Travel tips for first-time international travelers

Traveling internationally for the first time can be both exhilarating but also very much daunting. The following tips will provide you with the confidence to travel abroad without any fear!

1. Go to the doctor

Make sure that you have received all of the immunizations or prophylactic medication necessary to protect yourself from any diseases that your destination offers. Yellow fever immunizations are quite common. It is very important to get prophylaxis if you are planning on going to an area with malaria prevalence. Also, get a sleeping tablet from your doctor for the flight in case you need it to sleep. If you get motion sickness quite easily then perhaps get a script for a motion sickness tablet from your doctor too.

Travel tips for first-time international travelers

2. Official documents

Make sure your passport is still up to date. Some countries require that your passport still has to be valid for at least 6 months if you want to travel with it. Also, check if the country of your destination requires you to have a visa. It is very important to sort out all of this documentation long before your trip as it could potentially lead to you missing your trip entirely! Passport numbers are also required for you to be able to book your flight, so keep this in mind. It is also a great idea to have copies of your documents in a different location in case you lose it, or you are a victim of theft. Email a PDF version of your documents to yourself so that you can access it whenever you need it.

3. Packing

Rather underpack than overpack. When you come back you will have bought many things and therefore your bag is much more likely to be too heavy when flying back. Reuse clothing – jeans especially can be worn at least twice or more before they need a wash so you can pack fewer pants. Underwear should rather not be worn more than once.

4. Airport etiquette

Don’t make jokes about concealed weapons or bombs at the airport. This might sound like a fun idea in the moment but it definitely won’t be fun if you miss your flight because they see you as a potential danger to the safety of others.

Travel tips for first-time international travelers

5. On the airplane

Make sure to have earplugs and an eye mask with you. Some airplanes do supply this, but it is better to always be prepared. If your flight is going to be very long, make sure to have little bottles of hand sanitizer or even body wipes with you so that you can wipe yourself down a bit while flying or during stopovers. Just be cautious of the amount of lotions and fluids that you have in your hand luggage as most airports have guidelines regarding this. Always make sure to check the airport’s guidelines before packing.

6. At the destination

Make sure to read up about your location and research the local culture. The last thing that you want to do is to insult someone by accident. It is also a good idea to know a few phrases of the local language so that you can ask for assistance. Translation apps are a great help! It is also a good idea to research the area so that you are aware of some of the activities to do. Most people have a limited amount of time when traveling abroad so it is good to prioritize activities. Being spontaneous is good too, so remember to keep an open mind and get recommendations from the locals.