9 Tips for Your First International Vacation



Travel is an exceptional way to expand your mind and interact with people you would otherwise never meet. You can experience new cultures and ways of life that are completely foreign to you, which can be an eye-opening and enriching experience. If you’re like many people, once you take one international trip, you’ll want to travel more and more. Traveling abroad becomes almost intoxicating and invigorating. No doubt, you’ll be a pro in no time, but your first international trip will require some preparation and knowledge you may not be aware of just yet. Before you grab your passport and head out the door, check out these 10 tips for your first international vacation!

9. Consider Visiting an English Speaking Country



Visiting a new country is truly amazing, but there can be a lot to take in when immersing yourself in another culture, and if you’re not careful, your vacation can quickly go from exciting to overwhelming. Not speaking the language is a big barrier many people face when traveling abroad, and if you aren’t accustomed to the challenges language-barriers can create, you may find yourself frustrated for a majority of your trip. If being in a foreign country without knowing the language is a scary thought for you, perhaps you should consider traveling to a country where English is widely used. There are many beautiful countries where language won’t be a big barrier, such as England, Australia, South Africa and Canada.

8. Don’t Forget Important Documents



Things happen, and if losing your passport or other identification is one of them, you’ll find that doing just about anything is nearly impossible, including booking your hotel room or using transportation inside the country you’re visiting to getting back home. Always keep backup documents with you when you travel abroad. While paper documents do not replace your passport, they can be incredibly helpful when visiting the US embassy, so you can have a new passport delivered to you in a timely fashion.

7. Check With Your Doctor Before You Go



There are illnesses and viruses in certain areas of the world that are not found in the United States, which means you are more susceptible to these viruses. Visit your doctor a few months before you leave to receive shots that will help prevent you from getting sick while on vacation.

6. Read Up on the Laws of the Land



There’s no need to dig deep into the laws of the particular country you plan to visit, but there might be a few laws you need to know ahead of time. For example, in Singapore it is against the law to chew gum, and in Thailand you face jail time for badmouthing the royal family (or even stepping on the currency that has the king’s face on it). Other nations have very strict laws on where you can smoke (or if you can even bring in cigarettes form an outside country). You need to know these different laws before you go, so you do not accidentally commit such a crime and find yourself facing a steep fine or even jail time in a foreign country.

5. Learn the Language



While becoming fluent in a particular language prior to your vacation isn’t necessary, you will want to know a few key phrases and have a basic understanding of the language, if possible. Asking where the bathroom or accommodations are, ordering food, asking whether someone speaks English, and knowing basic polite phrases (such as “hello,” “thank you,” etc.) is a good start and can vastly improve your vacation and overall experience in the country you’re visiting.

Anna enjoys blogging about a variety of topics, from fashion and beauty to food and travel. Find Anna on LinkedIn!

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