If you have itchy feet like us, daydream about traveling to far-flung places or spend hours in planning, then this post is really useful for you to travel smarter and cheaper. So here are the Top Things To Do Before You Plan Your First International Travel. Starting from finding cheap airfares, hotels, currency converter, and deals we have got everything covered.
Sharing with you some travel secrets, hacks & tips that can help you travel smarter to your dream destination.
– RIGHT SEARCH –
The key is to GOOGLE. Research about the place well, about the nearest airport, connectivity to other countries, currency rates, the best time to visit, off seasons and major attractions. Once you are done nailing down all the aspects, don’t just daydream, start PLANNING & BOOKING.
A wise man’s suggestion is to check all your options and do proper research. Planning ahead and a bit of research can save you enough to plan for another trip 😉
Do make sure to check if there is any Travel Advisory issued for the country.
– KNOW ABOUT THE VISA PROCESS –
Before planning or booking anything try to know the entire visa process, documents needed and duration well in advance. Do check out our ” How To Apply Tourist Visa” series for different countries.
– FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS & STAY –
There are few amazing travel comparison websites which compare over 1000 airlines as well as travel agents to get you the cheapest air ticket at your fingertips. Once you nail down on your flight, the site redirects you to the airline’s official site or OTA. In addition to that, you also find deals on hotels and car rentals.
( READ: How to find cheap flights & accommodation )
Same goes for the accommodation as well. Find your best deal below:
– SIGHTSEEING –
A word of caution – do not try to book everything in advance online especially tours.
If you are on a shortage of time then we could recommend booking, else, we would suggest haggling and finding a perfect deal once you land. Finding deals from the local travel agents are always better than booking online. The deals are way too cheaper than the ones available online.
Also, save some time for jet lag and exploring a new country on your own than a jam pack schedule trying to cover everything.
– HOW TO GET THE CURRENCY CONVERTED –
We all need to get our currency converted to the local currency of the country we are flying to. Though withdrawing from ATM is easy but due to the recent demonetization and limit imposed on withdrawal, it can be a hassle plus transaction charges and international fee add to the woes.
These days our go to has been Forex Card. The forex card is a prepaid card that you could be used anywhere. Nor just it helps you transact in local currency with zero transaction fee but you can convert money from INR to EUR for Europe packages or to any other currency of your choice.
Another option is to buy Forex. You can check Thomas Cook website for real-time conversion rates and get it delivered to your doorstep or pick it up from the branch before flying out. If you have currency to exchange once you are back home after vacation, you can also sell them by following few quick easy steps online.
– LEARN LOCAL PHRASES –
Try to learn few local phrases when you travel even if your pronunciation isn’t the best.
• Thank you
• Yes, no, OK
Read More: How To Say Thank You in 50 Different Language
– PACK WELL –
Make sure to check the weather forecast and pack well. Avoid carrying valuable stuff or expensive jewellery on your travel and always keep your luggage locked with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved locks.
Read More: Packing Tips Based on Destination
– Keep a track on Deals & Giveaways –
– Subscribe to Newsletter –
Subscribing to your favorites airlines or destination tourism site could also give access to first-hand information about travel destinations, ideas, deals and much more. So go ahead and subscribe to get those deals delivered to your inbox and never miss an opportunity on a right deal. 😉
– Follow Social Media Sites –
Like & follow Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page for regular updates on cheap air tickets, travel deals and giveaways. If one such giveaway lands you return tickets to one of your dream destinations, don’t forget us. 😀
The sites you must follow for giveaways are Skyscanner, CSIA Mumbai, Lonely Planet Magazine India, National Geographic Channel, Travel & Leisure India to name a few.
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It’s a big world out there, it would be a shame not to experience.
Plan, Book & Travel!
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Magdalena BielawnyFebruary 17, 2017 at 4:59 pm
Very useful! Visas may be tricky, it’s good that now they check them in your departure airport 😉
KatFebruary 17, 2017 at 5:13 pm
I learned the visa lesson the hard way. As an Australian, I’d read online that I didn’t need a visa to get into Canada. Apparently that wasn’t true and I had to pay for a visa in San Francisco Airport and have it approved before they’d let me on the plane.
It’s a good idea to double and triple check everything!
stacey veikalasFebruary 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm
Very Helpful, it is amazing how many people do not check the visa requirements when traveling – super list! Thank you for sharing!
MIkkelFebruary 18, 2017 at 3:59 pm
Great tips! I especially forget to learn how to say “thank you” ahead of time! It isn’t until I arrive I think, “Darn it! I forgot to look it up!” then ask someone.
The Adventure AheadFebruary 18, 2017 at 4:49 pm
Really great tips to keep in mind – both for newbies and seasoned travelers. Thanks for compiling together all of these tips!
noelFebruary 18, 2017 at 4:54 pm
These are all great suggestions and tips on traveling. My first thing is also researching when it comes to travel deals and flights first and then the destination and what to do and key attractions to visit. Great post.
Raymond CarrollFebruary 18, 2017 at 6:14 pm
As a British Passport holder I hardly ever check about visa requirements whilst travelling. Since the Brexit thing, I don’t suppose a British passport will have the same pulling power shortly. Great list, and tips. Learn local phrases can be so handy. Thanks for sharing!
kathy (from walkaboutwanderer.com)February 18, 2017 at 7:42 pm
I have been caught out with visa’s before. I found a cheap flight to Russia and then spent twice as much as the flight on getting a visa. I always use a certain cash card to withdraw abroad which does not charge me. I also used to be that person that arranged everything a head of time meaning that plans are difficult to change, you can’t shop around for the best price or take an alternative route. I have change to being a little bit too unorganised 🙂
Some great tips. Thanks for sharing.
Ricci - wheninmyjourneysFebruary 18, 2017 at 8:30 pm
Nowadays, Everything and anything you need to know, you Google it. It is very helpful in researching all kinds of stuff. Thank you for sharing these useful tips.
SonamFebruary 18, 2017 at 9:23 pm
This is just perfect for everybody who has just started travelling. Such a helpful post. Thanks for sharing Xx
JenniferFebruary 18, 2017 at 9:28 pm
I hear of way too many people that didn’t do their research and had no clue about the entry requirements for the country they were traveling to. It’s always good to check the entry requirements before traveling, even if you have previously traveled to that country because they do change. Make sure your passport has the proper number of empty pages necessary for entry stamps and visas, that it isn’t expiring in the next few months and that you’ve applied for all visas necessary to apply for well before the trip.
sarahFebruary 18, 2017 at 11:02 pm
Yes it’s easy to forget the visa; particularly if you have a ‘good’ passport and are used to being able to travel to most places visa-free.
There are some good tips here.
With flights, somebody told me I should empty the cache before searching again, since you may get a lower price. Don’t know if that works but I have been doing that.
DmitriyFebruary 19, 2017 at 12:46 am
Thank you for so many useful tips for novice travelers. Since I’ve never heard of Forex Card before, I have to find out more information about it and may be start using it in my future trips.
Michaela Terese HarrisonFebruary 19, 2017 at 1:22 am
Great tips, especially about visa. I recommend skip the line tours, love as you can save time lining up to see the attraction. Currency conversion is a must even if Travelex does not exchange that currency you still need to know. I have been guilty of not know basic words, I learnt the hard way to show some respect and learn at least hello, thank you. I would add register with your government travel advisor
ClaudiaFebruary 19, 2017 at 3:31 am
Thanks for the handy tips. I love guided tours that skip long lines at popular destinations like the Vatican Museum or the Louvre. And ensuring your passport doesn’t expire at least 3 months ahead of a foreign visit is important as well.
JoaquimFebruary 19, 2017 at 5:03 am
All of these recommendations are on point ! I would also add getting your vaccines and any medication you may need well ahead of time. As well as travel insurance!
annaFebruary 19, 2017 at 8:53 am
Great tips! Definitely worth researching properly on visa regulations as they tend to change all the time. I follow some airlines on social media pages too- worth it when they go on seat sale etc. Thanks for sharing these!
EvaFebruary 19, 2017 at 9:57 am
Plans are underrated nowadays. Everwhere you hear people say “Real travel means you have to just go and figure out things while going along, that´s when the real adventures happen”. While it is true to a certain extend I am of the opinion that without the least bit of planning such a big adventure can easily turn into a nightmare, so thank you for raising awareness of the importance to have a plan to begin your international travels!
Natalie DeduckFebruary 19, 2017 at 10:21 am
Another thing I would like to add is to not over pack, specially if you are travelling to warm countries. We tend to carry too much when travelling abroad, and in the end, we don’t use half of what we packed.
AnneFebruary 19, 2017 at 10:30 am
I’ve been using the Supercard and Curve cards which sound like the Forex card. I’ve saved a fortune in fees using them so would highly recommend them. I also use them in the UK if I’m making online purchases in euros or dollars
Vicki LouiseFebruary 19, 2017 at 11:00 am
Great tips! It’s amazing to think how many people don’t check the visa requirements of countries before travelling. I’m one of those people who check when I book, and check again a few months out and then check again right before I fly! (And I have a British passport so I shouldn’t have too much to worry about) but I’d rather be safe than sorry!
Sheila FloresFebruary 19, 2017 at 11:23 am
This is such an useful post! I think everybody should keep this in mind before starting a big trip. Sometimes we forget important things like where to exchange our money and we have to pay a lot of fees! I also prefer booking tours when you get to the destination because there are some fake companies on the internet and you can lose a lot of money!
Thanks for the tips ;D
MariaFebruary 19, 2017 at 12:39 pm
Nice overview, great for first time travelers! It’s important to research the destination before you go and you are right about leaving some things unplanned. Sometimes it’s best to book on the spot
NickiFebruary 19, 2017 at 1:17 pm
This is a great list of things to do. Researching visas or entry processes is always the first thing I look at. It gives me an idea of how easy or complicated it will be for me to get into the country. Then that way I know moving forward how long I need before I can visit and if there is an extended waiting period for a visa.
nehaFebruary 19, 2017 at 2:34 pm
Very useful tips. I have been debating about taking a forex card but now you cleared all my doubts. Taking one before the next international trip
Only By LandFebruary 19, 2017 at 7:21 pm
Checking the visa requirements are very important for African countries, expensive visas and lots of information are usually required. I appreciate traveling in Europe so much more after going to places with a stressful visa process. Some great tips here on hotels and booking flights also about not booking a tour until you get there.
Jackie Sills-DellegrazieFebruary 20, 2017 at 1:31 am
Checking the visa requirements beforehand is a great tip. Even better is getting it right away. I almost had a whole trip ruined because I forgot to get the reciprocity visa. Thank goodness for a kind airport employee who helped me!
ChrysoulaFebruary 20, 2017 at 9:19 am
Great tips. Whenever I plan a trip, Google is my best friend. The more I research the more money I will save at the end. I always use sites like Skyscanner for flights and Hotelscombined to find the best hotel deals and reads lots of reviews before deciding. I didn’t know about the Forex card and sounds like a good deal.
DanikFebruary 20, 2017 at 11:33 am
Great tips here and always checking the visa requirements is a good idea. 🙂
ChrisFebruary 20, 2017 at 1:40 pm
These are great tips for any first time international traveller. I think the most important tip is the part about the visas. Some countries require a visa long before you travel while others will let you buy a temporary one at the airport.
Stephanie BillsFebruary 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm
This is incredibly helpful! I wish I had had this list before my first international flight. I couldn’t agree more about the visas tip. I had such a hard time getting everything approved. I almost didn’t make my flight because my visa had been delayed. Get advice.
Diana - MVMT BlogFebruary 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm
Great tips! I also like to map out my destinations (key destinations like my hotel and other must-see sights) on my offline maps, so once I get there I don’t have to worry about finding wifi to know how to get around! It’s definitely a good idea to know basic phrases in the local language too, although these days in most parts of the world, English works just fine.
Anita HendriekaFebruary 21, 2017 at 11:02 am
I think learning local phrases is so important when travelling. The locals love when you make an effort to try and speak their language, even if it’s not very good! Great article!
KerriFebruary 22, 2017 at 6:34 am
Great tips. I also check security warnings etc nowadays and make sure my insurance covers all the necessary things for that place. A great list for first timers too.
Jhon CarterFebruary 22, 2017 at 7:11 am
Nice post useful for any first time international traveler ! Definitely worth researching properly on visa regulations as they tend to change all the time.
BriannaFebruary 27, 2017 at 3:02 pm
I agree with all of these! Especially learning key words in phrases in the other langauge. It shows that you actually respect the country’s culture. I also like being a part of travel groups on Facebook. You can get a lot of insider tips on your destination through groups.
Elaine J MastersFebruary 27, 2017 at 5:19 pm
I was happy to hear about the Forex card as I’m visiting Croatia and Slovakia this spring. A few locals have told me however that cash is still King in the smaller locations we’ll be visiting. I always end up returning home with a pocketful of foreign currency! For the larger cities, I’ll test out the card. Thanks for the tip.
SidhuApril 4, 2017 at 9:54 am
Debdoot GuhaApril 13, 2017 at 11:54 am
Dempsey CappelleApril 24, 2017 at 5:12 pm
Really informative post!
Dempsey CappelleApril 24, 2017 at 5:13 pm
Gracie GillMay 11, 2017 at 11:52 pm
Being from a third world country, it’s hard for me to get a visa especially to European countries. And gladly Google is always there so I could check or read blogs about it. Also, I never thought it will be better to lok for deals with travel agents. We always book in advance because we thought it will be cheaper. Thank you for this, very helpful!
Pooja JoshiJune 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm
I am having trouble with packing and I have search so many bags but nothing is fitting for because of weight. I want something which can include everything I need but with less weight. Kindly share your opinion. Anyway good article. Thanks
DadaJune 5, 2018 at 6:01 pm
Really good tips and I wish I knew some of them before traveling overseas for the first time! Like learning a few basic words, visa issues and even when to go! When I first traveled we didnt have all these fancy stuff like it or smartphones so the only way was to lent guide books in the library…yes I am that old!