There is nothing worse than thinking you are well prepared for international travel and later on realize you have it all wrong. It is very easy to assume that you have everything set once you  purchase the ticket and get packing. When going to another country, you need to be fully aware of what the requirements are and do your research on what you will possibly need. There is a lot of work and planning that needs to be done from accommodation, to activities you’ll take part in.

Check your passport and apply for a visa

Countries have their own way of processing a visa, which can at times be lengthy. If you’d like to travel to a certain country any time soon, find out how long a visa takes to be processed and how to apply for it. This is sometimes one of the longest processes as some embassies may need letters and other documents to show that you are have legitimate reasons of traveling to your desired destination. As for your passport, if you are not a regular traveler don’t ever assume that it’s still valid; check the expiry date before embarrassing yourself while applying for a visa.

Get vaccinated

Some countries require you to get vaccinated before entering their countries. For example in South Africa, you need to be vaccinated with a yellow fever shot in order to be validated. Besides their own rules it is advisable that you take necessary vaccinations such a yellow fever vaccine and flu vaccines. If you’re also on any long term prescription, then you need to make sure that you have your drugs put away for the time you will be there. Depending on where you are traveling to, you need to know which medication you can carry especially if you are going to more remote areas.

Research

Before you go to a foreign land, find out their general laws. One of the worst things about being an alien in another country, is that you may end up on the wrong side of the law without realizing it. Always visit a website, particularly their embassy website and find out about their rules and regulations. Besides this, always ensure you understand as much as you possibly can about the cost of living in the particular country you’re heading to. Several countries take advantage of tourists due to their ignorance concerning price ranges of particular services and items, research will somewhat ensure that you don’t spend more than you need to.

Budget

Before you travel make sure you understand your financial situation. Check the exchange rates in the country you’ll be going to and also check if your bank exists in that country

Learn key phrases

When you travel it’s important to understand the culture that you are about to get yourself into. You also need to know some key phrases that will get you through the day; it would be easier to buy a small pocketbook that has general phrases in their local language.

Health insurance

If you don’t have health insurance, then it’s important to get one, considering that you’ll be in another country. Find out which health insurance will cover your bills even when you are outside the country, this is usually known as international coverage.

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