A Guide to Traveling Out of the Country for the First Time

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If you’ve been itching to get a taste of adventure, then traveling to a foreign country for a little while might just be what you’re looking for. Getting to experience a new language, culture, and way of life is very exciting. However, traveling to a foreign country isn’t as simple as it sounds. You need to prepare before you disembark. For first time travelers, you might not know exactly what to do or where to go. Fortunately, that’s what I aim to help you with. In this article, I’ll be going over everything you need to know about traveling out of the country for the first time.

Solo female traveler planning her first time traveling out of the country with a map in front of her
Traveling out of the country for the time is easy with these steps listed in this article.

You’re Going to Need Funds

One thing I need to mention right away is that traveling out of the country is an investment within itself. It’s not like going to somewhere in your local area or visiting another state. You’re going to a completely different part of the world. As such, it’s not exactly a cheap excursion. You need to have your finances in order before anything else. While traveling does cost a lot of money, there are ways for you to get what you need aside from waiting and saving.

Personal loans are a type of loan that has near limitless options of what they can be used for and traveling is among them. However, before applying for one, you need to ensure you’re doing well credit-wise. If your credit isn’t the best shape, it can impact how much you receive and your overall ability to take out the loan. Having a low credit score can cause the lender to deem you as a high-risk borrower. 

Those who are considered to be high risk are often given increased interest rates, which basically acts as a form of security to the lender. Fortunately, even with a low credit score, you won’t have to deal with fluctuating interest rates by getting a low interest personal loan. These are typically handled by private lenders rather than traditional ones such as a bureau. Either way, you can put the money you receive toward the entirety of your trip.

Credit cards, money and loans for traveling out of the country for the first time
Make sure you have the funds to support your travels out of the country.

Start Compiling Important Documentation

Once your finances are in order, the next step you need to take is to start compiling all of your important documentation. Compared to a domestic flight, an outbound flight requires more verification. Below is a list of all the important information you need to have on hand:

  • Passports
  • Visa papers
  • Prescription medication
  • International driving permit
  • Written consent of travel

The consent of travel is for parents to show that they have legal custody of the minors accompanying them. An international driving permit is to help you get a vehicle in a foreign country. Many countries don’t recognize U.S driver’s licenses. Furthermore, children’s passports don’t last as long as a regular one. Adult passports can last up to an entire decade while children’s passports only last for half that time. A visa is essentially a legal document provided by the country’s representing embassy that allows foreigners to visit. These are mandatory to have as you’ll be turned away at the airport without one.

If you are traveling with prescription medication, make sure to bring a doctor’s note along with you. After you compile and organize this documentation, a great way to plan for an emergency is to make a few copies. You never know what could occur on your trip, so it’s always best to plan ahead. Speaking of which, it’s important to research the area a week in advanced of your trip. There could be dangerous weather or an illness going around. Make sure to get the appropriate vaccinations as well.

Visa application form and other documentation for traveling out of the country for the first time
A lady completing her visa application for her first trip out of the country. Check if you need to apply for a visa too for the country you’re traveling to.

Only Pack What You Need

Since traveling out of the country, it’s important to prioritize what you need to bring rather than what you want. Although you can still add style to your luggage, traveling light is key to having a smooth and problem-less trip. This same rule also applies if you’re bringing along children. Granted, you’re going to want to pack something to keep them entertained as children could get fussy during the trip. Make sure to bring an extra charger, a portable power bank, five sets of fresh clothes and any toiletries you may need.

Packing light for traveling out of the country with some simple essentials
A woman packing for her trip and packing lightly to make it easy to move around and save on airline baggage fees.

What’s your tips for first-time traveling out of the country?

Make sure to share your ideas in the comments and ask me anything else you need to know!

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