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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Perry

7 Tips for Traveling Abroad for the First Time

Ready for your first trip abroad? Traveling internationally is an incredible experience, but it can also be overwhelming if it's your first time! Here are some tips to get you started on your first trip abroad.

Apply for Passport Early

A passport is required if you're flying internationally, and it's required for guests of all ages, even children and infants. Since your passport is your most essential travel document, make sure that you apply for it well ahead of your trip. Processing time typically takes 4-6 weeks. Once you get your passport, be sure to also make some copies of it and store them somewhere separate from your actual passport.

Check for Transaction Fees

If you'll be using your credit card while you travel, you'll want to check ahead of time if your credit card company or bank charge any international transaction fees. These can pile up if you're not keeping track. If you don't have one already, you may also want to consider getting a credit card that doesn't have any international transaction fees. Plus, it's a good idea to let your bank and credit card company know that you'll be traveling abroad so they don't flag your account for suspicious transactions.

Get the Right Converter/Adapter

Most of us have electronics that we need to keep charged when traveling. Make sure you have the right adapters and converters, if needed, for your trip abroad so that you can charge your devices properly. You can find a complete list here.

Check State Department Advisories

Consult with the US State Department website for more information about your destination, including documentation requirements, helpful checklists, health and safety advisories, and more.

Get Travel Insurance

Travelling internationally can be a fantastic experience, but it also involves some risks, and sometimes unfortunate things happen while travelling. In order to protect yourself and your vacation investment, get travel insurance for your trip. Not only does insurance offer protection if your trip or portions of it are cancelled due to extenuating circumstances, but it also offers coverage for out-of-country medical expenses and emergencies during your trip. Health insurance within the United States often doesn't offer coverage out of the country, so it's worth it to invest in additional coverage when travelling abroad.

Book with a Travel Agent

Planning your first trip abroad can be overwhelming and stressful, but it doesn't have to be! Rather than spending hours researching your destination and stressing over the details, work with a travel specialist that can advise you on everything you need for your first international trip.

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