Everyone has a first time. If you are planning on taking your maiden international trip, we’ve got you covered. As with all endeavours, being prepared will lead to a superior experience.
Since it’s your first trip out of the country, you want to cover all the bases and limit the chances of anything going wrong. One rule to remember is that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
You should, therefore, ensure that you are on top of everything right from the process of getting the appropriate documentation for your trip to arranging for your return flight back home.
Get The Right Documentation
You aren’t going to be able to travel to your desired destination without the proper documentation. The first thing you should take care of when planning your trip is to ensure that you have a valid passport and a visa, in case one is needed.
Getting a passport isn’t hard at all. To avoid any surprises, acquire one way before you have to travel. Typically, your passport will be processed in 4 to 6 weeks. You can use the same passport as long as it is valid. A passport can be valid for up to a decade.
Most nations require international travelers to have a visa before they can let them in. Countries have different visa approval and issuance processes so take the application seriously and ensure that you provide as much information as you can so the visa isn’t denied on flimsy grounds.
Some countries will require that you acquire a visa before you land on their soil while others give travellers the option of getting a visa on arrival. Others may not require a visa at all. Your situation will depend largely on the immigration treaties and agreements the host country has made with your country of citizenship.
About the Destination
You probably have already made a decision on the first international destination you’ll visit. If you haven’t yet, chances are you are seriously weighing a few destinations that you’ve had in mind for some time now. While an international trip is certainly a romantic idea, your first, if you have a choice, shouldn’t be chosen just because it is an exciting idea.
Your main goal for your first international trip is to be able to have fun even with the culture shock that will follow for being away from home for the first time in your life. Choosing a destination that is friendly to inexperienced travellers is a wise decision.
There are several tourist destinations around the world that can give you the experience you want. You just have to choose one that is right for your situation. As far as convenience goes, you shouldn’t go to a destination where you will have to drive yourself or a destination that is not friendly to people from your nation because of political reasons.
Cities all over the world guarantee a certain level of convenience. Going to a tourist city will offer a first-time traveller a better experience than navigating a rural town where no one speaks a language you understand. Cities also offer a range of activities that cater to the varied kinds of people that live within it. You will be able to find a place to have fun however weird your tastes are.
If you read reviews of a destination and you see several complaints of travellers complaining about their inability to find great food or food close to what they are used to, you are better off skipping that destination. Food is one of those things that can make or break a trip. While sampling local cuisine is always fun, you want to balance it with what you are used to or your digestive system will bail out on you.
Hotels vs. Resorts
Generally, when compared to resorts, hotels give tourists greater freedom to sample all that a destination offers. As a first time traveller, you haven’t yet refined your interests nor had enough experiences to really know what you would or wouldn’t enjoy during an international trip.
The best place to stay that will allow you to switch things up as many times as you want is a hotel in a city.
The only exception to this rule is if you want to travel in luxury without having to worry about all the planning. For this, there are all-inclusive family resorts and adults-only resorts. So if you’re choosing a place for its culture, go hotel. If you’re looking to lay on a beach and relax, choose a resort.
Being able to move as freely as you want is important if you want to enjoy your first international trip. Being highly mobile allows you the chance to change things as you go.
You can carry most of the things you will need in a carry on. Instead of carrying a wheelie bag, get yourself a backpack. Don’t stress about leaving a lot of your favourite things at home. Most of these things, in case you need them, can be found where you are going.
As long as you have your credit card, your phone and passport with you, you are fine. Oh, don’t forget to pack your favourite brand of toothpaste and toothbrush and enough clean undies to last you for the entire duration of the trip.