How to travel like a veteran vacationer overseas

21 Jan. 2022

International travel is a dream for many people. Whether we watch a movie with a scene from Paris or an exotic beach somewhere in Asia, we can’t help but to wonder what it would be like to travel to those destinations. There are certain countries of course where we wouldn’t think about visiting as they do not offer safety for travelers but overall, if given an opportunity, many people would love to have a job that required traveling and exploring new places.

Once you decide tp visit another country you should do as much preparation as you can prior to visiting. International travel indeed requires extensive planning so that you can make the best out of it. Here’s some recommendations to enhance your international travel.

  • First thing is to find out if you actually need a visa. Different countries have different rules and regulations for issuing tourist visas. Sometimes this can take weeks and sometimes you can purchase your visa at the entry point in your destination. Your best bet is to visit that country’s consulate site and gather information on what you need to do. You can also visit Travel.State.Gov and obtain the info you need. This site also offers travel advisories and it’s always beneficial to read it prior to your travel. It also allows travelers to register prior to their travel so that in case of an emergency they know that you are in that specific country and can try to assist you.

  • Learn about the currency for that specific country. Although this may sound like a confusing topic, it’s an important one so that you know what your money is worth overseas. Try to research and get to know the bank notes and coins. Cashiers at the airports and credible establishments would certainly help you sort out “which ones” they need when you’re paying for something, but this may not be most beneficial thing for you. One you may irritate the cashier being a clueless tourist and two it’s always good to know what you’re spending. This tip would be especially useful for you if you do an exchange at a currency exchange bureau overseas. Mistakes can happen but the best way to avoid it is to be informed about the money.

  • These days most credit cards have a chip on them which adds extra security. However, it’s always best to check if you need to notify your credit card company about your upcoming trip. Sometimes, credit card companies block the transactions believing the credit card has been stolen. In this case, it may take a while for them to reach you and verify it’s actually you using your card.

  • Inform your family about the places you will be visiting and staying at. 
  • Chances are your cell phone may be blocked for international calls. Contact your carrier to find out if they offer any international packages for your trip so that you do not get slammed with charges like $2.00 for a minute if you need to call someone back home. Wifi access may be limited overseas so do not rely on the idea of being online. Additionally, although most people use smart phones these days, if you own an older phone it may not be compatible with the carriers overseas. 
  • Healthcare. If you require daily medication ensure that you have enough and maybe extra packed for your travel. However, it may be best to leave these medications in their original containers and perhaps obtain a report from your healthcare provider verifying your medication list.  With so much drug trafficking going on, you need to make sure that you’re not mistaken for someone who’s bringing illegal substance in to the country you’re traveling. If you need healthcare during your trip find credible places to get help.
  • You may need a travel adapter for your small electronics as the voltage may be different in the country you’re visiting. It’s important to check the maximum load power for the adapter and which voltage you need. Otherwise, you may actually destroy your electronic device by using the wrong product the wrong way. 
  • Learn a word of two in the native language of the country you’re about to visit. Travelers find out that even a simple thank you in the other language goes a long way with natives. ·         
  • Public transportation may be the most common way to get around in your destination. Information about train schedules, prices, advanced purchases can normally be found online.

  •      International travel requires at least 2 hours arrival at the airport for check in procedures. Do not take that lightly. Lines can be long and you may have to go through additional security. Sign up for text alerts for flight updates when booking your travel. For long haul flights, it may be worth it to spend extra money for seat upgrades. 
  •      Try to learn about the culture before your travel. Each country is unique and its citizens care as much about ethnocentrism as you would about your own culture. Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s less of a culture. If they have managed to survive without your own ideas about how a culture should be, chances are they will continue to do so and you are not there to change their cultural values. Respect their daily rituals, social values and most importantly laws. It’s impossible not to compare but comparison may prevent you from enjoying yourself. For instance, you may be the king of fresh brewed coffee but some countries drink instant coffee and even tea. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong. On the contrary, enjoy the new experience, learn from it. After all, you didn’t decide to stay in your homeland. You decided to visit a completely different culture and difference is what you will see 24/7.