just be properly prepared and have fun.