International travel tips—anxious for your first international travel? Whether you’re going solo or with a companion, all that excitement is directed to the right places since now you’re researching for the nitty-gritty tips of international travel. Let’s uncover the 10 fundamental steps that every traveler needs to go over to help ease the trip. You may want to have a checklist ready.
International Travel Tips 1: Always prepare the local currency
Even though you can comfortably go all cashless at home, sometimes it’s just not a viable option for every place. Make sure to always have some amount of your local currency with you, even before you board. This is important to avoid things such as being forced to go have to exchange your money at a poor exchange rate at the airport.
One step ahead: know the cashless option in your local destination
Better yet, it’s a great idea for you to research the cashless option of that particular country you’re visiting. Every country is different. For instance, Japan has the option of using PASMO and SUICA. Those are cards used primarily for riding trains and buses. They are referred to as “IC Cards”. And a lot of stores accept them as their payment option. Convenience stores (conbini), supermarkets, and many vendors accept them. But the rule of thumb still applies. Cash still rules all over the world. Also be aware that not every country has a reliable cashless option!
International Travel Tips: Take health precautions!
Get a travel insurance. You can also check with your life insurance the details on what they cover in the case of International travel. Moreover, get all the necessary shots. Vaccines may not be the first one in mind when you decided to travel abroad, but it is certainly one of the most important steps in helping to ensure your travel don’t go awry.
What vaccines you need to get depends on what country you’re traveling to, your travel activities, vaccination history, as well as paying attention to the state of your health. According to CDC, if you need to get a shot, then get it way ahead of time. Your body needs time to process the vaccines and incorporate it into your immune system. It is recommended that you get your vaccines 1 month at the latest before you depart. For a handy link, check out Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website to help you start.
Check and double-check your passport
Passport is your most important travel document, along with your visa. Make sure that your passport is going to be valid for at least several months before you leave the country. Some countries even require you to have a passport that is valid for 6 months from your date of departure from your country’s destination. When should you renew your passport depends on where you need to travel. In most cases, having your passport valid 2-3 months after you leave the destination of your country
Take precautions with your passports and other important documents
In many occasions, it is best to have your passport with your person wherever you travel. Research and try out different ways that work for you when it comes to bringing your passport with you. However, sometimes it is safer to leave or lock in your passport and not bring it whenever you go out. Everything depends on whether your destination is safe for travelers or not, and what are your activities for the day. Take a picture of your passport. Scan it if necessary. Make sure that your relatives or your emergency contact have a copy of your passport whenever you want to travel
The most important international travel tips: Research your destination!
Even when it is a spontaneous trip, make sure to always make the effort to find out about your destination! This is particularly important when it’s your first trip to the country. And even though you’ve been visiting multiple times, being more specific regarding your activities or the places you’re going to visit is only going to benefit you.
Some countries are listed under the “do not travel” area. Even though you’re feeling adventurous, taking a trip to a “do not travel” area with whatever means is just asking for trouble. Heed the advice and travel safely. Some countries require you to prepare yourself medically with vaccines and the likes. You don’t want to be that person who goes home spreading measles.
International Travel Tips: Money! Familiarize yourself with the exchange rates
Having a “mental calculator” on how much X amount of your home currency equals to the local currency is extremely useful! You won’t have to fiddle with your calculator once you have some sort of concept of how much the local currency cost when you’d want to make a decision. To make it easier for yourself, round the numbers up or down. For instance, 1 USD costs 108 JPY at the time of this writing. You can round it down to 1 USD = 100 JPY. Having the concept or a “mental calculator” can be very handy to help ease your travel.
Familiarize yourself with the price ranges
To avoid being scammed or pay an absurdly marked up rate, do sufficient research on the price range in your destination! Start with the most basic needs such as your prices on transportation. Some taxis don’t get their meters turned on for those who obviously looked like a tourist. These are the instances in which having a concept of the average price range would come useful to you. Prevent yourself from being overcharged just because you didn’t research and plan ahead before you travel.
Read more: Key to Staying Healthy While Traveling
Phone plan in other countries
Arguably one of the most important international travel tips to date. Thanks to technology, having to make calls during your international travel is not painful to your pocket anymore. What you need to focus on in your international travel now is the accessibility of the internet. Is wifi readily available in most places? Can you get a sim card easily and quickly? How quickly can you get a reliable data plan once you get off the plane? These are all things that would save you so much time and headache for any of your international trips.
Check your electronics and devices
Different countries use different electrical standards and that affect many things in your everyday household item use. Different countries use different plugs. Make sure to also check the voltages of your electronic items and devices. Bring a universal travel adapter before you leave home. You don’t want your phone dying in the middle of the trip without a means for charging.