Are you traveling international first time? Do you need tips for traveling international first time comfortably?
Here in this article, you will get all the tips necessary to make your first international trip awesome.
My first international traveling was to the United States of America for a tenure of two years on work purpose. Whether you travel for work or pleasure, the first time is always special and overwhelming.
There are a ton of things that could go wrong on your first international travel if you don’t pay heed to them. The first time could be a little difficult for you, but you will be at ease for the next international trip once you understand the arrangement process.
International travel can be a daunting experience, but with some preparation and proper planning, it can be a memorable and enriching experience. Traveling to a new country for the first time can be an overwhelming experience with so many different things to do, things to see, and things to plan.
It’s important to know a few basic tips to make your trip a more comfortable and an enjoyable experience.
Here are the 23 ultimate tips I have for you to make your first time international trip go easier if you consider the following step by step.
23 Best & Useful Tips for First Time International Travelers
Check Your passport
For international traveling, your passport is the most important asset you need to have with you always. Once you decided to go aboard, the first thing you will need to check is your passport’s expiry date and condition.
If you do not have a valid passport, apply for it online immediately. These days getting a new passport is easier as compared to before. If you have all the necessary documents, you will get them sooner after the authorities do all the verifications once uploaded online.
Choose Your Destination
The next vital travel tip for traveling international first time is to choose the destination. Either you go to any European country or American state, choosing a destination is key. As based on your destination, you will require a visa.
Each continent has a different process of visa application and validity. For example, I went to the USA on an H1B visa type; similarly, there are different visa types.
If you are going on a trip for a limited period to any international destination, you will be required to have a tourist visa. If you are going to work, you will need a valid work permit visa.
So, choosing a destination is key in determining the type of visa.
Look for Visa Requirement
Next comes the visa requirement; find out what type of visa do you need to travel to that destination. How long it may take to process. You may need to contact the embassy to get all the visa-related information.
Without a visa, you can’t go anywhere internationally. Depending on the country you are staying in and to the country, you are going, the visa requirements may defer.
While planning, you must ensure that you have gathered all the passport and visa-related documents and information.
For example, If you are going on a trip to countries like Thailand, Dubai from India, the visa requirement is on-arrival.
Similarly, if you are going to France, Italy, or Portugal country for a trip, you will need a Schengen visa.
Keep a Tab on the Weather of the Desired Destination
While making all the arrangements and travel planning, you must also check for the weather of the desired destination.
The weather won’t be the same as to the place where you are staying. Based on the weather, you can pack and carry clothes accordingly.
If it is hot and humid, you can pack light clothes and if there is winter you need to pack warm clothes like an overcoat, jackets, etc.
Note: Always carry an umbrella, and you shouldn’t rely 100% on what the weather forecasting says.
Flight & Cheap Accommodation Booking
After you are done choosing the destination, checking passport and visa requirements, now it’s the time for the flight and accommodation booking.
When you travel for the first time, you may feel your nerve booking international flights and hotels in an unknown country.
While booking your international flight online, you must look for the availability of non-stop flights first. If there isn’t any, then you can look for connecting flights.
Usually, non-stop flights are more comfortable and save a great deal of time. But that’s only possible if your destination is reachable within 6-8 hours of air-time.
If your current location is supposed, India and your travel location is New York; you would only get connecting flights like Mumbai-London-New York or Mumbai-Dubai-New York or Mumbai-LA-New York.
While booking your long flight, look for the aisle seat and take a healthy meal.
During accommodation booking, you will have plenty of options. Based on your staying period, you can book a guesthouse, apartment, or hotel all online.
Note: Cross verify the booking details and accommodation information. Book from an authentic and verified site. Also, get a printed out of all the flight and accommodation booking details.
Consider Travel Insurance
When you are traveling internationally, you must consider buying travel insurance for yourself and your family if they are accompanying you.
Many think travel insurance isn’t needed, but it’s the exact opposite; it is an important thing that will keep you safe. It generally covers your health, lost baggage, missed connecting flights, etc.
There are several good travel insurance companies that provide insurance at different prices. I purchased my travel insurance during my international traveling from the bank.
Apply for International Credit Card
If you are already a credit card user, you can call your credit card company and tell them to upgrade your card to an international credit card.
If you do not have any, you can apply directly for a card that covers the maximum amount. Usually, all big banks and international banks like Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, HDFC, etc., have international credit cards.
How does it help you?
While traveling, you will need cash, and with an international credit card, you can access ATM for instant cash.
Check all the Airport Rules & Baggage Requirements
Every airport and airlines have their rules and regulations; their baggage rules are different too.
Once you are done with your flight bookings, you must check with the airport about the baggage rules. Like, how much baggage weight is allowed, how many bags are allowed per person, things allowed in the cabin bag, etc.
When you are traveling domestically, there are not much restrictions. When it comes to international traveling, the airports are needed to go strict with the baggage and screening process for security purposes.
The United States of America follows the strictest airport security procedures. You may find a little discomfort being a first-time traveler, but there won’t be any issues if you let them do their job and follow every airport protocol.
If you are traveling internationally amidst the Covid-19 situation, you must take extra precautions to protect yourself from getting infected.
As vaccinations are available worldwide, you must get yourself vaccinated before you start traveling.
Download All the Necessary Apps & Contacts
Once you are all set to travel, your dates are fixed, tickets are booked, have arranged all the documents, now is the time to download all the necessary apps and contact numbers on your mobile phone.
Several apps can make your traveling easy such as language app, weather app, bank app, online payment app, Google map, etc.
Similarly, you must also save all the important contact numbers like numbers of your close friends, family members, police, nearest hospital, embassy, etc., in case of any emergency.
Look for Currency value & Your Account Details
My next tip for traveling internationally for the first time is to check for the currency value and get all the details, like how much money you need to have for exchange.
Evaluate your travel expenses and tally with your bank account. Evaluate your estimated expenses and make a budget.
You must not forget about your money; you must keep a tab on your expenses while traveling, and most importantly, you must not drain all your savings.
These are the things you can evaluate while making travel arrangements.
Get a Guidebook of Your Destination
It would be great if you buy a guidebook of your desired destination. You can read and get all the local information about places to visit, places to eat, how to travel locally, and so on.
With all the gathered information, traveling around that place will be easier for you.
Lonely planet has guidebooks of almost all the places; you can buy that.
Look for Transportation Details
Transportation is not the same everywhere.
For example, when I was in Seattle, USA, I found the bus services and connectivity quite good. Likewise, get yourself informed about the availability of the transport system of the destination you are going to.
The more informed you will be about the place, the better you can explore and enjoy comfortably.
Pick all the Places to Visit & Eat
Suppose you are going to Italy for a ten-day vacation; you obviously want to explore the things, places, and cuisines.
Italy isn’t a small place; indeed, there are a ton of things to do and see, which is nearly impossible to cover in a short span.
That’s why it will be wiser to list up the things you want to experience and explore in those days of your stay.
You can research and note down in a travel journal all the places you want to see, restaurants where you want to eat, and things you want to experience with the locations.
This way you can cover and enjoy the most.
Plan a Backup for Safety
Whether you travel, domestic or international, there is always 1% chance of things that might go wrong and put you in a dire situation.
So, it is crucial to keep a backup plan for your safety and protection.
When traveling, you should always go and trust your instinct. If your instinct is saying something is fishy, you must drop your plan, then and there.
What backup plan can you think of?
There are a few things that you can consider as your backup, like keeping the phone numbers of a local police station; if there is an alarming situation like a flood or an unwanted accident took place, get in touch with the local authorities, embassy, and your family.
You must always keep a stash of money handy. You must analyze the situation before and make the right decision.
If you are a backpacker, you won’t struggle to pack. Since it will be your first time traveling internationally, you will face and learn several new things.
No matter wherever you are traveling to, always pack light and smartly.
Many struggle to pack properly; you can watch videos on how to pack that cover less space smartly.
Pack Basic Toiletries in Your Carry-on bag
When traveling abroad, you might have long hours of flight and connecting flights. You can purchase a few basic toiletries for your carry-on bag like lotion, lip balm, face wipes, hand sanitizer, hair comb, and a light layover.
All these items often prove helpful in keeping you active and motivated. If you are traveling with your family here is an article where you will find the easy way to pack things.
Note: Make sure you carry only small bottles of liquid kept inside a zip-lock bag
Keep yourself healthy and fit before your traveling. You must keep a tab on your eating habits, sleeping pattern, and exercise regularly to keep yourself fit and fine.
Do not overdo anything; just do the things that make you happy and rested.
Keep Your Devices Powered Up
We all are so much dependent on our electronic devices that we can’t think of traveling anywhere without them.
So, before you are all set for your traveling on the travel date, make sure that all your devices like laptops, iPad, and mobile phones are fully charged.
These devices will help you killing time in the airport during the waiting period. You can do regular work on your laptop, listening to songs or watch videos, and so on.
Also, while planning, check out what type of power plug/adapter you will be needed at your destination. For Example, what we use in India is not the same in USA. Not all country uses the same type of adapter. I have recently checked out a website World Power Plugs where they will guide you in seconds by telling which plug type you need to buy for your destination country. I wish I had known about this earlier it would have save me time.
All the international airports have WiFi connectivity now; still, it is good to be safe while using. Do not access online banking or any other confidential things by using the public wifi system.
Wear Comfortable Clothes When Traveling
This is one of the best travel tips that I can give to travel international for the first time, always wearing comfortable and light clothes.
Traveling international can be hectic and tiring. Wearing comfortable clothes will keep your mind and body at relaxing.
For hours you can’t change your clothes, wearing tight clothes can make your journey dull.
You can carry layers like a light jacket as the temperature in the flight varies.
Also, wear comfortable shoes like converse or sport shoes. It will keep your feet warm on the flight.
Look for Nearby banks of the Destination
You will require a bank and ATM once you reach the destination. So, look for nearby banks or ATMs where you can exchange your cash, and when needed, you can withdraw money.
Now that you are all set and you have packed everything. Still, there are chances you may have forgotten something. So, it is very important to recheck everything twice. Check your passport, visa, necessary documents, hotel and flight booking details, and so on.
Travel Safe & Smart
This is the best tips for traveling international first time; you will going to learn so much on your first international trip. Learn, adapt and enjoy are the three best things that can teach you.
No matter where you go or at which age you are, travel safely, let your instinct take guide you, and if possible, travel eco-friendly.
These are my 23 ultimate travel tips for traveling international first time, and based on my experience, if you follow them all, you will have the best travel experience.