Traveling abroad is one of the most exciting and rewarding things you can do, and it doesn’t really matter if you’re taking on this grand escapade alone, with your significant other, or as one of the best activities, you can do with your kids. The world is vast and full of wonders, and while it might be impossible to experience all that it has to offer, you really should start traveling more outside of your country’s borders in search of adventure and a travel experience of a lifetime.

After all, so many different cultures across the globe are waiting to be discovered by an inquisitive traveler like yourself. But before you board your flight, there are some crucial considerations you need to take into account in order to organize a truly rewarding trip. Here are the five tips to help you prepare for your international escapade.

Research the destination and the local culture

Firstly, although traveling without a plan and just “winging it” as you go along might seem exciting and appealing at first glance, be sure to save those types of trips when you’re hopping to the next town over or a different state. When traveling internationally, though, you want to know as much as possible about the destination so that you can prepare accordingly, have all of your paperwork in order, and avoid any unpleasant scenarios along the way. This is especially important if you’re traveling alone.

With that in mind, start by doing a lot of online research, and visit trusted forums where people have shared their personal experiences with different airlines, hotels and stays, and most importantly, the destination itself. This will help you learn about the local culture and customs, allowing you to adjust your demeanor and pack the right type of clothing so as not to offend the local people. 

Make a detailed itinerary plus detours

Every great travel plan that focuses on faraway destinations is based on a detailed itinerary. While it is true that you can’t list exactly every single activity, sightseeing spot, and town you’re going to visit (because travel plans tend to change on the spot), it’s still important to make your itinerary as comprehensive as possible. This will help you manage your budget wisely, avoid the time-wasters, and to decide on the absolute best places to visit.

Now that you have mapped out your exotic vacation and that you know what you’ll be doing during your stay, it’s time to start factoring in the potential detours. Say you’re visiting Australia. This is a huge country with so much to see and do that it can be impossible to stick to the itinerary – it’s okay, just be sure to map other points of interest along the way, and be reasonable with your timetable. Allow yourself plenty of time to see and do everything on the list.

Make health insurance your priority

Another crucial consideration is health coverage. Health insurance is non-negotiable even when you’re traveling to a neighboring state, let alone an exotic country halfway across the globe where God knows what might happen. Let’s stick with Australia as a prime example. While it isn’t true that “everything in Australia wants to eat you”, there are still potential dangers that you need to be aware of, which is why you need adequate health insurance.

Those of you on a student visa in Australia can enjoy the benefits of the 485 Visa health insurance policy that covers the healthcare costs for all foreign students. However, those of you who are traveling one-time as tourists have to check if your country has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the destination country, or take out a private travel insurance policy. Be sure to research your options according to the destination to avoid costly healthcare fees should you find yourself at the doctor’s office.

Pack the smart way

Pack the smart way

You might be headed on a grand international adventure, but that doesn’t mean that you should bring your entire wardrobe with you on your trip. One of the keys to a stress-free and comfortable trip is to pack the best and most essential travel accessories, sans the clutter or the clothing you’re not going to wear. Be sure to pack according to the local season and weather forecasts, bring your essential tech and a power adapter, and if you plan to explore the great outdoors, pack your camping and trekking gear as well.

Know the emergency numbers and local laws

Finally, don’t forget to educate yourself on the local laws. It’s important that you follow the letter of the law at all times to ensure your safety and comfort, particularly the traffic regulations if you plan to get a rental car to explore the country by yourself. While you’re at it, memorize all of the emergency numbers in your phone to avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Parting words

Traveling internationally is exhilarating and infinitely rewarding, but before you set sail to a faraway land, you should make all of the necessary preparations. Use these tips to organize a comfortable trip that you and your family remembers will remember for years to come.