Traveling abroad for the first time can be a little intimidating, even if you have plenty of experience going all around your home country. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted with sights and sounds that you’ve never experienced before. You should prepare as much as possible beforehand so you can remove as much stress and confusion as possible once you arrive in a new country. We’ve got some helpful tips for first-time international travelers that can reduce your anxiety.
Apply For Your Passport as Early as Possible
When attempting to plan an international trip, remember that if you don’t already have your passport, you will need one before you can leave the country. You should consider waiting times for passports when making your reservations and give yourself plenty of flexibility to change your plans if it doesn’t arrive in time. Try to schedule your first trip at least several months in advance to account for any delays in receiving your passport.
The U.S. Department of State has updated their expected waiting times to 10-12 weeks for routine service and 4-6 weeks for expedited service. For your first time purchasing a passport, standard service will cost around $145 total, and expedited service will charge an additional $60 on top of that.
Prepare Yourself for Long Periods of Travel
If you are traveling closer to home, flights and other forms of transportation shouldn’t take long to get you there and back. However, if you’re going overseas or jetting across the equator, you should brace yourself for an extended period of traveling. Take steps to ensure you are as comfortable as possible on planes: bring entertainment to keep you occupied and avoid anything that can prevent you from falling asleep.
Before setting your reservations and submitting time-off requests for work, factor in the time it takes to travel to and from your destination. Also, you can brace yourself for jet lag by adjusting your sleep schedule in advance, staying hydrated, and getting as much rest as possible.
Book a Guided Tour
For your first time exploring a new country, it can be a little daunting to figure out just where to start. Hiring a trusted local tour guide can help you explore all the must-see spots and get the most out of your vacation. These guides will organize sightseeing trips, restaurant visits, and more, so you don’t have to stress about planning everything yourself. They will also ensure that you visit safe locations and keep you aware of any local dangers, such as pickpockets. The tours are usually in groups, so it also gives you an excellent opportunity to meet some new friends if you’re traveling alone.
Perhaps one of the most helpful tips for first-time international travelers is to prepare in advance as much as possible. Once you arrive, your trip should be all about relaxing and staying comfortable. When you get back home, you should have fond memories of your journey that will stay with you for the rest of your life.