With travel restrictions easing down across the globe, it just might be the right time to start planning an overseas trip that you’ve always dreamt of. Traveling to a different country is a great way to explore varied cultures, gain perspective or simply escape from the stresses of daily life.
However, traveling abroad can present its own share of challenges which may seem particularly daunting for a first timer. Fret not, whether you’re planning on frolicking in the sandy beaches of the Bahamas or rewinding the pages of history by visiting the famed museums of Paris. Here’s a guide into some of the most common challenges that travelers most often face when visiting a new country and how you can tackle them.
1) Get your passport sorted out before planning a trip
A passport is one of the most important documents you’ll need while traveling to a different country. If you haven’t applied for one, then make sure you do it at the earliest since the procedure is comprehensive and time-consuming.
Another mistake that travelers often make is booking their flight tickets in advance, even before their passports have arrived in their mails. Don’t make this mistake since you’ll end up paying more money than you accounted for expedited charges. Even when expedited charges apply, it’ll still take you at least two weeks to get your hands on your passport.
It’s also highly advisable to make multiple copies of your passport once you receive it. Some travel agencies persist for it, and most hotels would need it as a part of their authentication process.
2) Research into whether the country you’re traveling to needs a visa or not
When choosing a country to travel to, consider if you’d need to apply for a travel visa or not. Some countries don’t need you to carry a visa, while others hand them out on arrival. But, for the most part, you will need to apply for one. Visa charges vary from one country to another, so there’s a potential chance that it could eat into your budget considerably.
3) Look into finances and exchange rates
Research if the country you’re traveling to accepts your currency as legal tender. Even if they do, you’re still better off carrying the local currency to avoid unnecessary hassle. If you don’t want to carry cash, there’s always the option of using a debit card. Check if your bank supports international transactions or if they have sister banks, they’ve partnered up with in the country you wish to visit.
4) Keep yourself safe
Pickpocketers are common in tourist spots. You can protect yourself against such petty thefts by staying aware at all times and packing light by carrying only essential gear when you’re on the streets. Keep your phones with you at all times. In addition, leave behind a spare debit card in your hotel to take care of expenses.
This goes without saying but avoid walking into unfamiliar or deserted streets searching for privacy. Make it a point to share your travel itineraries with a close friend or family member. This ensures they know your schedule and approximately where you are at all times. It’s highly recommended that you enroll with the travel enrollment program of your country. Such programs allow embassies to keep track of travelers and prioritize them in cases of a state emergency or a natural disaster.
To lessen your worries, you can always go ahead and get insurance. In addition to protecting your residence in cases of mishaps, travelers renter insurance protects your valuables while you’re traveling outside the country. You then stay protected, whether it’s your iPad that gets stolen from your hotel or your expensive smartphone that gets swiped in a busy street.
Another critical aspect of traveling that most people forget about is vaccinations. The countries that you’re traveling to might be endemic to an array of disease-causing pathogens. It is important to get immunized beforehand. This list keeps getting updated every year, so stay abreast of developments.
5) Learn to deal with jet lag better
Jet lag is a real thing. Give yourself plenty of time to adjust to the new environment. For instance, avoid taking a nap the moment you arrive at your hotel, especially when it’s daytime. You can try a caffeinated beverage to stay vigilant and consume lots of water to stay hydrated. If you’re still experiencing symptoms of jet lag, melatonin may help to stabilize your circadian rhythm.
That was a list of some of the most common challenges travelers encounter when visiting a different country. Take them into account to plan ahead for easing your travel and lessen concerns.