Taking your first trip abroad can be exciting and scary, regardless of how much you’ve travelled in your home country.
Pack your travel documents.
Applying for your passport early is the best way to avoid stress. Your travel radius is limited without a passport or visa.
If a passport is valid for 10 years, some people may forget to renew it.
You may not be allowed into many countries if your passport is less than 6 months old or if it doesn’t have enough free pages.
Be sure to have a valid passport before booking your flight. Not applying for and receiving your passport in advance could delay your trip.
Before travelling, check if you need a visa from the destination country. Showing up to your flight without a visa may get you rejected, especially if you can’t apply on arrival.
US and UK passport holders can enter many countries without a visa or with one. Research country entry requirements as they vary.
Check your destination.
To maximise your trip, research your destination thoroughly. Although spontaneous travel may be more fun, it is more practical if you can anticipate some of the nuances of your destination country by studying first-time travel tips.
Besides language and culture, laws may vary. In Singapore, chewing gum is illegal. Or that Venice bans pigeon feeding? In Scotland, riding a cow while drunk is also illegal. You may find foreign laws strange because they’re not your culture. You can avoid trouble by knowing them beforehand.
You must notify your bank of your travel plans before leaving. So your bank doesn’t suspect fraud when your card is suddenly used at a Thai market.
ATMs may not be accessible at your destination. Most restaurants and businesses in cash-based countries may not accept cards. In this case, bring enough money for a day out. For safety, some travellers keep large sums in a money belt.
Transportation and lodging comparisons
Research the best travel method since you’ll be moving every day.
Websites like Rio2Rome and 12Go help you find the fastest and cheapest bus, train, or plane route.
You can see sights and chat with locals on buses and subways, which are the cheapest and greenest modes of transportation. If not, download Uber, Cabify, Grab, or Bolt for door-to-door service with licenced drivers at fair prices.
Hotels are great, but hostels, guesthouses, and Airbnb can be cheaper and more immersive, letting you meet other travellers. Many boutique hostels have better amenities than budget hotels.
Explore places with monthly discounts if you plan to stay for a long time. Websites like Hostelz.com compare Hostelworld, Booking, Gomio, and others and let users book directly with the lowest price.
Schedule everything ahead.
If you know your itinerary, book once you have the money and commitment to travel. While having the freedom to choose your last-minute lodging is nice, don’t be surprised if it’s scarce or expensive when you arrive.
Without a reservation, last-minute travellers often have to scramble for lodging. Booking whatever is available will cost more, and being without a place to stay in a new place is stressful.
You’ll get the best transport ticket deals by booking ahead! Having your itinerary planned from start to finish reduces stress and is invaluable. You spend more time enjoying your vacation and less time worrying about what’s next.
Avoid travel fatigue.
Your excitement may make you want to go all out when booking your first international trip. How many cities can you visit? Can you see much daily? Want to travel north-south and eastwest? Take your time and slow down.
Health and safety first
Be aware of your surroundings and take safety precautions to enjoy your new adventure. Don’t worry about what could go wrong.
Packing well simplifies travel. Packing too much, too little, or a disorganised suitcase can ruin your trip.
Research airport travel tips.
Anxiety before departure and at the airport is common among new and experienced travellers. When flying internationally for the first time, being in a large building with hundreds of departure boards and people rushing around can make you feel uneasy and flustered.
Taking it step by step, navigating the airport is easy. Before your flight, you check-in, go through security, and enjoy your pre-departure coffee. Voilà!
Look at connectivity
Travelling is liberating and eye-opening, but it can be lonely, especially for homesick people. But travelling abroad doesn’t mean you can’t contact friends and family. You can stay in touch with loved ones by calling them daily or sending travel photos!