Planning a trip overseas is a challenging task to do. You have to consider many things such as where to go, when to travel and what to take. The information that follows will help guide you in planning a safe and rewarding trip overseas.
Choosing Your Overseas Destination
There are hundreds of countries and thousands of cities that you could visit but you cannot visit them all. To narrow down the options, you should ask yourself some questions. Is your goal comfort or adventure? Would you like to relax, have fun or a little of both? Do you have a preference for warm or cold climates? Is some place quiet and secluded your idea of paradise or are you attracted to big cities?
Other considerations concerning your destination include cost and language. You must factor in the cost of transportation, accommodations, food and other travel expenses. Your budget is also a big factor in determining your destination. Finally, you need to think about whether you want to travel to a country that speaks your language or if you want to learn a new one.
Some of the most popular overseas destinations for American citizens include France, Italy, China, Vietnam, Kenya and Brazil. Of course, you do not have to choose a place just because it is popular. You might prefer a destination that is off the beaten path.
When to Travel Overseas
There are a few things to take into account when deciding when you will travel. One such factor is the weather. You probably want to stay away from certain places during winter and others during hurricane season or typhoon season. Another factor you should research is national holidays. Some holidays are opportunities for participation in festivals and cultural celebrations. Other holidays mean that everything is closed and there will be nothing to do. One last factor to consider is whether you will be traveling during peak travel season or not. This can greatly affect the cost of your trip.
What to Take on an Overseas Trip
It is difficult to define exactly what to take on an overseas trip without first determining the exact places you will visit. For the most part, your destination will determine what you pack in terms of clothes and personal hygiene materials. There are, however, a few items of special mention.
If you plan to visit a country whose language you do not speak fluently, you will want to pack a phrase book, electronic dictionary or both. Overseas flights are usually long so be sure to take some things to do. This could include reading materials such as books or magazine, music to listen to, electronic games or your laptop.
Traveling with children, especially toddlers or babies is a challenge and requires special preparation. One tip is to prepare small “surprises" that the child can open during the long flight.
For purchases, it is a good idea to have both an internationally accepted credit card and a small amount of local currency. While most international airports have locations where you can exchange money, some do not. Also, you may arrive at a time when the place is not open.
Finally, you will need appropriate travel documents. This includes a valid passport and an entry visa if required. Minors who are traveling with only one parent or with someone other than their parents, also need to carry notarized parental consent form. Some destinations require specific immunizations so you will need a record of these.