Social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have played significant roles in promoting tourism and travel. When you see your friends posting photos and videos of their vacations, you can’t help but make a mental note of the spots they visited so that you can go there as well.
Going on a road trip or to neighbouring cities and towns are cool weekend getaway ideas. However, if you’ve been itching to go thousands of miles away from home just to break the routine and experience another culture, here are some things you need to consider:
- Check Your Passport’s Expiration Date
Generally, you should make sure that your passport is valid for six months when you take an international trip. This means that, if you’re planning to go to another country in January, your document’s expiration date must not fall in June. Otherwise, you won’t be able to enter that country. Save yourself from stress and update your passport months before your travel date through this US passport information guide.
Some countries that require a six-month validity period include:
- Papua New Guinea
Take note that the requirements for each country may change according to the decision of their government. It’s best to coordinate with the embassy or consulate of your destination country. Also, create physical and digital copies of your passport just in case it gets stolen or lost while travelling.
- Know Your Dos and Don’ts
To be a responsible traveller, you must respect the culture of the country you’re going to. Start by doing your research on what gestures, actions, clothing, and language are respectful and impolite. This way, you prevent embarrassing yourself and your host if you’re staying with a local. This tip is especially relevant for religious countries where you need to wear appropriate clothing and covering. Don’t needlessly endanger yourself by offending the people in the area. Conform to their regulations since you are the visitor.
- Prepare for the Trip with Your Doctor and Insurance Provider
Be sure that you’re in top shape before your travel date. Schedule a checkup with your doctor to get the necessary vaccinations and prescriptions. Plus, coordinate with your insurance provider if you’re covered by your policy overseas. If not, ask what you can do for extra coverage.
- Calculate Your Budget
Know the conversion rate of your destination country so that you can create a budget accordingly. While the US dollar may have more value than most currencies in continents like Asia and Africa, you want to be particularly prepared if you’re going to European countries and Australia or New Zealand.
Pro tip: Do your research on what type of credit cards most businesses accept in your destination country to make sure that you can use your card for emergency expenses. Most European banks now use the EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) microchip card, which is more secure. Third-world countries, however, may still be using the magnetic strip version.
- Plan Your Local Route
Look online for the spots that you want to visit to determine the cost of getting there and the tickets you need to buy or book beforehand. This way, you’ll save not only money through discounts but also the time you would have spent lining up for the ticket booth.
For the budget traveller, here are some tips you can follow:
- Consider visiting public spaces such as temples, cathedrals, libraries, parks, and museums for little to no-cost entrance fees.
- Find cheap accommodation such as hostels or dorm rooms near the spots you want to go to so that you won’t need to spend much on transportation.
- Opt for street food and night markets instead of going to fancy restaurants, especially when travelling in Asia.
- Verify Your Electronics’ Compatibility
Other countries have a different voltage supply and plug size. If you’re bringing your smartphone, laptop, camera, and other devices, make sure that you can charge them by confirming the adaptors you need to buy before you board that plane. Power strips are a good investment since these allow you to charge multiple gadgets with just one adaptor.
Don’t let the thought of stepping out of your comfort zone hinder you from living your best life. By taking the right steps in your travel preparation, you can give yourself a smooth-sailing journey. Of course, always remember that things may not always go according to plan, but you can always enjoy these moments and just let them flow in their time.