Travelling abroad for the first time?

Travelling abroad for the first time? Here’s what you need to know

Discovering new places and experiencing a diverse range of cultures are two of the most exciting things you can do. If you’ve never ventured abroad before, we guarantee you’ll have the best time.

However, travelling can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. It’s important to prepare as much as possible to help manage those pre-holiday nerves.

In this article, we’ve listed some top tips and tricks on how to feel relaxed and ready for your trip, despite the fact you’ll likely be stepping out of your comfort zone.

Have your documents ready

You’ll struggle to get very far without the right documentation! While it may seem obvious, you’ll need to double-check that your passport is in date before booking your holiday. Ensure to do this in advance as it can take weeks to receive a new passport if your current one has expired.

It’s a good idea to keep a folder of all the documents you need. While you’ll likely have all the appropriate information on your phone, we recommend having paper copies as a backup.

You should print out your hotel booking confirmation, car rental documents, vaccination history and visa application if required.

Sort out your finances before going abroad, too. If the country you’re visiting uses a different currency, be sure to sort your money out beforehand so you don’t have to worry when you arrive.

There are so many banking apps that allow you to use your card abroad without a fee, so do some research into these to get the best deals.

Check your baggage allowance

Your baggage allowance should be carefully considered when travelling. Don’t let the size of your case fool you as the weight of your baggage could be a lot heavier than it looks.

The weight must be beneath the restrictions set by your chosen airline, otherwise, you’ll likely have to pay a hefty fee. This goes for both your carry-on and hold luggage. So, consider weighing your bags before you travel so you don’t get any nasty surprises when you’re trying to check in at the airport.

Learn some phrases

Not every country you visit will use English as its first language. While many people around the world speak basic English, it’s polite to learn a few key phrases such as “hello”, “please”, and “thank you”.

You might want to learn phrases that can help you get around, as you don’t want to be struggling to communicate with the locals if you find yourself looking for directions. Consider purchasing a phrase book before you travel, or download a language learning app so that you can easily learn phrases on the go.

Don’t forget travel insurance

It’s incredibly important to take out travel insurance before going on holiday. You should never leave things to chance as you never know what could happen while you’re abroad. You’ll thank yourself later down the line if you’ve taken the appropriate measures to protect yourself during your travels.

Travel insurance can cover you against theft of possessions and loss of luggage. It can also protect you if your trip is cancelled for reasons beyond your control or if you need to pay medical costs due to an injury or other emergencies.

Organise transport

Arriving in a new, foreign country can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t speak the language or know how to get around. Before your trip, you should carefully plan how you’ll be getting around as it can be difficult if you’re not aware of the country’s public transport system.

Consider booking airport transfers for the journey there and back for convenience and peace of mind. You’ll arrive right outside of your hotel and won’t have to worry about finding the best way to get there. You can also research taxi apps to help you navigate your way around during your stay. This may come in handy if the country you’re visiting doesn’t run regular trains or buses.

Consider location-specific needs

When packing for your trip, ensure to find out what the weather’s like before going so you know exactly what to bring. If you’re going somewhere hot, you should pack light clothing, sunglasses and plenty of high-SPF sun cream to protect you against the sun.

Don’t forget to pack towels and swimwear if you fancy a dip in the pool. Spending all your time at the beach? Pack a good book, earphones, and a beach bag to carry the essentials.

If you’re heading to a colder country, be sure to take a warm jacket, hat, scarf and gloves so you can comfortably travel around without feeling the cold. Wearing your jacket on the plane is a great way to save space in your suitcase and can prevent your luggage from being too heavy.

Perhaps you’re planning a walking holiday and travelling to each destination on foot. Invest in a good, sturdy pair of walking boots to prevent any long-term injuries during your trip.

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