That first trip overseas can be a life-changing and exciting milestone. It can also be a long and stressful experience. Today Ryan and Shayne discuss the tips and mindset to help you plan your first international trip.
We are focusing on longer flights, traveling to non-English speaking countries (like Europe) with these tips…but many apply all over and for travel in general.
This is a timely discussion as international travel is opening back up in the summer of 2021.
Top Tips for Planning Your First International Trip
Picking Where to Travel
Pick a place where you can explore things that you’re into.
Visit the lands your ancestors came from.
Having the Correct Travel Mindset When Traveling Internationally
Remember that you’re going to be a guest in another culture.
In Europe, everything is going to be smaller.
Be open-minded and willing to explore and get excited about a destination. Be curious about where you are going.
Itinerary Planning for Your First International Trip
Get trip Insurance! Don’t consider it. Just do it.
Plan a balance between seeing the tourist hotspots and immersing in the culture.
Try a group tour. While on tour, think of the places that you’ll want to visit again. After the tour, you can return to the places that interested you most and spend time immersing yourself there.
Packing for Traveling Internationally for the First Time
(specific items for this type of trip), travel gear episode #24.
Pack sensible shoes. You never know what types of terrain you’ll be walking on.
Prescription meds(2 doses of anything you’ll want)
Over-the-counter meds (2 doses of anything you’ll want)
Pack power converters, and be sure to take more than one.
What You Need to Take Care of At Home Before Traveling Internationally for the First Time
Check health advisories for your international destination to what you need to know about your destination. There are vaccinations you may want to get that you don’t need in the United States.
Register with the state department that you are traveling so you can be contacted if you need to.
Inform your bank that you’ll be traveling internationally and may be using your credit card there.
Get an International Driver’s License.
Arrange care for your pets and plants.
Investigate if you’ll want to get an international phone plan.
What to do before the flight, during flight, and after the flight.
The flight overseas will likely be the longest you’ve ever experienced. Consider wearing compression socks during the flight.
Hydrate. The air inside the cabin is arid. Staying hydrated will:
- Give you energy
- Ease your jet leg
- Keep your immune system strong
Get up and walk around a little bit. Try a few squats or lunges to stretch your legs and get some blood pumping.
Having cocktails will make beating jetlag a little more difficult.
Don’t go to sleep when you arrive until it’s bedtime in your destination time zone. Plan a fun event that you won’t want to miss but don’t have to be awake and energetic. This is the best way to sync with the time zone and crush jetlag.
Staying in the Moment While Staying Safe
The balance of being in the moment/exploring this new experience (while staying safe)
Check out episode 35 on Travel safety and security on situational awareness. This will help you stay in the moment and take in the sites and sounds while staying safer.
Leave your valuables at home. Get backup wedding rings or bands for travel and leave the ones you love safely at home.
After the Trip
Firstly, get another trip on the books.
Reflect on what worked and didn’t work on your trip so that you’ll be better prepared for your next trip. Doing this on your flight home is a great idea.
Recent New Locations Downloading All Things Travel
- Budapest, Hungary
- Belaire North, Maryland
Where is your next international trip?
Please let us know in the All Things Travel Podcast Facebook group!
Start Making Your Magical Memories!
Ryan and Shayne are both Travel Advisers with Creating Magic Vacations, an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Feel free to reach out to us for a free quote and to start making magical memories.
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Next on All Things Travel, Episode 55: What would you like us to discuss?
Previously on All Things Travel, Episode 53: How to Have Successful Couple’s Trip.