The 5 Essentials to Help You Plan an International Trip

international trip advice and tips

If you are in the planning phase of your international trip, then you are likely feeling a lot of excitement. However, before you pack your bags and set off on your journey, several key steps need to be followed to make sure your trip goes smoothly. Choosing the right destination, managing your budget, and understanding travel documents are all important.

The 5 Essentials to Help You Plan an International Trip

Poor planning can lead to several issues, such as arriving at a destination to find that it's the rainy season or facing unexpected bank fees when withdrawing money abroad. Sometimes, travellers even forget to check visa requirements. On the other hand, when you have a solid travel plan, you will get the most out of the experience. In this article, we will go over several tips to help you plan the perfect trip.

#1. Start with a budget!

When you plan an international trip, setting up a budget is key. Start by figuring out your main expenses: flights, places to stay, meals, activities, and money for unexpected situations. Flight prices can change a lot based on when and where you're going, so use websites that compare flight costs to get the best deals. For places to stay, you can save money by choosing budget hotels, hostels, or rental properties instead of expensive hotels. You can keep food costs down by eating where locals do, like at street food stalls or small eateries, instead of dining at tourist-oriented restaurants. If you can cook some meals where you're staying, that'll help you save even more. Look for free or cheaper tourist spots to keep activity costs low. Lastly, getting good travel insurance is a smart move. The best travel insurance can help cover unexpected medical costs, trip cancellations, or lost luggage.

#2. Have some travel goals!

Before you plan your international trip, think about why you want to travel and what you want to do. Are you looking to relax, have adventures, explore new cultures, or are you travelling for work? Knowing the reason for your trip will help you decide where to go and what to do.

advice for international trip

Then, consider what kind of experiences you're interested in. If you like city life, you might focus on exploring big cities, discovering unique spots, and trying local foods. If you love nature, you might choose destinations with beautiful landscapes like parks, beaches, or mountains. And if you're interested in history, look for places with ancient ruins or famous museums.

#3. Plan your itinerary!

When planning your international trip, it's important to create a balanced schedule. Make sure to mix busy sightseeing with enough time to rest. It’s easy to want to see everything, but remember that taking breaks is the key to enjoying your trip. It’s also a good idea to book your main activities and places to stay ahead of time. This ensures you don’t miss out on popular spots and can help you get better prices. Booking things like tours, special meals, or shows in advance can really make your trip smoother and more enjoyable. However, it's good to leave some parts of your schedule open. This way, you can explore freely and find unexpected things to do, like stumbling upon a local festival or a cozy cafĂ©. Having a plan is great, but sometimes the best experiences come from spontaneous decisions.

#4. Have a packing plan!

It's important to consider the weather and cultural expectations of where you're going when you start planning your packing list. Look up the climate to figure out if you need summer clothes or warmer outfits. Also, check if there are any dress codes you should follow. Include a power adapter that fits the local sockets, a small health kit with first aid supplies and any medicines you need, and useful travel apps to help with language, directions, and finding places to visit.

international trip tips

To pack smart and light, choose clothes you can wear in different combinations, so you carry less. Rolling your clothes instead of folding can save space and prevent wrinkles. Packing cubes or compression bags are great for keeping your suitcase organized and fitting more inside.

#5. Be able to communicate!

Staying in touch while you’re abroad is essential for both safety and convenience. You have a few options to consider. One way is to buy a local SIM card when you arrive, which usually offers cheaper rates for calls and data. Another option is to check if your current phone plan includes international roaming at a reasonable cost. If you’re going to a country where you don’t speak the language, knowing some basic phrases can be very helpful. Try to learn simple words and questions like “Hello,” “Thank you,” “Where is the bathroom?” and “How much?” You can also use translation apps that convert languages in real-time, which can help you communicate better.

What about you, how do you plan your international trips? Feel free to share any tips & advice below!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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