No matter what your age, the excitement (and nervousness) involved with making your first international trip is always unique, surprising, sometimes confusing, and always marvelous. You might have a lot of expectations of what you’ll find before you go somewhere. “How will it feel to actually be there,” is the question that drives the whole process, and pretty soon you’ll find your answer.
One day you can be desperate to find a place because you didn’t make a reservation a month in advance for your accommodations and you’re wondering if you’ll blow your whole budget on a night’s stay in a cheap hostel, another day you could be swept away by an incredible view of a beautiful place unlike any other. For that reason, we want to share these tips that will help minimize your frustration when planning your first trip abroad. No matter what your age, we’re sure that these tips will help you.
Visas, passports, and permits
We’ve all been there:
- Want to go to France? Get your passport.
- How about Canada? Get your passport.
- Ireland? Same thing.
- Spain? You still have to get your passport.
If you’re under 18, you can get a passport that lasts between 3 and 6 years, while if you’re over 18, your passport is valid for up to 10 years. Don’t be afraid to ask for your parent’s help to get a passport. All you have to do is set up an appointment with a local passport agency, pay online, fill out your application, bring your documents and get to the appointment on time, and send the materials in, and 10 days later you’ll have your shiny new passport. Before you go, make sure to familiarize yourself with what visas and permits you’ll need and when you need to apply for them before you plan your trip to a country. These documents can be found online or at the local consulate of the country you want to visit. Approval or denial of a visa can vary (from one week to months) depending on the country you’re visiting.
We recommend that you have all of your documents ready to go (including your birth certificate, proof of residency, proof of student status, etc.) both in their original forms and copies of the originals. Make sure you follow all the procedures perfectly so you don’t have any problem getting a visa. And don’t lose hope; you’ll be on the vacation of your life in no time.
Figure out the type of accommodations you want to stay in
Surely you’ve heard of the phrase “French elegance” and if your destination involves eating plenty of croissants and great service, this type of hospitality is what you’ll find in hotels. However, keep an open mind when you’re figuring out which accommodations to choose from. Sometimes even the cheapest places can surprise you with excellent accommodation costs, great rooms, wonderful common areas, and a great way to meet people, which is what you’ll find in hostels. Of course, you’ll have to share a bathroom with other travelers, but keep in mind that the cost, people, and other factors, including the price of a room and amenities can add up quickly if you don’t have a traveler’s membership with international discounts and benefits.
Call your bank ahead of time
If you’re traveling abroad for the first time, it’s always a good idea to call your bank ahead of time and let them know that you’re traveling. First of all, your bank will have your information so they know that it’s you spending money abroad and not a case of identity theft. Second of all, make sure that your bank has partner banks in the country you’re travelling to so you can avoid pesky fees. Ask about their policies for using your account abroad because some cards charge a currency exchange fee. If your credit card has currency exchange fees, consider getting a card without these fees so you can travel and save money.
Have an arrival plan
Exhaustion always clouds people’s judgment, but generally when you finally arrive at your destination, all you want to do is get out of the airport and relax a bit. Before you go, make yourself an arrival plan (and do your research beforehand) so you can avoid paying fees on premium transport that rips off tourists. Use Google Maps or other source before and during your arrival so you can get to your hotel quickly and without overpaying for transportation.
Follow these tips, and you can avoid plenty of headaches so you can enjoy your first trip abroad. Remember to plan your trip with Re_set so you can save up to 70% on accommodations at hotels in over 60,000 destinations throughout the world from Cancun to Hawaii. Sign up for your free 90 day trial membership today and travel the world on your terms with your exclusive membership. Travel differently with Re_set.