Things to Know When Booking an International Flight
The subject of international travel can be a somewhat intimidating topic if you are a first-time international traveler. Flying domestically is even often so overwhelming if you have not done it much before. There is a ton of information out there regarding traveling outside of the country, but where to begin? Today, we are going to narrow down all the crucial information to know before embarking on an adventurous international journey!
First and foremost, if you are planning to travel internationally, you will need a passport. If you do not already have a passport, it would be wise for that to be the first task you cross off of your to-do list. It is easier than ever to apply for a passport, but make sure you give yourself ample time (think at least 3 months) so that you do not have to pay any extra fees to expedite the process at all.
Once you have your passport and you have started your travels, make sure you keep it in the safest, yet most convenient, place possible. Your passport is arguably the most important item you need when traveling internationally, and getting home will become a huge pain if your passport is misplaced. If you are planning a trip to Europe where you intend to travel between countries, you will need your passport for those times as well.
The next thing to take care of when booking your international trip is to figure out what airline you are going to take. There are so many airlines at our disposal, but some are definitely better than others. Many have rewards programs nowadays, so it would not be a bad idea to look into that option when choosing an airline. The points you can gain from a rewards program add up quickly if you do a lot of traveling.
You will also want to make certain that you are picking the most ideal times for flights and that they do not have a ton of stops and layovers, as well. Having a bunch of layovers only takes away from the time you could be spending exploring a new place, and it adds to the time you will end up spending dealing with jetlag and catching up on sleep.
Luggage is everything when it comes to traveling internationally. Who wants to be stuck on a long expedition with difficult or complicated luggage? The answer to that question is absolutely no one. The ideal way to go about deciding which luggage to bring along on your trip is to have an idea of the kind of adventure you are planning to have. Are you embarking on a trip where you will be going from place to place a lot and going with the flow more? If yes, then a good quality travel backpack might be the best fit for your needs. If you are going to be taking a more leisurely pace throughout your trip, a sturdy carry-on sized suitcase would probably be ideal. Also, it would not be a bad idea to buy a TSA-approved lock for your luggage so that you can have peace of mind that your belongings are much more secure.
Notify your bank
Before heading out on any sort of trip, whether international or domestic, it is imperative that you notify your bank about your upcoming trip and all of the places that you plan to go. The last thing you want is for your bank to not know you are out of the country and have shut down your credit card when you try to make your first purchase. It also might be a lot more difficult to reach your bank to solve the issue if this does happen, so just give them a call before you leave so that they know it is you that is spending in another country.
On the topic of banks and money, having a plan regarding currency for the country or countries you will be visiting. Know all of the monetary exchange rates before heading to a foreign place and have a plan to obtain the local currency. ATMs will be everywhere, but the withdrawal fees at them can add up-so stick to just a couple big withdrawals that will get you through the trip. Also, make sure your credit card is travel friendly and will not hit you with a bunch of hidden international fees before leaving!
In today’s world, our phones are practically our lifelines in everyday life. Unfortunately, you cannot just use your phone normally when you travel abroad, but there are ways to fix that. There will likely be WIFI available at nearly every establishment, so you can always rely on that for calling and texting. If you want a bit more of reliability and don’t mind spending a bit extra, you can buy a travel SIM card to utilize when abroad so that you do not have to worry about getting stuck without service.
Let’s get to the fun part: travel gear. You want to make sure you are more than prepared when heading out on your adventure, but deciding what to bring can get overwhelming. Some of the things you do not want to leave without include:
Make sure to check the weather of the place or places you will be traveling to and pack accordingly. Remember, layers are your friend! Also, pack sensible shoes since you will likely be doing tons of walking throughout your trip.
It is always wise to have one or two good-quality portable chargers that are always juiced up so that you do not run into a situation where you have a dead phone and no way to charge it. You should also invest in an outlet converter, since the outlets in other countries are typically different and you will need a way to charge up!
Reusable water bottle
A water bottle you can reuse throughout your journey is not only sensible and eco-friendly but will also end up saving you a fair amount of money due to not buying bottles of water every day.
You will undoubtedly want to be able to capture many moments of your travels, so a way to take pictures is a necessity when going abroad. Phones these days take incredible pictures, or you can invest in a quality standalone camera to really take your photos to the next level.
There you have it. Hopefully this list has helped guide you with how to prepare before heading out on your international journey. Being prepared will ensure that you have the best time possible, so all there is really left to do is to go out and explore corners of the world you maybe have not seen before!