The best way to prepare for international travel – words Alexa Wang
If you are heading overseas, it is important that you are up to date with the rules and regulations of the country you are going to. Also, there are various other factors that you will need to take into consideration. Here are some ways in which you can prepare for international travel.
Up to Date Passport
The first and arguably the most important way to prepare for international travel is by having an up to date passport. If you do not have a passport or need a renewal, make sure that you have two photos that are passport-size as well as your birth certificate. You may also need another form of identification that can prove your citizenship. Your passport needs to have no fewer than 6 months left before the expiry date when you travel. However, be aware that some countries will not give you a visa if your passport is soon to expire. The whole process of applying and receiving a new passport typically takes between 4 and 6 weeks, so it is best to get it done as soon as possible so it is one less thing to worry about before you leave.
Once you have an up to date passport, the next step you will need to take is to check out whether the destination you are heading to has any visa requirements. If your country of origin and the country you are planning to visit are both members of the visa waiver program, this means that you will not be required to purchase a visa beforehand. You will also need to check up on other rules and regulations, especially as some countries charge tourists an entrance and an exit fee. It is best to research the country you are visiting so that you can be well prepared.
If you are visiting a country that recommends you have injections before you travel, it is best to get them done as far in advance as possible. Although immunisations are normally optional, they are highly recommended to tourists depending on where you are travelling in the world. You may have to have some injections months before you travel so it is best that you research into this as soon as possible.
If your current health insurance provider does not cover you whilst you are abroad, it is recommended to purchase health insurance that will be allowed in the country you are visiting. Having health insurance in place is beneficial for all sorts of reasons which will give you peace of mind throughout your travels. If you do not have health insurance and an unfortunate circumstance occurs, you may have to pay large fees for medical treatment.
Where to Stay
Booking accommodation in advance is strongly advised. The earlier you book your accommodation, the more likely you are to get money off and get the best deals. If you are heading to a city, you will be able to find a wide range of hostels, hotels and apartments that cater to every budget. Also, booking in advance can help you feel more relaxed and ready for your trip. There are various websites that specialise in finding you the best deal such as Trivago.
Depending on where you are staying, you should research into transportation methods. If you are staying in a major city, there will be various modes of transport that can help you get around with ease such as by car, bus or train. Knowing where your accommodation is located can also help you with planning on how to get there from the airport.
What to Pack
Whether you are going for a short trip or an extended stay, you will need to pack accordingly. Make sure that you research what the weather will be like so that you know which items of clothing are best to take with you. To save room in your luggage, it is best to pack clothes that you can wear several times throughout your trip. If you need to bring any medication, make sure that you set aside room in your suitcase or hand luggage.
Travel to the Airport
You should have a plan in place that outlines how you will get from your door to the airport. The time of your flight can play a significant part in what method of transport you use. If you have an early morning flight, you may need to drive to the airport instead of relying on public transport. Make sure that you arrive at the airport at least two hours before departure so you can be assured that you will get on your flight successfully. Also, plan for every eventuality as there may be traffic that could slow you down and cause you to miss your flight.
Learning the Basics
Having an idea of the language and etiquette of the country you are visiting can be very beneficial for numerous reasons. Learning the basics of another language, such as saying hello and asking for directions, can help you get around the country much easier. Also, having an idea of the etiquette will ensure you act appropriately and eliminates the risk of you getting into any trouble. You should also consider any dress codes of the country you are visiting. You will want to make sure that you are dressed appropriately so you are showing a sign of respect to their laws and regulations.
Delays and Cancellations
You will also need to prepare for any problems such as flight delays or cancellations. If your flight has been cancelled, you may be entitled to flight cancellation compensation. Companies like Air Help can assist you with receiving compensation. Visiting their website can give you more information on what is classed as a cancelled flight, what your rights are and whether you are eligible to claim any compensation. Having travel insurance in place can help save you time, money and hassle.
It is best that you make copies of your travel documents before you fly. Having colour copies of your plane tickets, your passport and hotel reservations can be incredibly useful, especially if you have trouble connecting to the internet. Make sure that you keep all your important documents in a safe place in your hand luggage or suitcase. If you experience any problems such as your luggage being lost or stolen, it is best to give a family member or friend a copy of your travel documents too.
Preparation is key when it comes to travelling internationally. You will want to have every base covered so your travelling experience can go as smoothly as possible. If you have never travelled internationally before, it could be worth speaking to family members or friends who have. That way, you will be able to ask questions and get valuable information that you can incorporate into your travel routine to leave you feeling relaxed and ready for your flight and journey.
It is important that you do as much research as possible before traveling internationally. Having a plan in place will help you feel more confident and prepared for your journey. Having the mindset of expecting the unexpected will help you stay calm should any problems arise.