An Ultimate Travel Guide For Your First Foreign Tour
If you’re looking for the best time to travel, then your perspective needs to change because it’s always a good time to travel. Travelling is essential because you break out from your daily routine, explore various cuisines, immerse yourself in cultures and learn on the go. But, if you know your travelling basics, it will build an umpteen amount of confidence to explore beyond. On that note, it’s equally and sometimes even more thrilling to go on a foreign tour as much as your home country.
Going on a vacation abroad has the power to make you feel informed and empowered but also intimidated sometimes. First-timers get to tick off their bucket lists, but it could be challenging and stressful as well. Therefore, before you sneak out of your comfort zone and taking the leap, you need to indulge in some detailed research and planning. Whether you’re going to a neighbouring country or halfway around the world, there are some international travel tips that you need to master before you start your foreign tour.
This detailed travel guide will help you become a more prepared, savvy traveller. Here are 10 travel tips you must follow on your foreign tour.
1. Get a new best friend: Make your Passport
This one is like wings on a bird, impossible to fly without! Your passport is the most important document required for international travel. Once you make a passport, you can use it as the highest-ranked document for everything that needs a government ID. It’s easy to lose and something you can’t afford to do, so treat it like a piece of the rarest diamond and keep it safe, always.
If this is your first time applying for a passport, make sure you start the process at least two months before your foreign tour. The passport takes about 5-6 weeks to process, and in case of rejection, you must have enough time to reapply. Passports get rejected sometimes due to missing documents. So be as particular as possible. For those who already have a passport, look out for the expiry date since some countries do not allow it to be less than six months.
2. Research about your dream destination
Most people are thoroughly confused about their dream destination. Everyone talks about trips, but very few implement them. This mostly happens because of the overwhelming feeling of exploring options and breaking out of your daily routine.
The only way to solve this is to close your eyes, pick a location on the globe and EXPLORE! For the paranoid ones, try to chart out the best place as per your budget, the time you have in hand and narrow it out to some good options. See which country’s culture entices you the most and visit that place first so that your very first foreign tour will be successful and fulfilling. While you’re at it, try to narrow down to the exact city you are travelling to, so you are clear about where you’re headed. Lastly, make sure you have copies of your passport in case of loss and keep an extra one at home so in-case of an emergency, they let you enter your country.
3. Verify Visa Requirements
Getting another country’s ‘Visa’ means you are allowed to enter it. Every country worldwide has a different visa requirement, and it depends on the country origin of the passport you’re holding. The Visa document is precious and needs to be taken care of while travelling on vacation abroad. Although some countries provide Visa on arrival, hence you need to be hassle-free if you’re travelling to one of them. Beyond this, some countries have specific requirements based on your nationality. It takes about a month or two for the Visa process to get completed, so ensure you submit it in advance and ensure it is valid for your travel dates.
4. Prioritise Safety
While going on a foreign tour, safety must be your top priority. Every country comes with its own set of rules for tourists. Beyond that, apart from your passport and visa, some countries might require some other documents depending on your nationality—for example, A medical certificate, travel insurance of a certain amount, and these days even COVID tests. So, make sure you abide by their rules and carry appropriate paperwork.
5. Sort yourself out monetarily
The first thing to do is research the monetary conversion of the country you are going to visit. Ensure you keep some converted cash on you since the ATMs abroad could be a rip-off and charge you a lot for withdrawing. For using your local card abroad, check with your bank to get stranded for any reason. The best way to go about pending is by getting a travel credit card. After all, who doesn’t like free miles and some bonuses!
If you get your travel credit card while planning your trip, you can accumulate miles to get you free hotels, flights, etc. It’s beneficial but addictive. You don’t need more than one, though!
6. Plan your itinerary
Here’s where to transform your dream into reality and get into the details! Before you get deep into it, leave some free time for spontaneous plans since those are the adventures that make your holiday special. Start with the no. of days you want to go on a vacation abroad, and if you want to visit more than one destination, how to get to all those places one after the other. Don’t miss out on seasonal experiences since activities and timings vary from place to place. For example, some tourist spots are shut on certain days in certain countries, so try to grab this critical information online. Most importantly, try to catch the local food and other cultural escapades of that particular city alongside the apparent tourist adventures. You won’t regret it.
7. Book your flight & accommodation
All travel websites are wired differently. So do some research before booking your flight. You never know, the passenger sitting right next to you on the flight might have paid half of what you have or double of what you did. Hence, the research paves the way for your hard-earned money to be spent in the right place. After that, accommodation is critical in terms of the area you pick. Some people take it by the ear and choose a location to stay when they get to their destination, while others like to book in advance to be stress-free in advance. Either way, fill yourself with some knowledge about your destination, so you’re familiar with the areas.
Try picking a centrally located hotel so you can get to places easily every day on vacation and spend less time travelling to them unless the road trip is worth the ride. Most importantly, consider the local festivals, holidays and events, so you know what you’re getting into. Those who don’t fancy hotels and resorts can rent apartments, cottages, and villas. Solo travellers can choose to stay in a hostel as it’s the best way to make new travel buddies and save money at the same time.
8. Pack Smart
To begin with, check the weather of the destination you planned to visit. This way, you carry appropriate clothes and still have your fashion trends in check! It always helps make a list of your essential items, so you always have everything on you and don’t struggle on a foreign tour. If you’re travelling with family, share the load! Try to pack as light as possible, so you don’t have to pay for excess baggage at the beginning of your trip or after. Moreover, this way you will leave enough space to get back all the things you shopped for on your foreign trip with family or without. Meanwhile, here’s a packing hack for international travellers: Don’t fold your clothes, roll them. Roll your clothes instead of folding them and use all the dead spaces to place all the small items like socks and undergarments. Also, check your airlines’ baggage limit and try to use a lightweight suitcase to save on those kgs and use it for shopping instead.
9. Use these tips to fly smoothly
Some people have flight phobia, some get scared of turbulence, and some are too fidgety or loud. It’s not easy to be trapped in a flight for so many hours unless you make a fun session out of it. So, look at the brighter side and follow these etiquettes to ensure you and your fellow passengers all fly happily together.
- Stand up only when you’re asked to board and not at any other time.
- The luggage belt is not private, nor is it a first-come-first-serve activity, so be patient and wait until you spot your bag.
- Try not to disturb anyone by wearing headphones while listening to music or watching something. Don’t be loud while talking to people around you
- Your bag should be placed in the cabin above your seat, not someone else’s, while your handbag goes under your seat.
- Don’t crowd up the aisle at boarding time and keep your bag away as quickly as possible.
- Lastly, make new friends but don’t get too tipsy on the flight!
10. Go on the best foreign trip ever!
Most people have everything planned out but keep waiting for the right time to leave. Here’s reminding you again, there is no ‘right’ time to get moving, and there will always be something going on to stop you, but it’s upon you to break away from the usual and give yourself the chance to experience new things and explore. Vacations, no matter how well-planned or not, will never be regrated. Foreign tours are very liberating, and you get to see the world differently, so go on. Your adventure awaits!