Things you need to know before traveling abroad for the first time
No amount of information is too much information when you are traveling abroad for the first time. Spontaneity is for later, but first-time abroad travelers have to make adequate arrangements in advance. For example, if you have arranged to be picked up from the airport by a bus tour operator, ensure that you memorize the name of the operator or have the necessary soft copies on your mobile along with all other details and emergency contacts.
Making calls while abroad can exhaust your balance in no time. Call rates are often as exorbitant as 300 rupees per minute. For short trips, consider activating an international roaming pack. However, for extended stays, get a local SIM. You could check to see the connection you are currently using, as several brands offer international travel SIMs.
Two things you cannot do without are: a travel card and a pocket map. A travel card allows you to use all local transport in a particular city/country for a fixed amount of time and it is the cheapest way to get around. A pocket map will show you the major attractions and how to reach them by bus/train/other local transport.
- Travel light, but not too light either. Don’t forget to carry the essentials like local snacks if you absolutely can’t do without home food but it is also important to leave space in your luggage for the knickknacks you pick up along the way. Strike this balance to ensure that you are not charged extra during your flight for overweight luggage. Consider weighing your luggage using a travel luggage scale in advance so you are not in for any surprises
- Don’t shy away from talking to strangers. It’s an amazing way to mingle with other tourists when you are traveling alone. There’s a lot to learn from the perspectives and experiences of people from other countries and cultures.
- Carry a copy of your passport on you at all times and don’t keep all your cash in one place. In countries where street crime rates are high, losing a wallet to mugging can mean you are left without your passport and cash-strapped in a foreign land. It’s best to break down your cash and store it in different places while carrying a copy of your passport
The bottom line
A Forex card will be your best pal during your travels abroad. It is the simplest and safest way to carry foreign currency and pay for expenses as they come up.
A Forex card is akin to a prepaid travel card that you can fill with any foreign currency of your choice. These cards can then be used just like a credit or debit card and you can also withdraw local cash from an ATM.
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