If you’re planning an international trip this year, you’re going to want to make sure that you do everything that you can to ensure that your trip runs smoothly. If you’ve never been out of the country before, there are a few things that you should make a priority when mapping out your dream vacation. Whether you’re traveling to France or Japan or all the way to Antartica, we’re here to help with a list of tips on how to best prepare for a trip abroad.
- Get Your Passport in Order
When traveling outside of the country, you’re going to want to make sure that you have an up to date passport that you can use. A passport is a government-issued document that confirms a person’s identity and nationality and is necessary to travel to and from different countries. In order to get a passport, you’ll need to apply for one by filling out the proper government forms, which you’ll turn in to your local passport office. In addition to this, you’ll need to get two inch by two inch passport photos taken, which can be done at most convenience stores, or certain passport offices.
Once you submit your passport application, you’ll wait approximately five to nine weeks to receive your valid passport. As such, it’s essential to take the steps to get your passport far before the dates of your planned trip. You don’t want to be waiting by the mailbox the day before your flight hoping that your new passport arrives, so plan ahead or get one before you even have a trip scheduled. If you already have a passport, you’ll want to check that it’s valid, as passports must be renewed ten years after their issuing date. If your passport is expired, you’ll need to apply again, and follow the steps above.
By taking the steps to ensure that your passport is in order before you travel, you’ll save yourself a good deal of time, money, and stress in the days before your trip.
- Consider Booking Luggage Storage Ahead of Time
Once you arrive in the country that you’re visiting, it’s likely that you’ll want to start exploring as soon as you arrive. However, there’s a good chance that your international flight might get you there a few hours before your hotel or AirBnb is ready for you to check in. Instead of idling around the airport terminal with your luggage, it’s a great idea to reserve luggage storage ahead of time, so you can store your bags safely and start sightseeing without feeling weighed down.
You can also utilize luggage storage during your travels abroad when traversing a new country by train. For instance, if you’re traveling to England, you might decide to take the train for a day trip to York, about four hours north of London. If you’re just going to be in York for the day, you won’t want to have to carry all of your bags with you. Instead, you could drop your belongings at a York left luggage storage location within or around the station. Simply search online to make a reservation at a luggage storage location for the time and amount of bags that you need, and you’ll be set to explore.
By searching for and securing luggage storage near attractions that you want to visit before you travel to your international destination, you can spend your days sightseeing with ease.
- Check the Weather Before You Go to Pack Like a Pro
When traveling to an international destination, you’re going to want to look into what the weather is like there before you go so you know what kind of clothes that you’ll need to pack. With a quick Google search, you can typically get a summary of what the weather is like during any given season anywhere in the world. So, even if your trip to France is months away, you’ll be able to know whether you should pack an extra sweater or loads of t-shirts instead.
- Purchase Travel Insurance
While of course we hope your trip abroad is your dream vacation, we also know that sometimes life gets in the way of even the best laid travel plans. In order to ensure that you receive reimbursements for your airfare and other travel accommodations, we recommend purchasing travel insurance just in case circumstances arise that keep you from going on your trip. With travel insurance, you’ll receive your funds back so you can re-plan your trip in an affordable manner.
In order to plan a successful trip abroad, you’ll want to be prepared with the proper travel documents, have luggage storage secured, know what the weather is like in the place that you’re visiting and pack accordingly, and purchase travel insurance to protect your trip funds. What do you think is an important thing for a first-time international traveler to know?