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Within the last decade, travelling abroad has become one of the most popular and most sought after things in life to experience and with more people around the world looking to purchase travel than purchasing material objects, the travel sector is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, which keeps millions of people employed through the year around the globe…well, maybe not in 2020 (thanks, Corona), BUT in general, international travel is a massive economy that supports more than just airlines.
International travel is also more than just gathering those glossy Instagram worthy snapshots to make your friends and family jealous of your overseas endeavors, but about experiencing new cultures, learning to be independent in unknown lands and to understand new customs all while learning to appreciate your own from back home. It helps broaden your horizons and if you’re going solo, it helps give you this electric surge of confidence that you’ve never felt before in your life.
Read more: Solo Female Traveller Safety Tips
With Coronavirus throwing a jagged, dull, rusty blade (nice, huh?) into everyone’s travel plans this year, I’m here to tell you that travelling internationally should not be feared going forward and if you have any doubt, here are my five W’s of travelling internationally for you to read and hopefully open up your mind to adventures abroad in the near future.
Who Should You Travel Internationally With
Deciding who you should travel abroad with is a very important decision that can make, or break your vacation. Some people flourish by themselves when they decide to travel, me being one of them. Solo travel is my preferred method of exploring and I highly suggest it to anyone and everyone looking for a great experience and some much needed freedom and alone time. If you aren’t into the solo kind of adventures, booking a big group trip can be a rewarding way to travel in terms of meeting new people through a tour company and having people to share travel stories with. If group travel sounds like a nightmare, perhaps travelling with your BFF, or a couple of close friends is more your style. If you do decide to travel with close friends, try to go with those who have the same travel mindset as you to avoid disastrous arguments, which will turn your trip to paradise, into a trip to hell. If you are an early riser and your friends like to sleep in until noon, you may want to reevaluate your choice in travel partners, or try to compromise to ensure everyone’s needs are met and that your vacation stays a positive one.
Read more: Top Mistakes First Time Solo Travellers Make
Read more: How To Stay Safe As A Solo Traveller
Read more: 10 Tips For Travelling With Friends
What Should You Do Before Flying Internationally
You’ve booked your flight and at least your first night’s accommodations and now you’re just counting down the days until you leave for the airport. Hold on. Don’t get too comfortable. Before travelling, especially internationally, you should have a checklist that you do a run through just to make sure everything is in order because nobody likes unwanted surprises either at the airport, or while abroad. One of the things I like to do before travelling anywhere, especially overseas, is write down a list of necessary things that are essential to do before hitting the road to the airport. Here are some things I like to check on before flying:
- Get the necessary voltage adapters based on the country that you’re travelling to. I also like to charge all of my electronics before leaving on a trip, so everything is ready to go once I land.
- Check your passport expiry date to make sure everything is within code. This should be done well before you actually book your trip though, to be honest. Some countries require you to have at least a 6 month grace period before your passport expires.
- Get medical travel insurance ALWAYS.
- Get a doctor to check you before departure if required (this may unfortunately be the norm for awhile during Corona times)
- Call your bank and credit card company to inform them that you will be travelling and if they see any transactions overseas, it is YOU doing them.
- Always carry some local currency with you because not all places take cards.
- What kind of luggage do you want to bring? Carry-on only? Checked bag? What are the airline weight restrictions? Are there fees for a checked bag? Assess what you need to bring then go from there. Also think about where you’re going and how you’ll be transporting your bags around with you.
- Research transport, hotels, restaurants, safety of surrounding areas near your hotels, sites of interest etc.
Read more: How To Create The Perfect Travel Itinerary
Where Should You Travel Internationally
Figuring out where to travel is one of the hardest things for me to decide because let’s face it, I want to go everywhere! It isn’t as easy as spinning a globe, closing your eyes and plopping your finger down and going to that destination…although I have been tempted to do that a few times in the past. 😉 Deciding where you should travel internationally should be planned a little bit more strategically than that. I tend to look at a bunch of deciding factors when picking out a place for my next trip such as the type of experience I want to have, the safety for solo female travelling, affordability and budget friendly, whether travelling during busy season, or off season is better suited to my liking, potential conflicts within the regions I wish to travel in and the infrastructure of the country. I’ll also look at accommodations, food, activities, sites and of course, epic views and scenery don’t hurt either. 😉
Read more: 12 Reasons Why You Should Visit Croatia
Read more: 12 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Austria
Read more: Things To Do While Visiting Malta
When Should You Travel Internationally
Deciding when one should travel internationally can be based on a few important factors. Do you want to travel during the chaotic tourist season in the summer months? Would you like to travel during off season to save some money, avoid crowds, but will you be ok with cooler unseasonable weather? Do you have enough saved up to take the trip you want, when you want and the most asked question everyone is asking themselves nowadays…Is it safe to travel? This is a big question circling in people’s minds, especially now during 2020 within our current pandemic times. Every person’s comfort levels are different and should be considered when deciding when you should travel internationally. I would be comfortable getting on a plane right now, hell, even a month ago I wouldn’t have had an issue, BUT unfortunately, the choice was out of my control. Good news is on the horizon though regarding international travel because airline travel is slowly opening up for international holiday makers. The E.U just currently placed Canada on their “safe” list of countries permitted to enter the E.U come July 2020, so get ready Canada because international travel could be in your cards sooner than you thought, BUT that could change at any given moment, so before buying your tickets, make sure to check with airlines, government websites in your home country as well as the country you wish to visit to avoid disappointment.
Read more: How I Choose Where To Travel To Next
Read more: 6 Ways Travelling Will Change You
Why Should You Travel Internationally
There are so many reasons why you should travel internationally at least once in your life. It helps get you out of your comfort zone by immersing yourself into an unknown country with different customs and surrounded by complete strangers in a foreign land. You can meet and mingle with other people, which help you gain an understanding of other cultures and religions. If you go solo, you’ll be forced to learn how to navigate a new city’s transit system, its streets and a lot of the times in a foreign language completely unfamiliar to you all on your own, which in the end, boosts your confidence and gives you a feeling of accomplishment once you figure things out on your own. You’ll also develop cultural sensitivity and acceptance knowing that everything you see and read in the media is almost always perceived incorrectly about certain people in areas of the world.
Read more: Reasons Why You Should Travel More This Year
Read more: Why I Love Solo Travel
Read more: 5 Solo Travel Myths That Need To Be Debunked
Remember, international travel isn’t and shouldn’t be about collecting pretty Instagram photos to brag about to your friends and family back home. Travelling internationally is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in a foreign country, educating yourself about and appreciating other cultures and customs, turning challenges into life experiences that provide lessons to grow from and most importantly, international travel should be a constant learning process, which makes you humble and appreciative of the life and opportunities you are able to have abroad and at home. Adventure is out there, you just have to be willing to get up and seek it. 🙂
Where was the first place you’ve travelled internationally? Were you scared, excited, nervous, or all of the above? If you’ve never travelled internationally before, what country is on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below. xo