UNITED STATES—If you have never been out of the country before, the thought of planning a trip abroad may be daunting. You may want to try foreign travel, but you aren’t sure where to begin. You can get started with the steps below.
Get Your Passport
You aren’t going anywhere without your passport, so it’s a good idea to do this early so that you aren’t worried about receiving it in time. If you are pressed for time, you can pay extra to have it expedited. If you’re planning to do a lot of traveling in the next 10 years, consider paying extra for more passport pages since these can no longer be added later if you need them.
Start Saving Money
You’ll need to start saving up for your trip as well. One misconception many people have about foreign travel is that it is expensive. While it can be, it can also cost the same or even much less than domestic travel depending on where you go. However, you’ll still need some cash, so start looking at ways to cut back on your expenses. Bring your lunch to work. Find out if you can refinance student loans with NaviRefi, cutting the amount you pay each month. Consider doing some gig work, or pick up a part-time job. Open an account that’s just your travel fund and enjoy watching it grow.
Choose Your Traveling Companions
Who will you be traveling with? Choose your companion or companions carefully. People can be good friends but not necessarily good traveling companions. It’s important that you are compatible in terms of what you want to do or that you can agree to go your separate ways for the things you don’t want to do together. You may want to travel with family, or you could take a solo trip somewhere.
Choose Your Traveling Style
It’s important to know your travel expectations and what kind of a traveler you are. Do you prefer a trip where you don’t have to take much initiative, such as a tour, a cruise or an all-inclusive resort? Or are you more independent? Do you want to be physically active, scuba diving or ziplining or hiking? What interests you? Do you want to go to art museums or soak up nightlife? Are you all about the food at your destination, or would you rather spend that money on souvenirs?
Choose Your Destination
Knowing what kind of a trip you want to take will help you choose your destination. This can be especially helpful if you’re overwhelmed with trying to decide where to go. If it’s art you love, consider cities that are known for having great galleries and museums. Other things to think about when you are choosing a destination include climate and cost. Some people want their first trip abroad to be to a place where English is spoken. You can certainly do this, but you shouldn’t worry too much about not speaking the language if you want to go somewhere else. Learn a few polite words and phrases, but you’ll find that English is widely spoken throughout the world, especially in touristy areas.