It might be difficult and time-consuming to organize a trip abroad. There is a lot of paperwork, documents you need to take, plans you need to make, etc. The stress especially comes when you want to go to a country that requires a travel visa – it’s just one more thing you need to worry about!
Getting a visa can be tricky and sometimes take a long time – depending on where you want to go. However, this shouldn’t stop you from planning your trip. To make it easy for you, we’ve gathered several tips you need to plan the perfect international journey.
Choose a Destination
Before applying for a visa, you must decide where you’ll be going. However, just choosing a place is not enough. An essential part of vacation planning is learning to pick the proper location according to the season. There is a significant difference between the best times to visit the mountains and the beaches.
You should also consider the expenses when choosing a vacation spot; some locations are more suited to a lavish vacation budget than others. The shoulder season has proven to help save money, regardless of where you’re going.
Get Your Travel Paperwork in Order
After choosing where you’re traveling, the first step is getting the needed documents. For specifics on this matter, you can contact the Consulate or Embassy of the country in question. A passport is a primary necessity, of course; however, some places may need a visa too.
Invest in a Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a good idea when planning a trip – you never know what might happen. This way, you can spend the days of your trip worry-free and enjoy the journey.
To get a better picture, here is what a comprehensive travel insurance policy covers:
- Inadvertently missing your flight because of unforeseen circumstances;
- Traumatic events leading to death and injury;
- Accidents to someone or something;
- Cases where baggage, travel documents, and cash are lost, stolen, or damaged.
Plan Your Stay
When you have your travel visa and passport ready, you can start detailing your trip. First on the list is where you’ll be staying.
There is a wide range of possibilities, and it’s best to find one that suits your travel preferences and goals. For example, suppose you want to meet new friends while away. Many hostels provide standard rooms and organized group activities to bring guests together and foster camaraderie.
Renting a room from a local, or perhaps a whole home with a kitchen, can give you a far more authentic experience and allow you to cook your meals. In case you like some more seclusion and comfort, a hotel room is still a viable choice.
Research Your Vacation Spot
Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? Each country offers a variety of options. Check online and see what the best attractions are, what kinds of trips are available, and what kinds of food and drink are popular.
Plan for your overseas trip by booking any tours or excursions you’d like to participate in. Some trips are OK to take on your own, while others are better with a guide. Planning and getting tickets for popular trips may be a good idea when time is of the essence.
Check the Transportation Options
The last check on your planning list should be finding out what modes of transportation are available at your destination before you go. Doing this will save the unnecessary hassle and wasted time running in circles, trying to find how to get to a spot.
For example, booking a rental car in advance can be a good choice. It typically results in a lower price than showing up at the counter; plus, it takes less time and effort.
You can see what the transportation system of the place is like. Most countries have tourist bus or train fairs that are way cheaper and can last you throughout your stay.
Plan Your Budget
Planning a trip also includes preparing your budget. This way, you can make sure you have enough money to last the duration of your trip and see if there’s a little extra for souvenirs or other activities.
Note that your trip budget should encompass only the money you’ll spend while on your trip. Instead, it should include the cost of plane tickets and insurance. While you’re at it, check the currency of the country you’ll be visiting – not all accept US dollars.
This also means examining the exchange rates and places with the lowest charges – usually, airport exchange offices have the highest rates in the country. Additionally, if you’re traveling through several countries, make a separate budget for each one.
A flight reservation is a next step in vacation preparation after deciding where to go. According to a 2021 “Cheap Air” study, the ideal time to buy domestic airline tickets is 64 days before departure.
Seasonal variations can play a significant role. The best times to book a flight are 67 days in advance of summer vacation, 94 days in advance of winter vacation, 84 days in advance of spring vacation, and 89 days in advance of autumn vacation.
Even though this is the average, that doesn’t imply you must do it then – sometimes there are last-minute flights that can be even cheaper.
There you have it – the most important things you need to mind when thinking about traveling overseas, from getting your travel visa to planning the whole trip. In some countries, you can get a visa upon arrival at the airport, but others require you to have it before you board the plane.
You can easily check this with the Embassy or Consulate in your state. And once this is crossed off your list – let the fun times begin!