International Travel Trip Tips: Pre-Travel Set Up

International travel, the next frontier for a college kid. Going abroad is expensive and, at times, intimidating, but it is achievable. It can be the best time of your life, or the most miserable week because you didn't prepare before. The best way to start is to ask yourself a couple questions: Where are you going? Are you going by yourself or with a friend? How long will you be there? What is your budget? Do you speak the language? Will you need a visa? Does your card have international transaction fees? Have you booked a hotel and airfare in advance for cheaper prices? If you have thought of all of this, here are my extra tips I learned on my first trip overseas.

In high school, I had never been out of the country, so the first thing I needed to do was get a passport. If you don’t already have a passport, here is your check list from the government to get one. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/apply-in-person.html. If you already have a passport make sure it is still valid, this includes the six month rule. Some countries will not let you in if you have 6 months left before your passport expires. After you get your passport remember to keep a copy on paper and in your email incase it gets lost. You do not want to visit the embassy or pay the price to replace it.

 

When booking an international flight, look at your arrival times. Since you are jumping time zones, there is a good chance for serious jet lag. What I did my first time was stay awake during my 12 hour flight, ate dinner, and went to bed because I was exhausted. It doesn’t sound like the best first day, but if you compared me to my friends, I was rested and ready to take on the world, dragging my friends behind me.

You will thank me when I remind you to PACK LIGHT. You will, without a doubt, bring more home than you will have room for. Along with that most international flights give you the option to check two bags but make sure if you check the baggage fees are for that airline when taking small flights around the area.

PROFESSIONAL TRAVELING TIP: Bring a small backpack that you can put in your luggage for traveling around the city. Here is a link to a lightweight, foldable, and packable backpack: https://www.amazon.com/ZOMAKE-Lightweight-Packable-Backpack-Resistant/dp/B01A1YCRR8

 

My favorite tip, in your carry-on or purse, keep a little bag to hold your important things for the rest of the trip, for me that includes passport, airplane tickets, ID, tissues, pen, and a little bit of money. What I use to keep these essentials together is a small makeup bag for your purse. This will be important, not only in the airport, but when you are traveling throughout the country.There are some places that will not let you travel, hike, or drink without your passport. Even though it is scary to think you might lose it while traveling, it's good to keep with you in those cases or emergencies.

It is a big wide world just waiting for you to explore. Start planning, explore a little bit of it now, not later! Remember, the best adventures never end.

Picture references: cover photo, 1,  2, 3