Are you a first time traveler abroad? Follow this traveler tips to be sure to make easy your international traveling!
Are you a first time traveler outside your home country? Then you will definitely have quite a few questions and clarifications but you are not sure whom to ask and where to find the answers. This is a common dilemma faced by any traveler who is stepping out of their home country for the first time. Whether it is for business or pleasure, whether you are traveling alone or with a group or with family, whether you are traveling to Maldives or Indonesia, your first time travel outside your comfort zone will always give you jitters. Here are some tips to help you.
- 1. Know your address:
Carry the business card of the hotel you are staying in with you always. While being a first time traveler you will be very cautious on where you wander and yet there are chances that you may get lost. In such cases, having the hotel’s business card can help you find your way back to the safety of your room. Also, if possible have one in the local language so that it is easy to converse with the taxi drivers or local shop owners to find your way. While you may not understand the language they can always point you in the right direction.
- 2. Keep passport online:
Always remember to have a passport that is not expiring in the next six months. If that is the case, then it is better to have it renewed prior to travel. Not all countries allow you to travel if there is only six months for your passport to expire. The reason is that if you are by any chance stuck in countries like Maldives or Indonesia for more than that period, then you may not be able to travel back to your home country.
- 3. Cash vs credit transactions:
- While you might need cash in the local currency to pay your way, you should also remember not to carry too much of them. Also, some banks charge a high fee for withdrawing from their ATM in another country, which can also not work in your favor. You can check out some of the international financial institutions like Fidelity, which offers checking accounts where your ATM fees can easily be reimbursed.
- The other option for a first time traveler is to pay through credit card. However, do remember that many of the banks charge a forex fee on the card transaction which can be as high as 3%. Yet there are cards like the Platinum card from American express which does not charge you this fee that can come in handy during these situations.
- 4. Keep your bank aware:
Another factor to consider while traveling internationally is your card not working when you need to pay. This often happens when you don’t have an international card or if you are traveling to a country deemed as high risk like Indonesia by the bank. In the former, you need to contact your bank and get yourself a card that can be used across the world. In the latter case, it is done in your best interest to avoid fraudulent transactions. In order to ensure that you don’t get penalized this way, you can inform your bank prior to your trip on your travel dates so that they don’t block your card from getting used in that country.
- 5. Take your medicines and prescriptions:
Medicines, the basic ones, are a must whether you are a first time traveler or not. Additionally, you can take a pair of earplugs and eye mask just in case for your stay in the hotel. While there might be round the clock medical stores in the place where you are traveling to, imagine having to run around to the drug store in the night around Indonesia explaining what you need in their language. Its definitely not a risk worth taking. So, it is better to carry some of the basic medicines for fever, headache, etc. when you are traveling.
- 6. Know your embassy:
Always have the contact details of your local embassy handy along with details on the conditions in the country where you are traveling to. For example knowing the climatic conditions in Indonesia and the political situation in Maldives can come in handy when traveling internationally to these locations.
- 7. Mobile phones:
We cannot imagine a life without our cell phones but having them on roaming when traveling internationally can leave a deeper hole in our wallets. It is better to get yourself a local calling card for your usage rather than using the same card. If you are a frequent traveler to that country, say Maldives or Indonesia, then you may look at getting a plan that will work out fine for you during traveling from your service provider.
If you are not sure on the route you need to take in the foreign destination like Maldives, then the Google maps can come in real handy. However, if you don’t have a data plan on your phone, then the best way is to use your hotel’s internet connection and take screen shots of the route you want to take and then follow them to the best of your ability. This way, it will be easy to traverse around in the new country.
- 8. Forex rate:
On the last day of your stay, check out the local currency that is left with you. Now, instead of exchanging the currency back to your home currency and losing out on the forex rate, it is better to use this to settle the deal on the hotel to that extent. Now, you can pay the balance, whatever is left on the hotel bill using the card that doesn’t charge you a forex fee. This way, you get to save money on forex rates and transaction fees.
Your experience as a first time traveler is what makes you to love or hate traveling. By just taking a few precautions, you can save money and anxiety and make your trip to countries like Maldives and Indonesia, a pleasurable one.