Taking your first international trip is an exciting adventure. You get to meet all kinds of people, learn about a completely different culture, and see landscapes that are absolutely foreign to you. You also get to try all kinds of cuisine that may be completely foreign to you, or you may have just never had the opportunity to taste those dishes in an authentic way. If you’re not quite sure how to prepare for your voyage, here is how to plan your first international trip.
- Have a valid passport. If you don’t already have a passport, or if yours is about to expire, then you need to apply for a passport immediately. You can pay an extra fee to have your application expedited, but otherwise it usually can take up to two months for your passport application to be processed. So be sure to get that squared away as early as possible.
- Do some research on the cities that you plan to visit. Before you step on the plane, you want to have a basic knowledge of the place or places that you are about to visit. You want to make a basic itinerary for yourself so that you can be sure to make time for all the main sites that you want to see, and you want to know exactly how you will be getting there.
- Find out how you will get around. The last thing you want to do is arrive in a foreign country and not know how you plan to get around. If you plan to take taxis, you should get an idea of what the taxi rates tend to be so that you don’t get ripped off or go over your budget. If you plan to use public transit, you should do some research on how the public transit systems work so that you know exactly how you will get from the airport to your hotel, and then to all the various sites you plan to see.
- Have a basic understanding of the language that the locals speak. If you don’t already know how to speak a bit of the local language, then it’s a good idea to do some studying before you get there. You can buy books that teach you all the main words and phrases, or you can download podcasts that will teach you the basics. Either way, just a little bit of comfort with the language can go a long way. What’s great about travel books that teach you basic phrases is that you will not only get advice on finding the right hotel in cancun, you will learn about how to ask and respond to all kinds of questions related to staying in your.
- Notify your bank before you leave. Under no circumstances do you want to travel to a foreign country without notifying your bank. If you do, your bank could freeze your account the moment you try to make your first purchase with your debit of credit card. This is a measure that they take to prevent fraudulent spending, but it could end up leaving you high and dry with no access to your own money. So be sure to make that call before you get on the plane.