5 Tips for Traveling Abroad!
Well first things first... get a passport! I honestly think everyone should have one even if they don't know if or when they are going to travel abroad. This way you are prepared for that spontaneous trip that comes out of no where! If you have never gone through the process before then you should know that it takes some effort and time to actually get the passport in your hands. You have to go to your local Post Office and fill out the paperwork and give them a passport photo that you went and had taken ahead of time at your local pharmacy as well as meet with someone that will verify your application and submit it for you. SO basically what I am saying is don't procrastinate and wait until a month out because then the already long process gets a little more complicated and much more expensive!
If you already have one then make sure that your passport doesn't expire within 6 months of your planned trip because most countries will not let you in at the border if this is the case! I didn't realize that was a thing until this last trip we took but I was relieved when I was still 7 months away from expiration! Talk about a quick way to ruin your travel plans! So if you have had your passport for a while make sure to check that as well.
Not every country requires a visa but it is helpful to check so that you are prepared when you arrive and able to enter the country. You can get these relatively quick but I still recommend not waiting until the last minute in case anything goes wrong or they need extra things from you in order to grant your visa. Typically you can find all the paperwork you need online at the countries Embassy website as well as all the requirements for entry.
This is also something I recommend looking into if you have any extended layovers because they are often missed opportunities to go out and explore another city rather than being stuck in an airport for 12 hours!
3. Less is MORE
Now I put this one in here because I know the first TWO times I travelled overseas I brought everything but the kitchen sink, haha!! Okay obviously an exaggeration but I definitely brought way to much stuff! I know if feels like you need it all BUT you don't. Remember you are going to be lugging that stuff with you everywhere in a place that you are not familiar with and honestly that is just not fun. ALSO if you are anything like me you are going to want to purchase stuff while traveling and if you overpack then how will you get your new things back with you? I started doing this thing when I travel where I pack like a week in advance and then a few days before I repack. This way I am not overwhelmed by all the things in my house and now I have a smaller amount of things to weed through and reevaluate what I will actually need. This has proven to work for me and I can proudly say that I have packed for my husband, 3 year old and myself in one large suitcase, a carry-on and a computer bag! Oh yeah it is possible!
4. Bank and Phone
This is one of those logistical things that you do not want to forget before you leave the country! You will want to make sure to let your bank know your full travel itinerary so that they do not freeze your bank account while you are away. Also check with your phone company and see what the overseas charges are or what deals they provide for you while you are out of the US.
5. Embrace the experience
This is something that my husband and I like to do before we travel to a new country and that is to read and learn a little about the countries culture and the do's and don'ts. We feel like it helps us prepare as well as helps us to be considerate of what their culture finds acceptable. We also check out their cuisine, and different attractions they are known for, do they tip at restaurants or not, as well as ease of transportation, cost of living, etc... A great resource for this is Lonely Planet! They will give you the low down on whatever city you are contemplating on visiting!
There is so much that can be done before traveling overseas ESPECIALLY if you have never done it before, but these 5 things are a great place to start and will definitely help prepare you as your departure day arrives! If you have other questions about traveling feel free to leave a comment below and we would love to help you as you prepare for your next adventure!!