5 Essential Tips for Planning Your First International Trip

5 Essential Tips for Planning Your First International Trip

Are you ready to venture beyond your country’s borders? Crossing to a nearby land or traveling to a faraway nation offers a chance to stretch your horizons and appreciate the beauty of another culture. It’s a new place, with people and customers waiting for you to explore.

Although an exciting time, traveling outside your country requires additional preparation and planning. Don’t just hop on a plane and go. Get the most out of the journey by thinking ahead and getting yourself and your trip in line. The following are tips for making this a stellar international trip.

1. Prepare for Jet Lag

You may cross multiple time zones to get to your new destination, and this shift in day and night schedule plays with your body, mind and sleep habits, leading to a condition known as jet lag. You don’t want to pull through the trip; you want to enjoy it.

Therefore, take the time now to start gearing up for the change. Get proper sleep for the week or two before you head out. Adjust your evening schedule to prep for the new zone, potentially reducing your jet lag. Ease your bedtime up or back depending on where you plan to go and follow solid slumber habits. Turn the temperature down, and block out light with an eye mask and black-out curtains. In addition, support your sleep cycle with a melatonin supplement. You want to promote rest at the best points to trick your body into adjusting to the upcoming schedule.

2. Prepare Documentation Early

Crossing states and changing countries are two different things. You can cruise down the interstate and quickly reach your neighboring state without hassle or checkpoints. However, when entering a nation, you must meet its entry requirements. If you don’t have a passport, get one, and give yourself time to ensure it’s processed. Passports can take months to a year; don’t wait and hope it will work out.

In addition, specific locations also require medical documentation and Visas. Find the country’s government page to read about particular mandates. Gather the paperwork together. Store it in a secure location, and remember to keep it available throughout your travels.

3. Understand Safety Concerns and Potential Obstacles

As a kid, you may have hated it when you’re parents scrutinized your every decision and move, especially if you headed somewhere new. Those conversations taught you that this world remains unpredictable, and it’s best to think through situations and obstacles before getting into trouble. This lesson remains invaluable with international travel.

Read about potential safety concerns for the country. Understand the threat of crime and environmental issues such as medical and environmental troubles. Then, consider how to avoid these issues and defend yourself appropriately. Invest in wallets or bags that protect against pickpocketing. Learn traffic patterns and consider travel and medical insurance.

4. Book Your Activities Ahead of Time

There are peak seasons for international travel. With so many people flooding into a new area, you may find it hard to book the tour that tops your list. Write out your top ten list for the trip. What do you want to see? Where do you want to go? Then, book those things early. This effort could save you a lot of disappointment and long lines.

5. Pack Light

You don’t want to lug bag after bag onto a plane and off of it. It’s even worse if you are moving through multiple countries. Stick with something light and portable, packing what you need for the time.

Look at the weather apps and local forecasts for the region. What is expected during the stay? Look at your booked activities and pick out outfits that work for them. If it’s cold, toss the shorts out and make room for long sleeves and layers of clothes. Don’t pack too many extras. If needed, hit the hotel laundry to wash a load.

On your first international trip, feel confident in your travels and focus on exciting sites. You don’t want to scramble around. Therefore, spend time planning. Help your body adjust to a new time, prepare your documents and book your excursions.

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