Travelling overseas for the first time? This is an incredibly exciting experience, but equally, it is understandable that you feel some stress and anxiety before setting off. The best way to alleviate stress is to ensure that you are fully prepared and know what to expect. Here are a few tips for first-time travelers heading abroad:
Research is the key to success. Before setting off, read up on where you are travelling to, where you are staying, what the local customs are and look for any reviews or advice you can find. There are many excellent travel resources and communities online where you can find out everything you need to know about where you are going. This research will ensure that you are prepared and know what to expect.
Before departing, make sure that you inform your bank that you are travelling internationally, purchase travel insurance, determine a budget for the trip and make copies of important documents (keep these separate from the originals and leave one with a family member/someone you trust).
Packing is often the part that gives travelers the most anxiety and especially for a big trip. What you pack will depend on the duration of your trip, the purpose and where you are going, but there are checklists online which can be helpful. One handy tip is to use the services of an international courier whilst on the trip, such as TNT. This allows you to send items you no longer need home, or alternatively have certain items delivered to you (although you will need to plan for where you will be when it is delivered). This means you do not have to carry around enormous amounts and can even send gifts back home.
If it is down to you to build the itinerary, try not to schedule too much and it is important to be flexible. You do not want to feel rushed and there will always be things that slow you down, such as jet lag or travel. You may be tempted to cram all the cultural highlights in, but this will not give you the time to relax and take in your surroundings.
Travelling abroad is supposed to be a fun, eye-opening and life-affirming experience. Go into your trip with a positive attitude and embrace adventure. Even if things do not go according to plan (and they won’t all the time), simply see it as part of the experience.