• 03/08/2023

9 Traveling Tips You Should Know Before Going Abroad

A woman sits in front of a window looking at palm trees.

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Planning your next adventure is a great way to get excited about the future. It’s even more exciting when you’re going abroad for the first time. You might feel nervous before you travel, but the trip will be worth it. Whether a seasoned traveler or your first time abroad, follow these traveling tips to help your journey go smoother.

1. Start Your Passport Process Early

A passport with several stamps.

Give yourself plenty of time to plan for your trip. If you don’t already have a passport, you might have to wait up to 11 weeks to receive yours. You can pay for it to be expedited, but the best option is to sort your passport ahead of time. You’ll feel better when you have your passport in hand weeks before you leave for your trip. Starting the process too late might add unnecessary stress on you when you should be looking forward to other plans.

2. Travel in Comfortable Clothes

You may have seen some people do photoshoots in the airport. Having nice photos might tempt you to get dressed up. However, you need to remember to value comfort above stylishness. You’ll look great in any photo you take, and especially on long flights, you need to prioritize being able to sit and relax comfortably until you get to your destination. There will be plenty of dress-up photo opportunities once you get to where you’re going!

3. Make a Checklist When Packing

A suitcase with a laptop, camera, sunglasses and clothes.

You never know if the things you have at home will be more expensive abroad, so you should pack everything you think you need. Design a checklist that will help you keep track of clothes, personal products and more. Checklists are easy to create, as all you need to do is add more to them over time as you remember something else you need to pack. Make sure to start your checklist early to give you time to remember things.

4. Look Out for Travel Restrictions

Some countries may have travel restrictions for certain things. Look up the other country’s health information, as you never know if you must have a vaccine before visiting another country. Some countries may require you to wear masks due to COVID-19 restrictions, so make sure to pack them and your vaccine record if applicable. You might also need to book a COVID-19 test in advance or prepare to spend a bit of time in quarantine.

Talk to the foreign embassy if you have prescription drugs, so you can find out whether they’re allowed and in what quantities. It may also be difficult to get a prescription refilled while you’re traveling abroad, so make sure to pack more than you need for the trip. Always put your medications in their original bottles.

5. Tell Your Friends

A woman with a camera stands in front of a mountain.

Whenever you travel somewhere new, you need to prioritize your safety and take measures to protect yourself. Especially when you’re traveling alone, having people know where you’re going and when you should be back can save your life. Your loved ones will know to contact authorities if you haven’t checked in on them, and you’ll have a safer trip overall.

6. Buy Trip Insurance

If something comes up, you want to ensure that your money will stay protected. Some travel insurance plans are expensive, but for others, you can pay a small premium and have a portion of your trip refunded if you aren’t able to make it. Hopefully, you’ll never need to cash in your insurance policy, but it doesn’t hurt to have one.

7. Call Your Bank

A woman pulls money out of a wallet.

You’ll likely want to use a debit or ATM card while on your adventure, as it’s the easiest and safest way to access your money. You may have to talk to your bank about traveling abroad, which could entail answering questions on the phone or in-person to ensure they know where you’re going and for how long. All these precautions will help keep you safe from fraud. 

Alternatively, one of the worst things that could happen is having your funds tied up for a while. Your bank will take precautions to protect you from fraud, and if they don’t know that you’re traveling, they may put a temporary hold on things until they know what’s going on. It can all be solved by speaking to your bank.

8. Have Multiple Methods of Payment

When you leave home, also leave behind any cards you don’t plan on using abroad. One or two credit cards and a debit card can work perfectly for whatever you need. Your debit card can help you withdraw local currency from ATMs. You can also bring cash if your currency is accepted, but you can also trade it if necessary. Just don’t bring too much money, or it might make you a target for theft.

9. Plan Your Activities

A woman holds a map open.

Before you leave, you’ll want to plan out all your activities. Leave a little wiggle room for downtime, but you want to ensure that you have the exact budget you need for all the activities you want to do. Planning in all areas of your life can show you just what your priorities are and help you create plans in case a setback occurs. If you’re traveling with others, you must work together to sort out these priorities.

Follow These Traveling Tips for a Successful Trip

Finding traveling tips that work well for you is an essential part of being a savvy traveler. You should learn everything you can about your destination before you get there — and it’s best to have any experiences or reservations booked in advance, so you don’t have to worry about plans going awry. If you take the time to plan and know how to navigate a foreign country, you’ll have fun on your adventure without worrying about all the little things.

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