Useful tips for international travel

Tips for overseas travel. Images by Towfiqu barbhuiya and Oleksandr P / Pexels

Going overseas for the first time? Here is a checklist

If you are planning on going overseas for the first time, these tips will help you avoid unnecessary hurdles.

Useful tips for international travel

Tips for overseas travel. Images by Towfiqu barbhuiya and Oleksandr P / Pexels

Going overseas for the first time is very exciting but there are certain things to keep in mind to avoid unnecessary obstacles. To help ensure a smooth and unforgettable experience, here are some essential tips for first-time international travellers.

1. Travel documents

Ensure that your passport is valid. It is advisable for your passport to be valid for a few months beyond your travel dates in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Make sure you have the necessary visas. You can check visa requirements by country here.

2. Medical cover

Ensure that any unexpected medical-related occurrences are covered. If you are a member of a medical aid, contact them to find out about the coverage you have while travelling. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions, for example an existing medical condition may very likely not be covered. Also, some waiting periods may apply.

Consider purchasing travel insurance if you do not have medical aid or if your current medical aid does not provide adequate coverage.

3. Medication

If you need to take prescription medication with you, be sure to have a copy of the prescription from your doctor. Also, when packing, it is best to keep only a minimal dose of the medication on your person and pack the rest in your checked luggage.

4. Research your destination

In addition to ensuring you do not miss out on any sightseeing, experiences, and adventures the destination has to offer, make sure you also familiarise yourself with the places you will be travelling to. This includes knowing about safer areas, public transport options, and local food choices. Spend some time to learn about the local culture, customs, and laws as well. This will help you avoid misunderstandings and have a more enjoyable experience.

5. Let’s talk moola

Make sure your banking is in order. Take more than one banking card if possible, in case one is not accepted at certain places. Contact your bank beforehand to make sure your card will work overseas. Make sure you are aware of any additional banking charges that may apply to avoid any unpleasant surprises when you return home.

Do not fall into the trap of exchanging money at the airport. Most of the time, it is cheaper to exchange money at a Forex branch in your city or town rather than at the airport. Do your research and find the best option.

6. Copies of documents

Make copies of your passport, itinerary, insurance information, and any other important documents. Scan them and email them to yourself as a backup, or save them on the cloud. This will ensure that you can access them anywhere there is a computer and internet.

7. Packing

Know the do’s and don’ts of luggage. Familiarise yourself with airline weight and size restrictions for checked and carry-on baggage. Make sure to check which items are prohibited in both types of luggage. The airline you are traveling with should have this information on their website. Some items, like sharp objects, are obviously prohibited, but there are certain items that are prohibited or have restrictions that apply to them that are not as obvious. For example, taking toothpaste in your carry-on luggage is permitted as long as it does not exceed a certain amount.

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