If you are planning to go abroad for your first time, fear not my friends, because I am here to prepare you! I went out of the country last week for the first time ever and in order to keep my anxiety at bay I had to prepare. This is to protect you and keep you safe so you can enjoy and relax on your trip! After you prepare all there is left to do is go on adventures and make some unforgettable memories!
10 Ways to Prepare for Your First Trip Abroad
If you are going out of the country, the first thing you should do is apply for a passport. I recommend doing this 3 months prior to your travel date to insure you don’t have to pay an expedite fee. You need to have your basic information ready, get a picture taken at a local drug store, and fill out an application. I received mine in 2 weeks, but it can take months. Better be safe than sorry, and apply as soon as you know you are traveling abroad. Don’t forget a cute passport holder or travel folder to hold documents. Staying organized is key! This one is my favorite but Ady has this one!
Pro Tip: Sometimes you can get your picture done at the expedited passport location. Otherwise, make sure you’re facing forward (no tilting your head) and the photo is good quality otherwise they will make you take it over again.
Check Travel Alerts
Before I head out anywhere, I always check for travel alerts and warnings to make sure the area is safe.
Share Your Plans
Always be sure to let your family and friends know where you are going, where you are staying, and how long you will be there. I send out my itinerary to three different people.
Contact Your Cell Phone Provider
Different carriers have different plans but you usually can get international calling added to your plan for either the days you will be traveling or a month at a time. Find the plan that works for you and be sure to confirm your phone will work from there.
Locate your Embassy
Find your nations Embassy online and put their contact information in your phone in case of an emergency. Also, note the local police and emergency contacts just in case!
Register with Safe Trek
This is a service that notifies your government where you will be and the dates you will be there. This is an extra backup service that will alert you if there is any alerts or warnings near you while you are traveling.
Learn to Pack Light
It is so much easier to travel if you can pack light. It is freeing to not have to keep up with so much of your stuff. Besides you are traveling for adventure and memories, who cares about “stuff.” Limit yourself to one carry on or a backpack if possible.
Bring a Wireless Charger
Be sure to pack a wireless charger or a backup battery/power bank. You will be taking pictures with your phone and using it for directions, so you need to make sure you always have battery in case of an emergency. This is the best way to keep a charge and be able to enjoy yourself, but still have a safety net. Ady has this solar charger and it’s pretty sweet!
Make sure you have an outlet that works in the country you are visiting. This one is our favorite because it’s only one plug and converts so many ways.
Insure you are knowledgeable on currency and exchange rates before you go! I’ve heard not to exchange money for anything over a 1.5% commission.
Follow these ten guidelines and you will be prepared! It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Plus, your loved ones will feel more relaxed and comfortable with your traveling because they know you took all precautions. Safe travels!