Advertising
Advertising

7 Things You Must Do Before You Travel To A Foreign Country

7 Things You Must Do Before You Travel To A Foreign Country

Traveling to a foreign country is one of the most exciting adventures you can have. You’ll experience a completely different culture from your own, break out of your comfort zone, and learn more about who you are in two weeks than you would normally in six months.

After traveling around countries in Asia, Europe, and South America in the past 12 months, I’ve learned (often the hard way) what to do and what not to do if you want to maximize your travel experience.

With that said, if you’re about to travel to a foreign country, here are the 7 things you must do before your departure.

1. Visa and Passport Check

This is the most critical thing you must check off your list before you travel.

Certain countries will require you to have a passport that will not expire for at least 6 months from the date you enter. If you’re a digital nomad without a set return date, it’s better to be safe and have a buffer time of at least two years.

1*uHNVgXqhIlJXDCwFeoEiDw

    You’ll also need to make sure you have the required visas for not just the countries you know you’re traveling to, but potential countries you may be visiting. For example, Canadians don’t need a visa to visit any of the countries in South America except for Brazil.

    Advertising

    VisaHQ is a great place to start checking for visa requirements, depending on your current citizenship.

    Last tip: Make sure you scan and have a copy of all your important documents, including your visa and passport files. This will help expedite the process of retrieving another hard copy if you end up losing your original.

    2. Pack Appropriately

    This may depend on where you are traveling to and what season you are traveling in.

    The general advice is pack light.

    1*WaVWdYVYfZqphiZRK90nFg

      Despite what your friends, family, and media tells you, it’s most likely that you can buy nearly anything you need when you’re there. Carrying around bulky luggage may be the biggest obstacle from being spontaneous during your travels.

      It may even be better to leave some extra room in your backpack in order to bring back any souvenirs or gifts to your friends or family.

      Advertising

      Here’s a great article to help you start packing light.

      3. Call Your Bank

      Whether you want to use your credit card, debit card, or cash, you’ll be making foreign transactions. Since your bank is on high alert for your security, it’s likely they will freeze your account if they see a transaction that is out of the ordinary, such as a $400 withdrawl in Argentina when you live in the United States!

      Make sure you call not only your local bank but your credit card company as well to notify them you’ll be making international transactions.

      In fact, if you plan to be living in a foreign country for a period of time, you can sign up with companies like Charles Schawb, where you can make unlimited ATM transactions without fees.

      4. Get informed

      A few months ago, when I tried to enter Colombia, I had to miss my flight because I needed a return ticket out of Colombia. I was already late, and by the time I purchased my return ticket, it was too late.

      Now I know that there are certain airlines that allow you to cancel your flight within 24 hours of purchase. If you are ever asked for a return ticket, purchase a temporary ticket from any of the following airlines:

      • Delta
      • United
      • US Airways
      • JetBlue
      • Southwest
      • Spirit
      • Frontier
      • American

      You should also be informed about potential dangers or events occuring in the country, potential vaccinations you may need beforehand, and where your country’s embassy office is located.

      Advertising

      Use this website to learn more.

      5. Learn the Language

      You don’t need to be fluent before you arrive, but you certainly should spend some time learning a new language or re-learn a language in order to have conversations with the locals.

      There are still places around the world where a majority of the people don’t speak a word of English. Being able to understand and respond at the basic level will not only help you connect better with locals, but it will prevent you from being taken advantage of.

      If you’re a beginner, it’s unlikely you can reach that level at the speed you want by learning yourself or through using a free mobile app. However, you can use websites like Rype to work one-on-one with a private language coach. It’s built specifically for busy individuals, allowing you to fit language learning into your hectic lifestyle by offering unlimited one-on-one language lessons (only in Spanish for now) at anytime of the day, any day of the week. Learn more here and give the free trial a go.

      Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 1.06.26 PM

        6. Get Involved in the Community!

        You can find almost any community online for the country and city you’re traveling to, even ones specifically for expats.

        Look on Facebook Groups, Couchsurfing, or Meetup and connect with current locals, find accommodations, or simply ask for advice about your destination.

        Advertising

        1*k2lu8zGE4Zmmw4rxq9gLBw

          7. Create an Adventure List

          One of the best things about traveling is breaking out of your comfort zone and trying out new experiences.

          Do some research before you travel and make a list of everything you want to try for the first time. This can be an event or festival, food you’ve never tried, or an activity that’s popular in the country you’re going to.

          Make the list as long as you’d like, but prioritize the top 5 or top 10 that you want to try in your limited time.

          Once you’ve gone through these 7 must-do’s, embrace the culture of the place you’re traveling to and prepare yourself mentally.

          More importantly, open up your mind to prepare for the new adventure ahead of you.

          More by this author

          Sean Kim

          Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

          10 Websites to Learn Something New in 30 Minutes a Day When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 7 Science-Backed Learning Hacks to Help You Learn Anything Faster 7 Best Languages to Learn in Order to Stay Competitive 15 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Make This Year Your Best Year

          Trending in Lifestyle

          1 How to Find Workout Motivation When You Hate Exercise 2 60 Workout Motivation Quotes for Tough Workouts 3 Coffee Vs Energy Drinks: Why Coffee Gives You A Better Boost 4 The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You 5 20 Unusual Uses for Coca-Cola That You’ve Never Considered

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on February 11, 2021

          The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

          The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

          Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.

          Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.

          1. Humans Of New York

          Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.

           2.  Paris in Four Months

          Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.

          3. Civilized Caveman Cooking

          George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.

          4. Andrew Knapp

          Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.

          Advertising

          5. Idafrosk

          Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.

          6. GrandmaBetty33

          Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.

          7. Maya_on_the_Move

          Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.

          Advertising

          8. Leoleoparis

          Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.

          9. Jacob Santiago

          Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.

          10. Julie’s Kitchen

          Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.

          11. iloveplaymo

          iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.

          12. “Red” Hong Yi

          Red Hong Yi loves to paint without a paintbrush. Her style uses daily items to create lovely images.

          Advertising

          13. Alexis Diaz

          A breathtaking artist from Puerto Rico who loves to paint murals. Alexis’s work is featured all over the world.

          14. Murad Osmann

          Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.

          15. Simone Bramate

          Simone Bramate is a storyteller who just so happens to take delightful photos as well.

          16. Willie Kessel

          Willie Kessel brings beach life right to your smartphone. Amazing surf and lifestyle images that take your mind off of all of the work and stress in your life.

          Advertising

          17. Nick Ulivieri

          Nick Ulivieri is a talented photographer who loves to capture the windy city of Chicago and skies, especially during storms. His images are gorgeous and make you realize how wonderful life really is.

          18. Jo Jerry

          Jo Jerry’s landscape photos around Santorini, Greece, make you want to book a flight immediately. The bright colors and simplicity in the images make his photos stand out from the rest.

          19. GoPro

          GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.

          20. Vin Farrell

          Vin Farrell is a creative who works on the agency side for large clients and has a knack for photography. His iPhone captures amazing aerial images around NYC and the world.

          Featured photo credit: Andy via flickr.com

          Read Next