Going Abroad for The First Time? Here’s Everything You Need to Know.

For many people around the world, a vacation abroad is one of the most common travel goals. Having the opportunity to witness a culture different than your own and to meet new people with completely different backgrounds is a luxury. Finally getting an international trip on the calendar is extremely exciting, but there are a number of factors that should be considered before your vacation begins. 

Abroad vs. Domestic Travel: Which is Easier?

Generally speaking, domestic travel is far easier than abroad travel from both a monetary and planning standpoint. When traveling domestically, a person knows the language and they have an understanding of the culture they are currently in, which means they can tackle situations more effectively as they arise. However, when traveling abroad, being immersed in a new culture when a language barrier is present, not to mention having to deal with currency exchange, can be quite daunting.

How Expensive is a Vacation Abroad?

In addition to simply being more challenging from a cultural standpoint, taking an international vacation is far more expensive than a domestic vacation. For a simple 12 night vacation, on average, a person can expect to pay around $3,251 for just themselves. This averages out to an average cost-per-day of around $271, which means abroad vacations require significant budgeting. 

Building an International Vacation Budget 101

As mentioned above, the cost associated with an international vacation is considerable. Therefore, learning how to build a budget can help you finally get your trip on the calendar. Some general tips that can be helpful include:

  • Start throwing money into a savings account month in advance of the targeted trip date
  • Create an itinerary for your trip and include all activities you will do so that you can purchase them in advance
  • Look for deals on flights and accommodations or use credit card reward points
  • Create a list of top places you would want to travel to so that you can see where you can afford
  • Don’t forget to add the little things into your budget such as meals or transportation 

6 Key Tips to Remember Before Traveling Abroad

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of Americans traveling abroad dropped drastically from above five million per month to just above two million on average. However, all signs point to the fact that this number will skyrocket throughout 2023 as more people satisfy their travel bug. To that end, assuming you have a trip on the calendar, keep the following six tips in mind ahead of your journey: 

1. Ensure that your passport and Visa, if applicable, are up to date

Despite it being a simple thing, many people often forget that they will need their passport to enter a foreign country. Beyond this, even more, people forget that their passport actually has an expiration date. For those who haven’t left the country for some time, it’s best to double check that your expiration date hasn’t passed. On top of this, double check if the country you are traveling to requires a visa or not. 

2. Check up on any health advisory or general notices

Some countries around the world frequently have special health advisories or general notices which relate to dangerous economic or societal circumstances. It’s best to review your intended destination before you go so that you are certain you are traveling during a safe time. Additionally, speak with your doctor if you have any specific personal health risks you may be concerned about.

3. Grab acceptable forms of payment before reaching your destination

Don’t forget that there will likely be a change in currency for wherever you are traveling to. This currency exchange may not be in your favor, which means you might need to pack extra funds before heading out on your journey. As a general tip, you should transfer currency before your vacation starts as your local bank will most likely give you the best exchange rate. 

4. Pack appropriately for where you are going

Do remember that some parts of the world are in a different hemispheres which means the seasons are reversed. The last thing anybody wants is to take a trip to New Zealand expecting summer weather only to realize it’s a cold winter there. Think about your destination and pack appropriately. Additionally, remember that airlines have weight limits for luggage and will often charge far more for each additional pound, so weigh your luggage at home to avoid a nasty surprise. 

5. Understand the safety guidelines of your destination

Anytime you travel to a new part of the world, you should understand the potential dangers of that area. Speak with trusted locals, such as hotel concierges, or people back home to learn about those dangers. For countries where theft is common, consider storing your luggage with luggage storage services which will securely hold onto your belongings until you are done exploring. 

6. Consider grabbing travel insurance for your journey

No traveler can predict everything that will happen on vacation. Whether something occurs with the weather, something gets stolen, or a person gets sick in advance of their trip, there are a multitude of things that can go wrong. Therefore, it’s important to add travel insurance to your trip that can cover the cost of your airfare, accommodations, or other similar expenses if something should happen. 

Plan a fun and safe vacation abroad

With just a little bit of planning, anybody can get an exciting international vacation on their calendar. When traveling to an unknown land, however, remember that you are unaware of what the environment is truly like, which means you need to exercise a degree of caution. For those traveling to an area with a different language, it’s always best to learn greetings and basic phrases in that language so that the communication barrier is lowered slightly. By using all of the above tips, any person can plan a fun and safe vacation in the near future.


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