If this is your first time traveling abroad, or maybe you just need a refresher here’s a list of most important points you should be fully aware and prepared with even before leaving for the airport.

  1. Visa Requirements: All countries require a visa to enter pass through the airport immigration, some countries has the facility of issuing visa on arrival at the destinations airport immigration and for some countries the visa needs to be applied and acquired in advance via the embassy. Make sure of the visa procedures of the country you are planning to travel too.
  2. Airline Tickets: Make sure, the travel dates are confirmed, before purchasing the airline tickets as some times you may end up paying higher fee for changing dates. Additionally, also check with the airline to know how much luggage you are allowed to carry free and if exceeded how much will be the extra fee you have to pay.
  3. Hotel Bookings: Do you know where you are going to stay? And for how long you are going to stay? Make sure you take note of the place you want to stay. (Like: city center, beach side, outskirts) you will be surprised some countries are very big and very much scattered. You would not want to spend so much on transportations.
  4. Travelling Abroad Insurance: Make sure with your insurance company, the country you are travelling to is covered and if not covered do the necessary amendments.
  5. Scan Copy: Make sure you keep a scan copy of all the important documents in your email, such as your Passport, Visa, Airline Ticket, Hotel Bookings, other identification. If you have the option, consider keeping one copy of each with your close friend or relative also.
  6. Medical Prescriptions: Make sure the medicines you are carrying along with you are legal in that country to avoid any kind of disappointments and if the medicines are legal than you make sure to carry enough medicine for your travel duration abroad.
  7. Currency Exchange: Make sure you are well aware of the conversion rates and you carry along enough cash to cover your stay while abroad.
  8. Credit Cards: If for any reason you choose to use your credit card abroad, make sure in advance with your bank, for it to work internationally and also alert the bank that you are going to use it in a different country,  so the bank does not block the card or reject your card assuming for any fraud transactions.
  9. Carry Cash: There will be places that will not accept your credit cards in today’s time also, hence it is always good to carry minimum cash in your pocket to avoid rejections. Places like, Bus stations, Metro, Taxis, food stalls and small store will not have the facility of credit card machines.
  10. Local transits: When travelling to a new country, make sure you are aware of the transportation locals’ use for transit. If you know the means of transportation, you will know how much to budget and carry the cash accordingly.
  11. Food and Drinks: Carry along snacks and drinks with you. Traveling abroad is fun, but eating in a foreign country can sometimes become a task. Bring small snacks that will tide you over until you find that perfect restaurant or food cart.
  12. City Maps: Carry one with you always, when exploring the city by yourself, you will find these maps in almost all the airports and also at the Hotel reservation desk.
  13. Adventure / Sight Seeing: Exploring the country, is more fun when you are looking for things to do by yourself. Yeah I know sometimes it gets difficult, but in the end it is the adventure that is the fun. The easy way to know about things that you can do or places that you can visit is surfing Online, or check with the Travel Agent or even you may get the information at the Hotel reservation desk that you choose to stay in. My favorite option is to go online and check for things that are done and places that are to be visited in advance and carefully choose and book one by one prior to my departure to avoid any last minute expensive bookings, or long queues or even worst go out of budget and miss the most important chance to explore or adventure the most important thing or place.
  14. Miscellaneous: Get along a charger adapter. So if you want to use your iPod, make sure you can charge it. Check the voltage of your electronics. From my own experience I know that nothing is worse than having an adapter and still not being able to charge the mobile phone or a camera because the voltage isn’t high enough for that country. Countries have different size plugs and voltage.

Don’t forget all of the above points are basic to know for anyone that is planning for the most awaited travel vacation.

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Keeping peace, until next time I write to you again.