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Travelling internationally is at once exciting and extremely stressful. Especially, if it’s your very first trip abroad. There are so many things to consider and prepare for a whole different place. I understand that the excitement overwhelms every other emotion or worry but a well-planned trip will only make your experience better.
My first ever trip abroad
I was an avid traveller but I had only explored my own country. Once I had checked off almost everything there was to see in my country, it was time to travel abroad. I chose Copenhagen as my first-ever international destination. Not only was I excited but the night before my flight, I got so anxious, I couldn’t sleep. But thanks to some of my friends who already had experience with international travel, I was not only able to book cheap flights to Copenhagen, but I was also well prepared in terms of packing.
Common mistakes to avoid
1. Booking too much
While it’s a great thing to book accommodation and some tours beforehand, make sure to leave off enough space to make your trip flexible. Do some research and find out what kind of things are time specific or require advance booking and book only those.
2. Trying to see all of it
One thing you need to accept is that you can’t possibly visit every attraction in the said place in one single visit. Most cities are too big that you’ll hardly be able to see everything there let alone move on to other cities. The best way to go about things is to decide beforehand what kind of experience you’re in the mood for and see attractions related to that.
Since I totally made this mistake, I’ll tell you from experience that nothing good comes from panicking. If you forgot to book something, stay calm and book it when you do remember. Everything has a solution and one should always stay calm to be able to deal with most problems.
4. Too much shopping
Keep in mind that the maximum luggage limit on your ticket is applied in both ways. If you’re planning on going wild while shopping, then take very few things along. Even then, you should try not to buy too much because sometimes, it’s just the charm of a foreign place when if you think about it you can find that same thing back at home at a reasonable price.
5. Falling for tourist traps
Tourist traps are a way to get an unsuspecting tourist to pay more for average service or items. The best way to avoid it is to not trust everything you see. Some tourist traps are outright scams! So if something sounds too good to be true, chances are it usually isn’t. Also if you stand out too much like a tourist, then people may try to coax you into paying more. Try to act confident and don’t worry all that much if you do make a mistake. Everything is part of the experience.
1. Get travel insurance
No matter where you’re going it’s always a good idea to be safe and get good travel insurance. Not only will it come handy in tough times while travelling but it’ll also give you peace of mind.
2. Consult your doctor
There are some countries that aren’t all that safe to travel to in terms of health safety. Consult your doctor and get the necessary vaccinations before you travel and also ask if you will be fine doing so. I know some people follow a very specific lifestyle, so an advice from a professional doctor never hurts.
3. Extra copies of your passport
When you’re travelling abroad, the single most important item is your passport. Trust me, losing that is not something you’d enjoy. Similarly, taking it along everywhere is also not very smart. So keep the original copy safe somewhere in your luggage and bring along photocopies of your passport wherever you decide to visit.
4. Register with your embassy
This is mostly a fail-safe kind of thing as it will allow your country’s embassy to track you and get you back home in case of an emergency.
1. Consult with your bank
If you have a credit card, try to make it work wherever you’re going. Also, ask about the correct exchange rate so you at least have an idea of what to expect.
2. Use local currency
When you visit somewhere, make sure to do your shopping and other things in their local currency. Use your credit card at the ATM only just to save extra money.
1. Useful apps
Download translating apps and get a good map app before your traveling. And if you tend to get bored easily on long travels, you can download the Kindle app on your phone and take along a book or two. Or even better, download a digital version of a few guidebooks.
2. Charger adapter
Believe it or not, but different countries have a different kind of sockets, therefore, bring along a charger adapter to be able to charge all of your devices using it.
3. Get some headphone
Getting around via a bus or train always makes me want to listen to good music. If you’re like me then pack up a good pair of headphones so you can give some dramatic touch to your trip
1. Pack extra pair of shoes
My biggest blunder when I travelled abroad for the first time was to bring along way too many pairs of shoes that I didn’t even wear. I suggest you bring one comfy pair and one fancier pair to balance it out. Make sure it’s in a colour that goes with every dress.
2. Extra undergarments and socks
Trust me, it’ll save you a lot of trouble to bring some extra along with you.
3. Weather-specific items
This one depends on where you’re going. If it’s a hot sunny place, pack some sunscreen and a pair or two of shades. And if it’s a colder place then pack some cold cream or a good moisturizer.
4. First aid
I personally always keep a pack of bandages in my travel bag along with basic medicines for a headache or nausea. I also keep a hand sanitiser along to keep the germaphobe inside me tame.
5. Bring some snacks
Airports tend to charge you extra money for common items so bring some snacks for the waiting lounge to save some money. If you don’t tend to get hungry when waiting, bring along some mints and a few chewing gums instead.