Whether you’re planning to travel in a different country for a week, month or year, the preparation process is essential to gain the full experience that traveling abroad has to offer. Exploring an unfamiliar location can come with many cultural changes, including a language barrier, alterations in your diet, the way you dress, as well as certain safety concerns. Before embarking on this new journey, it’s important to create a to-do list. Here are some pointers to add to your pre-travel checklist!
Create An Itinerary
From determining your preferred location to transportation options to reserving your stay, mapping out your plans ahead of time can decrease your chances of a travel mishap. Additionally, it’s important to have a goal in mind, related to the sights you want to see and the places you want to visit. This can create a clear vision of the experience you want to have. To stay as organized as possible with this task, you may want to write your thoughts down on paper so it’s simple to reference as you’re outlining your travel arrangements.
Compile Necessary Documents
In order to enter another country prosperously, there are certain documents you need to have with you at all times. When arriving at the airport, have your passport, license, and VISA easily accessible so the process is as quick as possible. Make sure that each ID is up to date because if expired, they will not let you board the plane. In case you lose any documents while studying abroad, make a digital and physical copy of each as a backup plan.
Develop a Financial Plan
While you’re traveling, it can be really easy to spend an overwhelming amount of money. To ensure you’re sticking to your financial goals, establish a money management strategy to help you stick to a budget so you don’t overspend. While creating your budget, determine specific spending categories, such as groceries, wellness, transportation, accommodations, and personal items to properly allocate an amount of money to each. To avoid running into an unexpected cost, consider going mobile with your bank account to escape unnecessary fees. If you’re visiting a place where a currency exchange is required, figure out those logistics in advance as well.
Finalize Flight Details
International flights are somewhat different from flights within the country, so it’s vital to prepare accordingly. When booking a flight, always take the time, day, and distance into consideration. Depending on your preference, choosing the aisle when picking your seat could be best for a long-haul flight— so it’s easier to get up, stretch or use the restroom. When searching for the best flight, whether it be for price or quality, do so in a private web window to limit a sudden price influx while booking. Once you purchase your ticket, download the airline app so you acquire a digital ticket and are updated with any flight changes.
Study Your Travel Location
Before immersing yourself in a new culture, it’s imperative to gain insight on their way of life. Studying abroad is all about learning, exploring, and embracing cultural differences. The more aware you are of how people communicate, dress, and eat, the more adaptable you’ll be when living your day-to-day life. Gaining as much knowledge as you can limit your tendency to experience culture shock as well.
Prepare Your Smartphone
Your cellphone can be a wonderful resource for many travel conveniences and necessities. Along with the communication aspect of having a smartphone, downloading flight, coupon, and GPS apps can make traveling much easier, especially when you’re in another country. In some cases, cell phone service or text messages may not go through, so be sure to download an app like What’s App to properly communicate with your loved ones. Packing additional chargers, headphones, and other phone accessories will prevent you from having to buy a new one if yours gets lost. To make sure all of the apps download successfully, backup your device to create more storage too!
Depending on where you’re traveling, you may need to visit your doctor’s office to get updated vaccinations. In certain countries, there are illnesses that can become dangerous, and if you bring a foreign sickness back into your home-base, it could cause an outbreak. After getting your vaccines, ask for a report to keep with you when you travel. If at any point you need to visit a health facility while you’re abroad, the health care provider might need a document as proof that you received them.