Taking your first trip abroad is definitely an amazing feeling. But it can also be a very daunting feeling. Although it is normal to feel scared and confused, adequate preparation can help relieve some of the anxiety.
When travelling abroad for the first time, there are many things that you need to consider and prepare for. You cannot be sure of what to expect. You will almost certainly make some mistakes. But it is through mistakes that we learn.
Here are some of the things you should know if you are taking your first trip abroad:
(1)Do you have a destination in mind?
Whether you are visiting a place you read about in a book or saw in a movie you need to have at least a rough idea about the place. It all depends on the kind of activity you intend to engage in during the trip.
(2)Have your passport ready
A passport is a must-have. Although a passport is not too hard to get, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute. There are a few procedures to follow and waiting until late only complicates matters for you. You may need between $100 to $200 in processing and other charges.
Although this is not a requirement for many countries, there are some that require all visitors to have a visa. Each consulate has its own processes and some can be very frustrating. Just like your passport application, starting this process well in advance will save you a lot of trouble.
(3)Do you have to use your phone?
I learned the hard way about how crazy roaming charges can be. You are best advised to switch off your mobile data once you enter the plane. You don’t want to be slapped with a huge bill on your return home just for uploading a few photos and videos on Instagram. If you can, just use the voice and text services to communicate with the folks at home.
(4)Gather as much information as possible
Although being random and spontaneous is more fun, there are some things that you just have to plan for in advance. For example if you are to pick a bus on arrival, know the name of the bus as well as the destination you want to reach.
Be prepared to encounter people who don’t speak any English. Try to learn a few words of the local language. Locals will warm up to you if they see you making an effort to learn their language. For a start, learn to say a greeting in the local language.
(6)Don’t travel too light
Although carrying too much stuff can get in the way of you having fun, you also cannot afford to travel too light. Make sure you carry all the essentials but leave some space for some of the little things you will pick up.
(7)Keep your cash safely
Keep your cash in separate places to avoid losing it all at once. Leaving some cash in your room is a good way of covering yourself in case you are robbed. Your passport also needs to be in a safe place throughout.
(8)Learn to fit in
Be humble when taking to the local people. Be curious to know about their lives and be interested in their responses. Listen more to learn more. Also don’t use your standards to judge another country.
(9)Have enough money in the local currency
Cash makes it much easier to move. Have enough change to use for moving around and buying food and other little things. If you have to shop at big stores, have your international debit card.
(10)Do enough prior research
Get a feel of the local culture by reading some of that country’s literature. That way you will be able to get the maximum from the trip and at the same time manage your expectations.