A great deal of us get excited about visiting a country for the first time, packing the bags, booking the hotel etc, even the most mundane tasks are exciting when we are preparing for a holiday.
But there’s a few important things to consider before you leave the comforts of your home. Things that’ll make or break your time on the foreign and uncharted lands of your chosen destination.
Are you travelling for the first time? Going somewhere and want to feel safe and comfortable in from the get go. Cool, then get pen and paper (or your smartphone lol) and note these 5 essential tips on going abroad to a new country!
1. The Culture of the Country
Every country has its own distinct culture and there are societal norms you must abide by to prevent causing offence. This is especially important for countries in South East Asia and the Middle East. To cite just two examples, shoes must be removed before entering a home and you should not use your left hand to pass things to people, particularly food items. People in other countries are generally very tolerant of visitors to their country but it is still wise to read up on the most important cultural aspects before you arrive.
2. Entry Requirements
Different countries have different entry requirements and these requirements are usually based on your nationality and any reciprocal agreements that your host country has with your home country. For example, most people visiting Thailand can obtain a 30-day stamp without the need for a visa. Whereas some nationalities need to apply for a visa in advance well in advance of the date of travel. Many travellers have fallen foul of these rules and found themselves unable to board their flight. It’s absolutely imperative that you do your due diligence by researching what is required of you before you go away!
The standard of accommodation available in some countries, particularly Africa or Asia can be very basic in comparison to what you are used to. The tourist hotspots such as Bali for example, have a wide range of accommodation suitable for almost every budget from the high quality and luxurious Cantik Seminyak villas to backpacker accommodation you can get for a just a few dollars. Beware you do get what you pay for at the end of the day, so if you are on holiday it is definitely worth going a bit more upmarket than the cheapest option.
4. Vaccinations and Medical Treatment
Dependent on your destination, the standard of medical care may be much lower than you are accustomed to. Also, in serious cases you may need to be airlifted to a hospital with a higher standard of expertise. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that you obtain comprehensive health insurance. The media is awash with people who have had accidents overseas and, in the absence of insurance, have been left with a bill running into hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are also some countries where vaccinations are recommended, book an appointment with your GP or a travel clinic well in advance of your departure date.
5. Right Clothing Essentials
Depending on your destination, you will need to pack the right clothing. If you are heading to the tropics, it’s best to pack cotton clothing if you have it. If not, you can usually pick up some suitable clothing at very good prices at your destination. Places like Bali and Thailand have a large selection of clothes that you can buy for a few dollars. Conversely, if you are heading to a colder destination such as Nepal or north India, you will need to pack a decent down coat and decent shoes.
What are the go-to tips you’d give to someone going abroad for the first time? Do you agree with most of these provided? Feel free to leave them in the comments below. I hope these tips have given you an insi
ght into some of the essentials you need to know when visiting a country for the first time. Safe and happy travels!
P.S. And – don’t forget your passport!
Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures