Today’s blog was contributed by Nicole McCray. She offers practical tips on planning international travel! Enjoy.
Traveling is a great way to unwind and stay youthful as you age. It gets you out of the daily routine and thrusts you into the adventure. Traveling allows you to explore different places and cultures, meet new people and expand your mindset.
You’ve probably gone on an international trip before and understand the importance of having everything in order. Planning for international travel involves many moving parts to ensure that you prepare adequately.
If it’s your first time traveling internationally, here are some basic steps to help you plan a fun and successful international trip.
PICK YOUR DESTINATION AND RESEARCH
Do you have a bucket list? If so, which destinations are on there that you would like to visit and explore? That is an excellent place to start when looking for a great international travel destination.
Ensure that you have your travel destination in mind to allow you to prepare better and have a great time. You’ll need to research your desired destination in advance to allow for adequate preparations.
Look into the safety, travel requirements, weather, and reviews of other travelers to gauge if it will be a good choice for you. Once you are comfortable with your chosen destination, it’s time to start planning to get you closer to your travel goals.
DETERMINE YOUR TRAVEL DURATION
How long will you be traveling abroad? Do you plan to make it a week or six months? Determine the duration of your trip to help you plan better.
The duration will help you determine the budget you’ll work with and let you tweak where necessary. In addition, knowing your travel duration in advance is essential to help you leave everything in order.
If you are traveling for a long time, you’ll have the chance to organize your home and leave your possessions under the care of someone you trust. Doing this will keep your mind at peace and allow you to stay present and enjoy your trip.
WORK WITH A BUDGET
One thing about traveling is that you might dip too deep into your pocket, especially when you know the money is already there for you. So, the best thing is to come up with a budget before planning anything else.
Your budget will help you find better deals to ensure that your money is enough for your international travel. To help you do this, look into your destination and determine the daily expenses you are likely to incur.
The amount will differ depending on your lifestyle choices and the places you’ll want to visit. Once you have your daily expenses, consider the duration you’ll be traveling and use that money for your upkeep.
Additionally, factor in flights and accommodation into your budget. Doing this will help to ensure that you can comfortably cater to them. If you get better deals on flights, you’ll be saving some money to use during your trip.
FIGURE OUT YOUR MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION
How do you plan to travel?
Figuring this out will help you seamlessly execute your plans. In most cases, flights make things easier and faster. So, you’ll need to get your flight tickets in time for your international travel.
In addition, you also need to think about local transportation once you get to your destination. Will you hire a car that you’ll use to move around with, rely on cabs, or take public transport?
Take some time to research the best options before traveling to make things easier for you. You’ll end up saving some money and avoiding a lot of stress. If you choose to hire a car, ensure that you apply for an international driver’s permit (IDP).
SETTLE YOUR ACCOMMODATIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
When planning for international travel, you’ll find that you have different accommodation options. You are most definitely spoilt for choice, and finding the right place for you will require some research.
You’ll need to consider convenience by looking at access to the town, the places you want to visit, hospitals, food joints, and security. Doing this will help you avoid getting accommodation in areas that are too interior that it becomes a hustle to move around.
Additionally, remember to look at the reviews from other people who have stayed in your desired accommodation options. It is a great way to find the perfect choice for you and weed out those that result in unsatisfied clients.
GET YOUR DOCUMENTATION IN ORDER
You should get your Passport and Visa in advance since the processes take some time to complete. In addition, you’ll need an up-to-date Passport for any international travel you plan to do.
Visas are a requirement in select countries since they confirm that you have been granted entry into the country. Figure out if your desired destination requires you to use a Visa and apply for one.
Having your travel documents in order will give you an easier time at the airport and reduce problems with the officials. In addition, it will make it easier for you to enjoy your time in a foreign country without legal worries. Be sure to take pictures on your phone and email them to you so you always have backups!
PLAN FOR ACTIVITIES
Traveling exposes you to different activities that you can get up to. Even in old age, there are activities you can enjoy and make time for during your trip. Some of these activities will differ depending on the country you visit.
However, some great activity options to do when traveling abroad include:
- Site seeing
- Museum visits
- Exploring restaurants and sampling local cuisines
- Going to the beach
- Attending local festivals or events
Take time to research some must-do activities in your destination and plan for them. Then, select dates to engage in these different activities to ensure that you have quality time. Planning the activities out will help you engage in all the exciting activities.
PACK ACCORDINGLY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
Packing for international travel requires a lot of thought and planning to carry everything you’ll need. The number of items you choose to pack will depend on the duration of your trip. Read Honey’s very detailed tips here!
However, there are essential items that you should pack in your luggage to make your trip more enjoyable. Some of these items include:
- Prescription medication
- Electronic gadgets like kindle, phone, power bank, laptops, e.t.c
- Adequate clothing options keeping the weather in mind
- Comfortable shoes
- Essential toiletries
- Copies of your travel documents, including travel health insurance
When packing for your trip, the key is to avoid going overboard. You want to pack just the right amount of luggage to avoid the extra stress.
Therefore, pack a bag or two but remember to carry a backpack for your carry-on luggage. Your carry-on should include your essential travel documents, a kindle, and various backpack accessories that you find helpful.
Try to keep it light when packing and ensure you don’t leave anything you’ll need. Then, if you can get it at your destination and fit it into your budget, don’t feel the need to carry it.
So the next question is, Where to?
Where do you plan on going this summer? I’d love for you to share in the comments!
About the author: Nicole has been obsessed with beauty and fashion since she was a young girl, always flipping through Vogue and stealing her mother’s cosmetics bag to experiment. She’s a former wedding makeup artist who loves spending her free time trying new products and staying up to date on the latest beauty and style trends. While Nicole’s days are now spent contributing to fashion, beauty, and lifestyle sites from home while raising her kids, she can still always be found putting looks together, even if it’s just for a trip to the grocery store!
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