Blog / Best international travel tips for first-time travelers

Best international travel tips for first-time travelers

/ 20.02.24

Overcome your pre-departure jitters with our useful international travel tips for international travel. Follow these tips and travel abroad like a pro!

No matter how much you've traveled in your home country, the idea of embarking on your first trip overseas can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. 

Venturing into a completely new destination may be intimidating and confusing at first, but it doesn't have to be! Specially in the case of student travel programs, that usually they are very well organized

Follow these simple tips for international travel on things to do before traveling internationally to ensure a smooth journey.



Prepare your travel documents


The most crucial advice to avoid unnecessary stress is to apply for your passport well in advance. Without your passport or a travel visa, your potential travel options are significantly limited.




This may be overlooked by some, but a 10-year passport validity can make people complacent, forgetting that it actually needs renewal.

Many countries may not even allow you to enter if your passport has less than 6 months of validity, and your visa application may be denied if you don't have enough free pages in your passport.

A general rule of thumb is to ensure you have a valid passport before booking your flight. The process of applying for and receiving your passport can potentially delay your trip if it is not done in advance.




You'll need to check in advance whether you need a visa or not, which is a document issued by the destination country granting you entry. Showing up to your flight without the necessary visa may result in rejection, especially if you cannot apply for one upon arrival.

US and UK passport holders can travel to many countries without a visa, or they can obtain one upon arrival. However, rules vary between countries, so be sure to thoroughly research the entry requirements of the country you are flighing to.



Conduct a thorough research on your destination


Devoting time researching your destination is crucial for enhancing your overall travel experience. While spontaneous travel may seem more exciting, it proves far more practical to anticipate some of the nuances of your destination country by delving into tips for first-time travel abroad.

Apart from variations in language and culture, laws may also differ on every day matters Were you aware that chewing gum is illegal in Singapore? Or that feeding pigeons in Venice is against the law? If your plan involved riding a cow while intoxicated in Scotland, you'll discover that such an act is prohibited as well. Foreign countries often have laws that may seem peculiar to you, but that's simply because it's not part of your own culture. Being aware of them in advance can help you avoid any legal complications.


Manage your finances


Before embarking on your journey to a distant destination, it's essential to inform your bank about your travel plans. This precaution ensures that your bank won't flag your card for potential fraud when it's suddenly used at a market in Thailand.

In certain destinations, accessing ATMs may not be convenient. Some countries with predominantly cash-based economies might lack card readers at many restaurants or businesses. In such cases, carry sufficient cash to cover your daily expenses. Some travelers opt to secure larger sums of money in a money belt for added safety.


Evaluate transportation and lodging options


Given that you'll likely be on the move daily, it's crucial to research the most efficient ways to travel during your trip.



Websites like Rio2Rome and 12Go prove invaluable for exploring route options and determining the quickest and most economical transportation mode (bus, train, or plane).

Buses and subway systems are often the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly transportation methods, providing opportunities to take in the sights and engage with locals. Alternatively, you can utilize rideshare apps such as Uber, Cabify, Grab, or Bolt for door-to-door service with verified and licensed drivers at reasonable prices.



While hotels are a reliable choice, hostels, guesthouses, and Airbnb can offer more budget-friendly and immersive experiences, enabling you to connect with fellow travelers. Opting for a hostel? Boutique hostels frequently feature better amenities than budget hotels.

If you plan to stay in one location for an extended period, explore options offering monthly discounts. Platforms like compare sites such as Hostelworld, Booking, Gomio, and more, allowing users to book directly through the site with the best prices.




Reserve in Advance


If you have a confirmed itinerary, the optimal time to book your trip is whenever you have both the funds and the commitment to travel. While the spontaneity of choosing accommodation at the last minute might sound appealing, don't be surprised if you find limited availability or unexpectedly high prices when you arrive at your destination.

It's not uncommon for last-minute travelers to find themselves scrambling for accommodation because they didn't book in advance. Not only will you likely end up paying more for whatever is available, but being without a place to stay can be extremely stressful, especially when you're in a new place for the first time.

The same principle applies to transportation tickets – you'll secure the best deals by booking in advance! The peace of mind that comes with having a seamlessly planned itinerary from start to finish is truly invaluable. 


Tips to combat travel fatigue


Allow time for jet lag recovery: Overcoming the challenges of a long-haul flight is daunting enough, but adjusting to a new time zone can result in jet lag. Traveling across different time zones can disrupt your circadian rhythm, and it may take some time to adapt to your new schedule. Give yourself ample time to rest and recover before moving on to the next destination.

Be prepared for potential travel and motion sickness: Whether you're traveling by plane, car, or boat, you may be susceptible to motion sickness. Pack some travel sickness medication and allow yourself enough time to rest and recover.

Ensure sufficient time is allocated for each destination: Prioritize quality over quantity. Thoroughly exploring fewer locations at your own pace is more rewarding than skimming the surface of an entire country in a rushed manner.


Pack Appropriately


Packing appropriately streamlines your trip, while packing too much, too little, or in a disorganized manner can negatively impact your experience.

Consider these helpful packing tips:


  • - Utilize packing cubes: Never underestimate the positive impact of packing cubes on your travels. They aid in organization, save space, and keep your clothes neat. Affordable and practical, packing cubes help you stay organized both literally and figuratively during your journey.
  • - Travel light: While ensuring you have clothing suitable for various weather conditions, resist the urge to overpack. Heavy luggage can make navigating challenging, especially in buildings without elevators. Concerned about running out of clean clothes? Utilize laundry services or indulge in buying local clothing as souvenirs.
  • - Secure your possessions: It goes without saying, but there are various ways to safeguard your belongings. Use locks on your backpack or suitcase to discourage theft. Carry essential items (electronics, jewelry, etc.) in your carry-on bag. If you're at a hotel and still uneasy, utilize the in-rFamiliarize Yourself with Airport Travel Tips.


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