Preparing for International Travel

solo travel as a woman

Are you getting ready for some international travel?  When travelling out of your home country, it is important to be prepared so you are not caught unaware or surprised by something that can ruin your travel experience.  Here are some tips to get you ready for your trip.

Find a Reliable Airline

The last thing you want is to end up stranded in an unfamiliar airport or stranded due to cancelled flights.  Always use a reliable airline like air India when booking your international travel.  The peace of mind that comes with a good airline will make your travel much easier.  You don’t want to end up in a cargo plane with a bunch of livestock.  Whether you fly first class or coach, a good airline is a must have.

Get a passport

In order to leave the country and enter a foreign country, you’ll need a passport.  Getting a passport can take 3-4 weeks, so make sure you start this process well in advance of your planned travel.  Your passport is essential to your travel.  Take a picture of your passport and save it on your phone so you have a copy in case it gets lost.  It is also a good idea to make a photocopy of your passport and carry that with you and keep your passport locked in a safe at your hotel.  Your passport is your only way back home, and the only way to get help from your local embassy.  Keep it safe and secure at all times when travelling abroad.

Access to Money

You don’t have to carry travelers’ cheques any more (if you even know what those are!), but you still need to be prepared to access money when travelling out of the country.  Bring your debit card, a few credit cards, and a small amount of cash.  Make sure to notify your bank that you will be travelling out of the country so they don’t flag your account when they detect usage in a foreign country and shut off access to your account.  Leave one of your cards in the hotel safe in case your wallet gets lost or stolen.  Most places in the world will let you use your credit or debit cards, making purchases just as secure as if you were at home. 

Book in Advance

Last minute booking always costs the most.  This is true for air travel, hotels, entertainment, and everything else during your travel.  Book your itinerary in advance to save money and ensure that your spot is reserved.  If your trip is not completely guaranteed, make sure you book with cancellation options so you can back out if needed.  Most places offer free cancellation within a certain amount of time, usually 48 hours. 

Stay Safe

Here are a few safety tips to keep you safe during your trip.

  • Keep an eye on your bags and wallet.  Pickpockets love to target tourists.  Get a good money belt or crossbody bag to keep your stuff secure.  If you wear a backpack, make sure you have both straps over your shoulders.  A single strap backpack can be easily pulled off as a thief runs by you, leaving you with nothing.  Avoid putting your wallet or phone in your back pocket.  This is another easy target for a skilled pickpocket.  In fact, this is such an easy target, you won’t even realize it is gone until you reach back to get your wallet or phone from your pocket.  Make it hard for a thief to target you.  If you do, the thief will look elsewhere for their next target.
  • Contact the local embassy so they know you there.  The embassy is your best friend in a foreign country.  They can alert you in the event of an evacuation.  They can help you if you get in trouble. 
  • Get travel insurance to cover things like sickness, lost luggage, or other unforeseen emergencies.  The low cost of insurance is well worth it.  Especially when you are in an unfamiliar country with unfamiliar culture. 

By following these tips during your international travel, you will help ensure a safe, enjoyable trip.  Travelling to a foreign country can be a scary undertaking.  There are many unknowns, especially if you are travelling to a country that you have never visited before.  Be prepared and Bon Voyage!

Jackie LaMar

Beach lover. SoCal dweller. Life is never over unless you surrender. Keep going, the prize IS out there.