Do you feel prepared for the journey of a lifetime? The amount of planning you do before boarding the plane will have a significant impact on your trip, regardless of whether it’s studying abroad, an international internship, job experience abroad, or simply a well-earned beach session on some exotic island. Spend some additional time now planning and preparing so that you may make the most of your time abroad. It sounds like more fun to explore back alleys and indulge in regional cuisine than to stress over why your phone won’t connect to a foreign network.

Here is a list of items to remember before going to the airport to aid in your preparation:

1.    Get a passport beforehand.

You must first find a place to store them before you can begin collecting beautiful stamps from all around the world. Start applying for your passport well in advance of your travel, especially if you require visas from foreign embassies.

Even while the passport application procedure is often very straightforward, occasionally administrative issues arise and make the entire process take considerably longer than expected.

You will probably need to submit your application in person at your nearby passport office. Be prepared to present recent document pictures, an additional form of identification, and evidence of citizenship. Before you go in to fill out your application, make sure to check with your local office for any unique needs.

Copy the front page of your passport several times as soon as you get it. When you go, bring one copy with you, and send the other to a home contact you can trust. In the worst-case situation, this will be quite helpful if your passport is stolen.

Also, make sure the passport you already have isn’t over its expiration date. Most nations would not let you in even with a valid passport if it expires three to six months before your trip. Travel plans frequently change, and nobody wants to be prevented from boarding an airline with an expired ID because they are in Uzbekistan or Belarus (or even France, for that matter).

2. Obtain any required visas.

Every nation has different visa requirements, but the general process is the same: it’s time-consuming and unpleasant.

Find out if your country of destination needs a visa by doing some research. What sort of visa will you require, if so? The majority of them are standard visitor visas, and 60% of the nations in the globe need visas for stays of any duration. However, you might need to apply for a student visa if you want to study or intern for more than a brief term. You will require a work visa if you intend to work (though you may be able to work abroad without a visa, too).

Additionally, other nations have a different stance on the aforementioned issues: in the UK, there are many Tiers of visas that you must declare. A working vacation visa is one possibility in Australia. There are many different varieties of this unavoidable evil; find out which one you are eligible for.

For visas, apply early. If you find yourself getting impatient when standing in line at the bank, consider how long it can take for government organizations in other nations to complete a task. See our FAQ for more information about consulates and embassies.

3. See a physician.

This phase might not be enjoyable either, but consider how much more tiresome it can be to have a checkup or a dental cleaning in a foreign nation when the language is not your native tongue and the “office” is a messy nook in someone’s living room. Get your teeth cleaned and have a physical exam so you can run about with the lions and taste the gelato without worrying.

Additionally, make sure you check any vaccines you might require. This happens more frequently in developing nations where there are bothersome illnesses like the Zika virus, chikungunya, dengue fever, malaria, typhoid fever, and avian flu. These, I assure you, are not enjoyable and will derail your planned ascent of Kilimanjaro or expedition to Machu Picchu. Keep track of your shots! Try not to wait until the last minute either, since some shots require a week or two to take effect (besides, who wants to board a plane when their arm feels like it’s buzzing with medical bees?)

The most recent information on immunizations and injections that are required or advised may be found on the excellent website maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

4. Learn how to contact your home.

Knowing your alternatives for staying in touch with friends and family back home is always a good idea, even if you’re traveling to get away from it all (for when you do end up in that dentist chair or get that unwanted mosquito bite). Additionally, it’s wonderful to phone Mom and Pop to let them know you made it across the ocean.

This is simpler than ever thanks to contemporary technologies. Try using free internet-based services like Skype or WhatsApp wherever you are in the globe. Check your mobile phone plan; while some can be activated abroad, the majority won’t work there. Look into your phone’s SIM card options if the thought of purchasing and carrying a phone card makes you uncomfortable. GSM phones are SIM-card compatible, so you can use a different SIM card in any nation (as long as the network is unlocked), which is great. It can be a little more challenging with CDMA

5. Get protection.

Car Insurance

Make sure you are covered while traveling, whether it is for travel insurance, luggage protection, or health security. If you are participating in a planned itinerary, you will typically have the opportunity to purchase an insurance package; if you do not already have foreign coverage, these are fantastic choices.

On the Travel Insurance page of, you may find trustworthy, respectable travel insurance alternatives.

6. Create a budget

This is especially useful if you’ll be going overseas for a long period to study or volunteer. Find out how much it will cost you to live there by doing some research, then calculate your monthly costs for things like housing, food, transportation, and entertainment. If you are only traveling for personal reasons, estimate how much you will spend on lodging, activities, dining out, etc.

In any case, be sensible about the costs and bring more cash than you anticipate needing.

7. Become familiar with your location.

No matter how calm and accepting you are, culture shock (they eat what?!) is certain to strike you. No amount of study will be able to change it. But it’s always a good idea to be prepared so that your time traveling may be spent discovering and having fun rather than looking through fresh travel guides. Do some research on the locations you wish to see, any festivals that will be taking place while you are there, and activities you may take part in.

Also, educate yourself about the culture. You might need to take traditional apparel if the nation is more so.

8. Packing

A suitcase COVID vaccination card, and passport being prepared for a trip.

In Nepal, you won’t need makeup; in Madrid, your blow dryer won’t function; in Botswana, you’ll probably never need your baseball glove; and in Ecuador, you can get inexpensive jumpers. Travel light! Learn what supplies you’ll need to pack (such as mosquito netting or tampons) and what you can get locally at a reasonable price before traveling. Spare room in your baggage for mementos! Invest in useful baggage because, unless you want to stay in a resort the entire time, you’ll probably be walking a lot when traveling.

Finally Thoughts

You’re prepared now that you’ve meticulously collected your papers, finished the necessary administrative tasks, dusted off your high school multilingual dictionary, and wrapped everything up! The adventure is waiting for you, eager to thrill and present you with some difficulties. As a shrewd traveler, you will welcome, whatever happens, be open to development, maximize the opportunity, and take on the globe. Just remember to bring your passport from home!


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