First Time Traveling Abroad? Tips and What to Expect for First-Time Travelers

"Travel expands the mind and fills the gap."

– Sheda Savage


Traveling changes the way to live in and experience the world. It opens your eyes to so many new possibilities and often times can exceed your wildest dreams.


If you're finally ready to see more of this planet by taking the plunge to travel internationally, then this post is for you.


Here are some tips to get your started as you plan.


Make Sure You Have Your Passport Well in Advance

You cannot leave the country without a passport. So, to reduce any unnecessary stress, get your passport early. You should not even book your flight until you have your passport in-hand. In fact, there are many international airlines that require you enter your passport details at the time you book. However, should you find one that doesn't require that you enter your passport information, it is still a good rule of thumb to wait until your book has arrived.


How much does a passport cost:

The application fee for U.S Passports for is $145 (for adults) and %115 for children under the age of 16.


Can you rush-request your passport?

Yes, you can request to rush your passport. This is called requesting an expedited passport. When you expedite, you will usually receive it within two weeks from the date requested (but their are no guarantees).


Check to See if the Country Requires a Visa

Sometimes having a passport is not enough. There are many countries that also require that foreigners have a Visa prior to being able to enter the county. When a Visa is required, that means that you have an additional step to planning your trip. Some countries require you to request and obtain your Visa in advance of flying, while others may allow for Visa on arrival. Make sure you do your research beforehand to avoid any issues, delays or send-backs on your trip.


Remember that Language Barriers are a Real Thing

When thinking about where you're traveling to, it's important to remember that language barriers are real, and that some countries have more English-speaking options than others.

If you'd prefer to start with a country where a good portion of the populations can speak and understand English, here are a few countries to put on your short list.


Europe:

  • United Kingdom

  • Republic of Ireland

  • Malta

Caribbean

  • Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Jamaica

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • Guyana

Asia

  • India

  • Malaysia

  • Pakistan

  • Philippines

  • Singapore

Africa

  • Botswana

  • Cameroon

  • Ethiopia

  • Ghana

  • Nigeria

  • South Africa

  • Sudan

Oceania

  • Australia

  • New Zealand

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Fiji

  • Samoa

  • Tonga

  • Solomon Islands

  • Micronesia

  • Vanuatu

  • Kiribati


Get a Credit Card that Doesn't Charge Foreign Transaction Fees

Credit cards can be sneaky, but they're a must-have when you travel internationally. Make sure to look into whether or not your credit card(s) that you'll be taking with you charge fees when used in different countries.


Plan for Jet Lag

It's easy to get excited about your first international trip and to plan to try and get as much in each day as possible. Tip: don't do it. Jet lag is real. Very real. Long-haul flights come with a unique set of challenges once of which is jet lag. Both your body and your brain have to adjust to a new time zone and new schedule. You're bound to be out of sorts. Plan to take day one off for rest and adjustments. If you land and feel up to it, use this time to eat at a local café, explore streets close to your neighborhood and unpack.


Well there it is! Tips to get you prepared to take on the world, one country at a time. Relax and plan on learning about new cultures and people and expect to have an amazing trip.




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—Abraham Maslow

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