Going Overseas: 9 Tips for Your First International Trip

according to a CNBC article, 31% of Americans are more interested in overseas travel than domestic travel for 2023.

With so many ways to travel, going overseas is a luxury that many Americans can afford to do. That being said, if you’re planning an international trip, you want it to be as seamless as possible.

The best thing you can do is be prepared. Whether you’re going for pleasure or business, make sure you get yourself as prepared as you can so that your trip is every bit what you expect it to be.

If it’s your first time, it can be overwhelming to determine what your steps for getting ready should be. Keep reading to discover 9 tips for your first international trip.

1. Get Your Passport and Documentation Ready

Keep in mind that if you’re traveling overseas, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER your return trip. Furthermore, it must have 2 blank pages available.

If you need a visa, make sure you apply for it and your passport months in advance. It can take time to receive a passport and waiting for it can be stressful. That being said, you can pay extra money to get it rushed, last minute, especially if you have tickets booked to prove the validity of your trip.

But if you’re going on a trip overseas, we suggest saving that extra cash and opting to get your passport and necessary documentation as soon as possible.

2. Get the Necessary Vaccinations

Be sure to see your doctor for a checkup, and to get the vaccinations, if any, that are necessary for your trip. Make sure you do your research beforehand so you have plenty of time to account for multiple shots or get a vaccination in parts.

3. Get Your Money Ready

Call your bank and let them know you’ll be traveling. Contact any credit card companies for which you hold a credit card that you plan to use on your trip.

Check conversion rates for the country you’re going to first and make sure you have cash for that country on hand. Don’t change your money at the airport as it will most likely be pricier than using a local ATM.

The technology overseas for protection when it comes to PINs and chips is advanced. Many places no longer take magnetic strips so make sure your cards are all up to date.

4. Consider Travel Insurance

Check with your health insurance policy to see if they’ll cover you in another country. If they do, inform them of your travel dates and ask what the process should be, should you incur an injury on your travels.

One of the most important international tips is to make sure you do have insurance. If you don’t currently have a health insurance plan or if yours won’t cover you on an overseas trip, you can purchase travel insurance. It’s not that expensive and you can cater to where you’ll be going and the duration of your trip.

5. Research Your Destination’s Laws and Regulations

While we are familiar with the positive meaning of a thumb’s up, there are parts of the world where a thumb’s up is a definitively negative thumbs down. Do your research in terms of the way people dress, interact, and communicate to make sure that you don’t start off your trip offending people.

You don’t want to end up in jail for doing something that some simple research would have reminded you not to do!

6. Get Your Electronics in Order

One item you should definitely invest in, especially if you’ll be taking a long flight, is noise-canceling headphones. And make sure you have a pair of regular headphones at the very least.

Not only could you end up sitting in front of a couple of antsy toddlers, but music can be a way to calm yourself in moments of anxiety or panic.

If you’re going to be away for a long time, music can help you feel connected to your home, whereas taking a Portable Radio with you will allow you to tune in to local radio stations and listen along with the locals.

Make sure you have a charger that will work in whatever country you’re traveling to, and all of the electronics necessary to use your phone, camera, and other electronic items on your trip.

Find out if you’ll be able to use WIFI on your phone. If not, you may want to invest in a prepaid phone. There are also many apps available for free international texting.

7. Make Copies of Whatever You Can

Make three copies of your passport, ID, visa, and whatever other documentation you’ll be bringing on your trip. Give one set of copies to someone you trust. Take your originals and copies with you on your trip but store them in different places.

8. Pack Lightly

Pack as lightly as you can, especially if you’ll be shopping on your trip. In addition, if you’re going to be moving around a lot, you’ll be thankful that you aren’t dragging around a giant bag filled to the brim with luggage.

While we’re on the subject, make sure you get a durable luggage bag that you can move around easily.

9. Choose an Aisle Seat

Despite the reputation of the coveted window seat, for long flights, it’s in anyone’s best interest to sit in an aisle seat. For long flights, it’s better for your blood flow and circulation to move around. If you aren’t able to do so, you run the risk of cramps or blood clots.

Other Tips and Tricks

You might want to bring a water bottle that doesn’t leak and is easy to carry around. That way you’ll be able to re-fill it anytime you come across filtered water.

You may want a neck pillow for your long plane ride and for any other traveling that you’ll be doing on your trip.

Read this article if you want to check out even more quick travel tips.

Get Excited About Your International Trip

If you’re heading on an international trip, you want to be able to get excited. But if you aren’t properly prepared, you’ll be left feeling stressed and anxious about your trip.

Follow the simple tips we mentioned so that you can live out your trip to the fullest. You can start by making a list! Make a list of everything you need to do to prepare for your trip. If you begin now, you can start crossing items off your list today!