Having done my fair share of traveling, I definitely agree with the idea that once you’ve been bit by the travel bug, you’re hooked.
Once you’ve experienced other cultures and have seen different landscapes, your heart is never in the same place anymore. Never let that stop you though. Seeing the world is part of a well-lived life—even if you only plan on traveling to one destination. I can guarantee that you’ll be planning your next trip very soon after.
In order to make your experience as memorable and enjoyable as can be, keep the following 10 tips in mind. They could make or break your whole trip.
1. Get your papers in order
It’s extremely important to know exactly what the visa requirements are of the country you’re planning on visiting. Failure to do so will leave you stranded at the airport before you can even board the plane, costing you the whole trip. Depending on your nationality, you may not need a visa to visit certain countries, but you certainly need a passport.
2. Find out about the weather
You’re going to need to pack accordingly. There’s nothing worse than showing up in snowy conditions with flip flops. I’ve done that before. The season can also determine when you plan on taking your trip, so choose accordingly to maximize your travel experience.
3. Save up enough money
This may seem like an obvious tip. You’re going to need enough money to pay for your bills when you return from your trip, not to mention purchasing gifts while you’re abroad. Plane tickets can be expensive, but you can save money by flying mid-week or traveling in the low season.
4. Apply for a credit card
This could be a lifesaver. You never know when you might get into financial trouble and run out of money. In that case, your credit card can save you from a very tricky situation. Customs officers will also feel a lot more relaxed knowing you have a back-up form of capital.
5. Exchange money ahead of time
You could get a better deal by exchanging your money at your preferred bank ahead of your trip rather than landing in a different country with money you can’t use, hoping to find a good deal.
Many countries don’t want their local currency leaving their borders, so exchange rates tend to be better within the country of the currency that you’re selling. Besides, the last thing you want when entering a foreign country is to be worrying about exchanging money so that you can actually use it.
6. Buy your plane ticket
Keep a close eye on ticket prices. They may be expensive this month due to seasonal reasons, but cheaper next month. In fact, it could all change in a day, and change back the next day. So, check on a regular basis, and ensure you save a little bit of money on your plane ticket.
7. Make dependable friends
If you’re traveling alone, you surely don’t want to explore a new environment on your own. So, if you can, make friends ahead of time who can perhaps show you around a little bit. You may experience things normal travelers never will. Just be careful about who you choose to meet.
8. Set up international roaming
When reaching your destination, you’re going to want to let your loved ones know that you’ve arrived safely, so call your service provider to make you’re set up for international roaming before you leave. It may cost a little bit of money to use, but at least you know you have the option to reach out if you need to.
9. Find interesting things to do
You’re going to want to maximize your time abroad. The best way to do that is to find interesting things to do and places to see before even leaving for the trip. Google is a great starting point for interesting information on your destination.
10. Don’t pack too much
Pack enough to survive, but don’t fill your bag to the point where you can’t fit anything else in. You might see a few things you like, and you’re going to want to purchase them without having to pay for extra weight on your return flight. So, pack light in order to fit those extra special few pieces into your luggage.
Traveling is the best way to gain world experience, and why not do so if you get the opportunity. You want to make your first trip a positive one though, so you don’t hold back on the planning beforehand. It could make or break your experience, and you want to enjoy every second of your trip. Whether you plan to visit Hawai’i or the Middle East, each destination is exciting when you visit it for the first time.
Remember to be streetwise and keep an eye on your valuables when out and about. Tourists stand out like sore thumbs, making you an easy target for pick-pocketing. However, if you stay alert and surround yourself with trusted locals, you should be fine. Every trip you take makes you more experienced, and I can almost guarantee you there will be a next time after the bug bites.
Personally, out of all the bugs that can bite, the travel bug is the one you don’t need to worry about, so don’t fight it. Let it bite—over and over again. You’ll have experiences to tell and memories to share that you can only have if you decide to depart on the best overseas trip of your life—simply by putting some easy planning into it!