Needless to stay, when traveling, you expect to have a good time. However, in order to have a great trip, you need to put some effort into planning. This is especially true when traveling to a foreign country. It may be tempting to simply buy a ticket and go where the road takes you, but eventually, there would be a bump on that road that you could have avoided with some planning. With that in mind, here are a few tips that should help you prepare for your trip and avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Make sure your passport is up to date
While you don’t need to know your passport’s expiration date by heart, you should still know it approximately. After all, there aren’t many things that could ruin your trip as much as getting to the airport or border and realizing that your passport has expired. So, make sure to check it at least once or twice per year, as you want it to be valid for at least six months after entering a foreign country. So, if you notice that your passport will expire soon, make sure to renew it before you start planning your trip.
Get a visa
Moreover, check whether you’d need a tourist visa or not – it’s not always necessary, but just like with the passport, you don’t want to be surprised. Especially since getting the visa can sometimes take a few months, so you want to take care of this in time. Plus, some countries, like China, offer multiyear visas that let you leave and come back more times than once. In other words, doing your research could save you both money and time.
Make copies of all important documents
Speaking of your travel documents, you should always have a few extra copies stored somewhere safe. For example, you should carry one copy with you (but separate from your original documents), and you should leave one at home with a friend or family member. Moreover, you should also make copies of your hotel reservations, train or bus tickets, and all the other traveling documents. If you prefer digital copies, you should be able to access them offline, as well. Plus, if you’re keeping sensitive information on your phone, make sure you have a password that is stronger than 12345 or something else easy to guess.
Do your research
No matter where you choose to go, it’s always a good idea to do some research on your destination. For example, you should learn the local etiquette, a few common phrases in the local language, public transport details, and perhaps even the best places for dining when you feel like eating out. It’s also not a bad idea to know some things about the local economy and politics, as it could help you socialize with the locals. So, for instance, if you’re traveling to China, checking out the Week in China digital magazine could give you some ideas on possible topics for conversation. Moreover, researching could also help you prepare for your trip in terms of safety – how to protect your things from thieves, which areas of the city to avoid, etc.
Get vaccinated and bring medicine
Depending on where you want to travel, you may need to get vaccinated as a precaution against local diseases. To get more info, you can check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, but you can also consult your doctor. Also, keep in mind that most vaccines don’t take effect right away, so this is another thing that you should plan in advance. Additionally, if you take any prescription medication, make sure you have enough to cover your trip. Finally, don’t forget to pack some non-prescription medicine – for headache, stomach ache, nausea, and anything else that might cause you discomfort.
Plan your finances
Before leaving, don’t forget to inform your bank of your traveling plans. The thing is, if they notice you using your credit card abroad, and they don’t know about your trip, they might block it thinking it was stolen. You probably don’t want this to happen when you’re trying to pay for dinner or groceries, so it’s not a step you should skip. Also, you should know the exchange rate and how much things usually cost at your traveling destination. You don’t want to bring too much money, but you don’t want to run out either, so knowing how much things cost can help you plan your finances better.
No matter how excited you are about your trip abroad, don’t let your excitement affect your responsibility and organization. You should be thorough with your preparations, so you can truly relax during your trip. After all, even the smallest things can ruin your mood. Therefore, consider the listed suggestions, think about your trip and what else you might need during it, start planning and preparing on time, and you’re bound to have plenty of fun.