No matter how frequently you travel, going overseas for the first time is always exciting yet scary. I embarked on my first international trip last year, which turned out to be an eye-opener for me. Planning what to wear and what all to explore is not enough while going international. There are things you must consider before leaving your home country.
To help fellow travellers, here is a step-to-step guide for planning an international trip
1– Get a passport / Check passport expiration date
If you don’t have a passport, get one immediately. The process takes approximately a month. International flights can’t be booked without a passport number.
If you do have a passport, ensure that it doesn’t expire within 6 months of your trip date. You don’t want to be stuck at the airport because of your passport expiration date.
2– Verify the country’s visa requirements
A visa is required to enter any international country. Though, there are certain countries that allow without visa arrival for Indians. Verify the visa requirements of the country you are planning to visit and take the necessary steps.
3– Buy Travel Insurance
Now, this is one of the most important things I have learnt from my first international trip. If you don’t have a travel insurance, you are not really prepared for your vacation.
Exposed to a new environment, different food habits and change in lifestyle, it is good to be prepared for surprises. Most health plans don’t cover you overseas, hence travel insurance becomes a necessity. My parents insisted me to take an insurance cover before going out of the country, which turned out to be a blessing. I had severe food poisoning and needed urgent medical care. As a budget traveller, I had no spare money for these sudden hospital expenses. During this time, my travel insurance turned out to be a life saviour.
My go-to travel insurance provider is TATA AIG. They offer great coverage at a reasonable price along with an amazing customer service.
4– Book Flights and accommodation
The person sitting next to you on your flight might have paid double for their airline tickets or maybe half of what you have paid. So, do your homework before handing over your hard-earned money.
Direct flights are usually more expensive than the indirect ones. Also, book flights after comparing prices of all airlines at ixigo.com.
Choosing an accommodation option depends on your budget and priorities. If you are a traveller by heart, choose places that give you an insight into the culture and lifestyle of the locals. Also, for solo travellers hostels can be a good idea.
5– Get a travel credit card
The two main reasons you should get a travel credit card are – sign-up bonuses and free miles. In the months leading up to your trip, you can start collecting miles and use them to book free flights, hotels, etc.
6– Plan your budget and activities
It is very important for you to plan your activities according to your budget. Make an itinerary of the places you want to visit, activities you want to indulge in and make a booking prior to your visit. While you can leave some room for spontaneous activities, it’s good to have a to-do list. Also, don’t forget to read reviews and check ratings.
7– Choose the right travel luggage
Before you start packing, visit the airline’s website and read their luggage rules. This will inform you about the luggage policy of that particular airline.
If your bags are overweight at the airport, you might end up paying extra. To avoid this, I recommend you to buy a personal luggage scale.
I have met so many people who plan everything but are always looking for a better time to take that trip. Don’t be among such people!!
Plan your trip in advance. Get your passport, visa, flight bookings, hotel booking sorted & most importantly get the right travel insurance for a worry-free amazing vacation.
Now that you are all set, just GO 🙂 And I promise, you’ll thank me later