Nothing beats preparation and being organized. Before you jet off to your dream destination, we’ve come up with this handy to-do-list to make your first international trip the best ever.
1. Check your travel documents
Several countries require that your passport be valid for six month after your return date. Check the expiration date of your passport, and if you need to renew, go to the nearest passport facility now. Note that passport application usually takes at least six weeks to be processed. Check also if you may need to get a visa before you travel to your destination. Get your applications and requirements ready, then contact the embassy of the foreign countries you will be visiting.
2. Be prepared when driving overseas
Planning to rent a car at your destination? Check whether an International Driving Permit (IDP), also known as an international driver’s licence is required – or if your overseas license will be enough. It’s also important that you are familiar with the road rules and driving regulations of your destination. Contact VroomVroomVroom if you need to rent a car in another country so we can help you find a vehicle and give all the necessary requirements.
3. Do you need a suitcase or a backpack?
If you are going overseas for several months, a backpack will be ideal for you. However, if you are only traveling for a couple of days (or weeks) and you don’t like carrying heavy stuff – just opt for the suitcase (smaller is usually better, with wheels of course).
4. Call your bank
Notify your bank and credit card provider that you will be overseas so your funds don’t get cancelled when you make a transaction. In addition, you may want to look up on the monetary conversion so that you get some ideas of how (much) you are going to spend. It’s best also that you carry some local cash as not every place accepts credit cards.
5. See your doctor
For your protection, make sure that you have all of the proper vaccinations and that you have renewed all essential prescriptions before departure. In addition, have a certification from your doctor for the medications you are bringing, since several countries have strict laws, even against over-the-counter medications. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
6. Charge up
You will need to connect with the rest of the world even if you are away, hence you will need to pack your iPad, tablet, phone and laptop to keep in touch with your family and friends. When packing, include a charger adapter with different settings that’s adjustable to most outlets. Oh, and don’t forget your power bank in case you have one!
7. Check for travel warnings and advisories
Also check for Travel Alerts and Travel Warnings before you book a trip and just before you depart. You may want to write down the addresses and contact numbers of any embassies or consulates in the destinations you will be visiting, in case you need some help or assistance.
8. Do your homework
Grab and read guidebooks – these can offer you with helpful information when you reach your destination. Consider joining in some cool events so you don’t miss out the best and fun happenings in the city, such as festivals, ceremonies and natural events. Also, check out some of their national dishes to try and top attractions to visit.
9. Have a back up
Make at least two photocopies of your passport and the visa page(s) and leave one copy at home, or with someone you trust and carry the other separately, in case your passport gets stolen or lost. Make sure to also register with your embassy, in case of emergency.
10. Entry and exit fees?
Don’t let fees surprise you on your first international travel. Note that some countries may charge an entrance and/or exit fee, which can differ from $25 to $200.
Remember, preparation is important when traveling to a different country especially if you are not familiar with the place. We hope that our checklist will help you on your next trip. Safe travels!