Planning an international vacation can be a daunting task. That alone is why I always say it is best to work with a travel advisor like myself when you are traveling. However, even when you are working with an expert like me, it is best to be aware of certain things before traveling internationally. After all, it is much different exploring another country than it is wandering around a new city in the US. So, if you are ready to board a plane and visit a new country, here are a few things you must know first.
You must learn so much about the destination you plan on visiting when you are traveling internationally. Your homework will begin with where you should stay. From there, it will turn into finding restaurants and the attractions you must visit.
One of the easiest ways to avoid doing homework for your trip is to let me do the work for you. Imagine having me do all the research and making the reservations. You can simply continue on with your busy life and go on vacation with everything you need in one handy packet.
You already know that you need a passport when you take an international vacation. But did you know that you might need a visa as well? Not many people think about this, especially if this is their first time traveling internationally.
Start by checking to see if the country you are visiting requires a visa. If it does, you must fill out the appropriate visa application and send it in with a photograph and the current fee. Some countries will allow you to do this process online. Others will request that you visit their embassy.
A flight to Europe or even Australia is much longer than the flights here in the US. I recommend bringing an e-reader that has plenty of books and magazines downloaded. An eye mask can help block out the light when you want some shut eye.
The most important thing though is to make sure you stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water might mean getting up to use the restroom more. But moving like that is an excellent way to keep your blood flowing during the flight.
Now that you know you will be up in the air for quite some time, as you are traveling to your international destination, you must factor that time into your vacation. There is no point in flying for eight hours if you only have three days off from work.
I also recommend considering what time your flight takes off and lands. Then plan your first day around the fact that you may be exhausted from not sleeping on the plane. Jet lag is quite real!
You do not need to know how to speak the language of the country you are visiting fluently. It is nice to know a few words though. I recommend beginning with hello, goodbye, please, and thank you.
A translation app on your phone can come in handy for all those other words you won’t have time to keep straight.
New foods will be everywhere when you take an international vacation. Even if you are a picky eater, this will be the time to embrace all those new foods. The local foods are one of the best things about traveling to other countries.
Don’t worry, most countries now have the same fast-food chains we do. So, you can always grab a little comfort food when a local meal doesn’t appeal to you.
You may think you can get up early in the morning and see a couple dozen attractions before falling into bed late at night. That type of packed schedule will catch up with you though. And you will hardly appreciate any of the sights you are seeing.
The same holds true if you are trying to see multiple cities within a country. I always recommend spending a few nights in each city, so you can easily adjust to the culture. Plus, the extra time allows you to really experience the attractions and activities in each area.
All foreign countries have their own customs and traditions. When you are traveling internationally, you must keep in mind that you can have culture shock. Certain countries may still think that women are not equal to men. The different cultural attitudes of the locals in some countries can take a little to get used to. This is one thing you should definitely be prepared for when you are traveling.
The government always keeps a list of the countries that are currently not the safest places to visit. You will want to keep an eye on those lists, so you can make sure you stay as safe as possible when taking an international vacation.
It is also an excellent idea to purchase travel insurance when you are traveling internationally. This insurance will allow you to be treated for any illnesses or injuries you may have when away from home.
If this is your first international vacation, you may want to consider joining a group tour. The tour guide will make sure you have an authentic experience while keeping you safe. Plus, the guide can be the person making adjustments if something goes wrong.
These are the ten things you must know before you take your first international vacation. If you use these guidelines, you will have a wonderful time when you are traveling internationally. As a travel advisor, I can help you with them all, and offer other suggestions along the way, when I book your international trip for you.
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