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4 things you need to know before your first trip overseas

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4 things you need to know before your first trip overseas

Travelling overseas is extremely exciting. Your first overseas trip will definitely be one to remember. If you haven’t travelled before though it’s important to double check that you have covered all of your bases. And this doesn’t mean simply having enough luggage to carry all your stuff.

You don’t want to be caught unawares and find that you’re lost or stranded or unable to find help because you have forgotten something crucial.

Planning your trip with the assistance of a travel agent is great. They will ensure you have everything in order before setting foot in the airport. But they come at a price. If you want to plan your trip on a budget and you envision yourself backpacking throughout the destination of choice, then you’ll definitely save money. However, you definitely need to do some research before booking anything. If you know people who have travelled to your particular destination of choice, make sure to chat to them about what you should definitely do while travelling. Also, find out where the best accommodation can be found and how much everything cost them.

Lists are everything when planning for your travels. You need to create checklists that you can tick off and eventually rest assured that you’ve considered everything. Of course, these lists must correlate to whatever your budget is and you need to start all of your preparation early. This is important as booking flights and so on is far more cost effective when you do so ahead of time. And, ahead of time means way ahead, such as a year in advance.


Make sure to get your medical

No matter where you’re travelling to, you need to check that you have had the necessary vaccinations and medical checks, if so required. You need to take precautions to ensure that you are safe and you can find the latest medical recommendations on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. What’s more, if you suffer chronic illness or take medication regularly you need to make sure that you stock up on the necessary. Ask your doctor for a prescription that will give you enough medication to cover you while you’re away. You won’t want to be stuck overseas having to seek out a pharmacy or a doctor who can assist you. Different countries have different regulations that govern medication and the use thereof.


Check out any warnings about travelling to the destination of your choice

Consider finding out about travel alerts that will forewarn you of events that are happening that might thwart your travel plans or, in the very least, create a bit of discomfort. You might get in touch with the local arm of the country’s embassy here in South Africa to find out about what is actually happening. And you must make sure you know where the South African embassy is in the foreign land you’re travelling to.


Get your admin in order

This means you need to get your paperwork together. You need to make copies of your travel documents and have one colour copy of your passport and your ID stored somewhere safe. In fact, have these copies certified for good measure. Make sure everyone is aware of where you’re travelling and make copies of everything from your tickets to your reservations and give a travel pack of documentation to a family member or someone you trust here at home. This is all for safety’s sake. Also, head to the bank and forewarn them about your travels and the use of your credit card while overseas and then move swiftly along to their Forex department and sort your money out. Make sure you exchange enough money to see you through as you don’t want to have to find a Forex while you in a foreign land.


Buy health insurance

When you travel overseas, the last thing you think about is doing yourself any damage. But it happens. And, having to seek medical help in or out of hospital while you’re on vacation can cost you an absolute fortune. This can deplete your cash at best and at worst, you’re looking at having accrued foreign debt. You must look into purchasing short-term travel insurance and make sure medical insurance is included in this.

Travelling overseas is fun and games but really, only once you get there. Getting there properly and enjoying a safe trip are most important before any fun can be had. Make sure to plan properly and have covered all your bases by the time you depart.


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