New to International Travel? 28 Important Tips for You

New to International Travel? 28 Important Tips for You

Are you planning one of your first few international trips? Here are my tried and true tips for maximizing the good times, and limiting the bad.

My newbie travel tips:

International Travel Tips for New Travelers
  1. Decide on your perfect destination. Once you pick your destination, use Pinterest to determine what you want to see.

  2.  Shop around for cheap flights to your destination.

  3. Determine your budget and start saving early. So early that you're saving for your next trip as soon as you get back from the last one.

  4. Plan a flexible itinerary. Decide on the main things you want to do, but be careful not to cram too much in. If you have time, try to learn how to do something fun, that you can't experience where you live.

  5. Purchase travel insurance. Nothing beats peace of mind.

  6. Hit up our good friend Google and see if there are any required vaccines for the place you are going to.  Sometimes there are a lot of recommended ones, make your own decision on those, but don't skip the required ones, most countries won't let you in unless you have gotten their mandatory ones.

  7.  Download the best travel apps.  You should get a conversion app, a map, and a translator app if you don't get anything else.

  8. Research the place you're staying.

  9. Tell your banks you're traveling internationally to avoid your cards being canceled.

  10. The most essential item you can bring is a pair of comfortable shoes.  I LOVE my Rothy's for walking all day and still being cute.

  11. When in doubt, don’t pack it.

  12. Prescription medication should be clearly labeled, and you should carry a doctor’s note if possible.  Keep all your meds in your carry-on in case you need them in flight.

  13. Pack enough entertainment for those long flights.

  14. Pack a change of clothes, underwear, deodorant, toothbrush, and toothpaste in your carry-on luggage. Freshening up during layovers and upon arrival is a life saver.

  15. Google to see if you will need a power adaptor to use your electronics overseas.

  16. Make photocopies of your passport and itinerary and keep them with you at all times.  Leave your passport in a safe if you have access to one.

  17. Weigh your bags before you leave to make sure you don’t go over your luggage allowances. If you have the room for it, travel with a small luggage scale.  If you're going to purchase souvenirs, you don't want to have to pay baggage fees or get rid of them at the check-in desk.

  18. When you arrive, sleep and eat on your destination’s time. This will help you beat jet lag.

  19. Drink plenty of water. In the airport, on the plane, when you land, everywhere - drink your water and thank me later.

  20. Learn some words in the local language.  Sometimes, "Hello" "Thank You" and "Goodbye" are all you need.

  21. Keep some of your money and cards separate from the rest.

  22. Go with your gut, and trust your intuition.

  23. Be aware of your surroundings and conscious of where your valuables are.

  24. Turn off international data roaming on your phone unless you already have a plan that won’t charge you tons of money.

  25. Try some local food. You might love it, you might not, but you'll never know until you try.  (I ain't saying try all the local foods, cuz I sure did cruise by the roasted dog in Vietnam - "No Thanks!")

  26.  Be cautious about getting robbed or falling for scams

  27. If you want great photos at popular spots, get up early for the best light and fewest crowds.  I like to arrive before sunrise so I can set up my camera and tripod.

  28. Don't stress about having a fancy camera.  As they say, the best camera for your trip is the one you have.  Your phone will do just fine.

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