I'm Going On My First International Trip! What Should I Do?

When I took my first trip abroad, it did make me nervous and excited at the same time. I get it! You are visiting a new place and have no idea what to expect. These helpful points can save you a lot of headaches, time and money when you book that first trip abroad. 

Will Edmond At Gorge

Do I Need A Passport or VISA?

If you are traveling outside the U.S. you will need a passport to board a flight.  Apply for your passport  in advance so you won't have any unexpected delays. Passports can be expedited and you may be able to apply for an emergency passport that takes only one day to receive. New, replacement or renewal of a passport book is $110 if you are 16 or older; $80 if you are under the age of 16. You may pick up a passport application at your local post office or at a Passport Processing Center. Use Google to locate a passport facility near you to apply.  Also, consider making photocopies of your passport in case your original is lost or stolen while you travel. Leave a copy at home with someone you can trust in case of an emergency. It is also a good idea to save a personal copy of your documents in a secure Dropbox folder. 

Also, the country you are traveling to may require you to have a VISA. Nawl, not a VISA or Mastercard Credit Card! (Charge cards won't get you on that flight, so don't try it.) A travel visa is an endorsement on your passport indicating you are allowed to enter and leave or stay for a specified period of time in the country. 

Where Can I Fly Without A Passport?

You can travel to the following territories and countries without a passport:

1. Puerto Rico

2. Guam

3. U.S. Virgin Islands

4. American Samoa

5. Northern Mariana Islands

Exchange Your Cash At The Airport

I exchange currency in the airport because it saves me a lot of time. When you get settled into your hotel, AirBNB or Innclusive property, find a currency exchange location within walking distance or a few minutes away from you. Carry a minimum amount of cash when you are traveling in a new country. Store your cash in a very secure place. When you are walking in the streets keep your money in your front pockets to avoid pickpocketers. 

Buy A Cheap Prepaid Cellphone When You Visit

No one wants to see overcharges on their cell phone bill. Charges can rack up into the hundreds of dollars and no one has time for that!  Consider scooping up a cheap phone for local calls and for GPS purposes. You can visit a kiosk inside an airport when you arrive or at a local cellular store. 

Check With Your Health Provider And Insurance Company

Be sure to check with your physician to let them know what countries you are visiting and if you need any vaccinations. Consider purchasing travelers insurance or verify if your policy covers accidents while traveling. 

Download Google Translate (It Is A Lifesaver!)

Google Translate will generate a written translation for anything you speak, type or photograph. And you can write and draw on the screen to translate. Downloadable packages for over 50 languages are available.

Go Out And Explore!

Research the place you are going thoroughly.  Use TripAdvisor to get an idea of the top destinations in the country or city.  Use travel groups to ask questions about the location. Using the search feature in a Facebook group can be very helpful in researching and finding activities to partake in. 

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