World travel is one of the only things you can spend money on, which will make you richer as the adventures you'll have will broaden your mindset and allow you to see the world and your life in a new light. No matter which countries you explore, one thing is guaranteed, you'll never return home unchanged. By traveling to foreign countries you'll also discover that despite having different customs, individuals the world over have more in common than you think. So if you're itching to discover what the world has to offer, continue reading to discover a comprehensive guide to traveling internationally, which is jam packed full of handy tips and advice.
Before booking an international plane ticket, ensure that your passport is valid for six months after your return date, as it's not unusual for countries to deny access to travelers whose passports expire any earlier. Also ensure that you've applied for any visas you may need, well in advance of your departure date. As your departure date looms, it also worth looking up your intended destination to see whether any government travel warnings or alerts have been published online. On the day of your departure remember to pack a pen in your carry on luggage, as you'll need it to fill in your arrival card. If you find it difficult to sleep on a long flight or train ride, ensure to pack a pair of inexpensive ear plugs and an eye mask, in your carry on luggage. Lastly, if you have a choice of an aisle seat or a window seat, always opt for an aisle seat as not only will you benefit from extra shoulder room but you'll have the freedom to stretch your legs whenever you choose.
Whether you plane to arrive at your chosen destination by plane, train, bus or boat, it's important to consider how you're going to get from the airport, terminal or station to your accommodation. If you plan to hail down a taxi, ensure that you negotiate a set fee when you first hop into your taxi as it's not uncommon for taxi drivers to try and overcharge unsuspecting tourists. If your flight, train or bus gets in late at night, it may be worth considering pre-booking a shuttle service online, so that a driver will be waiting for you when you arrive. Also, ensure to have the name and address of your hotel written down or stored on your smart phone, just incase your driver doesn't know the address of your hotel off by heart. If however, you plan on catching public transport, it's crucial to research the route you'll take as you may have to catch multiple buses to get to your destination or may find that certain routes only run on select days of the week.
Ensure to carry a small amount of local currency with you at all times as in some destinations using a credit card may not be an option.If you plan on using a credit card to pay for the bulk of your purchases, get into the habit of using your smart phone to check your online statement each night to ensure that there aren't any fraudulent charges. It's also worth holding on to your receipts until you get home, just incase you find yourself disputing a charge. As an added tip, if you plan on using a credit card ensure to notify your bank of the dates of your trip, as if your bank mistakes your card as being stolen, you won't be able to access your funds. To err on the side of caution, it's best to carry multiple forms of money such as cash, a credit card and a debit card and to keep a small amount of cash in your hotel room safe. So that if your wallet is stolen, you won't find yourself penniless.
When traveling abroad it's crucial to keep an open mind and to be careful not to inadvertently act in a manner which may be deemed as offensive. As an example, never take a photograph of a stranger without gaining their permission as in many cultures taking someone's photo is frowned apon. As the customs of each destination vary from country to country, it's important to research the way you should behave in a particular country, before you embark on your next adventure. As an example whilst you may be used to the act of tipping staff such as waiters and tour guides, tipping isn't customary in many parts of the world. Also, ensure that you're aware of the laws of the country you're visiting as in some parts of the world you can get into serious trouble for littering or jay walking. Whilst in other countires you may be jailed for public displays of affection. Lastly, learning a bit of the local language will get you a long way, even if you make mistakes, most people will be impressed that you attempted to communicate with them in their language.
Don't leave home without a universal power adaptor -- as without one, you won't be able to charge your smart phone, laptop or camera. If you're wondering whether to pack your smart phone, pack it as many tour companies and attractions require a mobile phone number, in order to process your booking. As an added bonus, you can also use your smart phone to store photographs of your travel documents, such as your passport, travel itinerary and visas. As travel often requires a lot of waiting around, it's also a wise idea to pack a book or to download a variety of books, games and music onto your mobile phone or tablet. If you're concerned that using your smart phone whilst on the go, will waste your battery, simply pack an external battery pack. Although many airlines and tour buses offer outlets which allow you to charge your electronic devices whilst you're getting from point A to point B.
No matter where you come from or how old or how young you are, it's never too soon or too late to get out of your comfort zone and discover a new destination and a new way of looking at life. Just remember, that a bit of research and organization prior to your trip, will ensure that your trip runs as smoothly as possible.