Five percent of US citizens travel abroad every year. This is a very disappointing number. Knowing that people rarely leave their country and travel to a new location is rather sad because traveling can be a very enjoyable experience.
All it takes is a passport and a visa, depending on the country you are visiting. Your budget will determine all the rest – whether you will sleep in a hotel or a shared room at a hostel, rent a car or use public transportation, buy a ticket in the economy, business or first class, etc. Whatever you choose, traveling to this new country might just be the best memory you will have.
To make it the best it can be, you should do the following.
1. Choose Your Destination
Is there a place you always wanted to visit? Perhaps one you saw in a movie or heard many good things about? The world is a big place, so choosing a destination for your first travel might not be that simple. In the end, it all comes down to your preferences and budget.
Regardless of the destination you choose, you can have a great time anywhere you go. There is beauty in every corner of this world.
2. Find a Place to Stay
Do couch surfing or choose an accommodation for you to stay in. You cannot really sleep on the streets when you get there, and going to a new country without an idea of where you will stay is a huge risk to take if you are a first-time traveler.
Find yourself a place to stay as soon as you get there. You can even find a backup place if things don’t go as you planned.
3. Buy Travel Insurance
Many things can happen to you abroad. You can have traveling problems, health problems, be robbed or hurt, lose your passport or belongings, etc. To be on the safe side, purchase travel insurance before you visit another country. Solving unexpected problems will be much harder for you there as a foreigner than it is in your home country, so you better be prepared.
4. Figure Out Money
Have various payment options available. Make sure you get notifications every time your credit cards are used, as well as a way to contact the bank in case of an issue. In the case that someone steals your credit cards or you lose them, you will need some cash lying around to help you until you get back.
Don’t let people rip you off just because you are a foreigner in the country you are visiting. Learn more about the pricing and currency of the country you are visiting, and use your credit cards only when it is safe to do so.
5. Learn What to Do with Your Phone
Your phone can come very handy when traveling abroad, regardless of how often you do it. You could download a variety of apps that will help you find your way and move around, currency calculators for when you need to exchange money, airplane and public transport apps, etc.
But, you should definitely learn what to do with it when leaving the country. The best thing to do is turn off the mobile data to avoid those ridiculously high costs. Leave your phone to work for texts and voice so that people can reach you and you can reach them in case you need something.
Since you won’t always have Wi-Fi connection when you’re on the move, it is best to download an offline map instead of an online map. In this way, you won’t get lost.
6. Pack Smart
First of all, check the weather forecast for the days you will spend in the other country. Pack according to the weather conditions. If it is sunny, pack light clothing. If it is rainy or cold, make sure to pack enough warm clothes.
However, don’t leave it all up to the forecasters. Pack a single piece of different clothing, just in case. For example, if the forecast says it will be warm, pack a jacket in case something changes while you are there.
Travelling is a life-altering opportunity and there isn’t really a rule as to where you should go on your first travel abroad. Select your destination, prepare for it, and have a great time!