Young and Adventurous: Tips for Young Travelers Taking Their First Trip Abroad
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February 18, 2020 - by Henry Moore for Fliegerfaust.com - You can reach Henry at http://fitwelltraveler.com/
One of the biggest pieces of advice you receive as a young adult is to travel as much as you can. You'll experience new cultures, customs, languages, and food that will become memories that last a lifetime. If you are planning to take your first trip abroad, it can be a little daunting, but these tips will help you feel a little more prepared and ready for your next adventure.
Get Your Passport ASAP
If this is your first time traveling out of the US, you'll need to take your ID and a certified birth certificate (with a raised seal) to your local post office or courthouse to fill out a passport application. It typically takes four to six weeks to get your passport, but it is best to apply at least two months before your scheduled trip. If you have a passport that needs to be renewed, this can be done via mail, but you still need to allow a month or two to ensure you get it on time. You can expect to pay about $145 for a new passport, and $110 for a renewal. (note: Canadian passport information link here)
Do You Need a Visa?
Some countries require a visa that proves you are allowed to enter – you can determine if the country you are visiting requires one here. Should you discover you need a visa, you can find an application form online to mail in by heading to the embassy or consulate website for the country you plan to visit. The visa cost varies from $50 to $200 depending on the country.
Things to Do Before You Go
Before you board your flight, there are still a few things you need to do. For starters, it's important that you are up to date on your vaccinations. Some countries require it, but it is never a bad idea to take precautions. Keep in mind that your body needs time to build up immunity, so schedule an appointment with your doctor at least a month before your trip. Despite your precautions, you still need to look into purchasing travel insurance. Not only does it cover medical emergencies, but it also protects you in the case of trip cancellation, delays, and even lost luggage. One last tip before you head out on your adventure: be sure to notify your bank. Having your bank account or credit card frozen due to activity considered suspicious because it is coming from a foreign country is definitely a hassle you don't need.
Don't Forget the Comforts of Home
With all these applications, fees, and important to-do list items, don't forget to bring some of the comforts of home. It's completely natural to feel homesick, but there are ways to combat those feelings while also channeling home. After a long day, watch your favorite shows with a lightweight, portable streaming device (just be sure to double-check it will work overseas first), bring an e-reader to de-stress during delays, or simply snuggle up with your favorite blanket. Bring some pictures of family and friends, your go-to snack, and some postcards to write home. You can call or video chat with friends and family as well, but be sure to check with your phone company first to add international calling to your phone plan. You can use Skype to make international calls too.
Stay in the Moment
Earlier we talked about all the reasons why it's important to travel when you're young, but don't forget to completely enjoy the moment. Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things in order to truly immerse yourself in the country and culture. You'll find that you'll build confidence and, most importantly, develop cultural sensitivity. You might even discover a career opportunity while you're abroad, so don't leave your networking skills at home.
Having the ability to travel is wonderful, but that doesn't make it any less scary. Being prepared reduces your travel anxiety, leaving you to look forward to the adventure ahead.
Once you land, take it all in and document everything, for this will be something you want to remember forever.
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