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10 Travel Tips for Your First International Travel

Wanderlust, travel junkie, adventurer are the popular hashtags that have flooded the popular social media websites. The number of people taking up travel as a way of life has risen exponentially over the past few years.

Does that recent picture of your friend holidaying at an exotic location bring out the green monster in you? Of course, it does! But that should be the least of your concerns.

Travel blogs are flooded with destination details that are approachable at a much lower and affordable price. Visa on arrival, easily planned group trips and cheaper international travel insurance have motivated a lot of people to embark on their maiden International Travel adventure.

However, before you hop on that plane, there are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind. Want a checklist for that? Read on, for we have got the best travel tips up our alley, just for you!

1. Prioritize Your Safety With International Travel Insurance

How many of us are guilty of not choosing that tiny checkbox for travel insurance at the end of the check-out page while booking tickets? Almost all, to be honest. Besides saving a frugal amount, not checking that box puts you in grave trouble. But an international travel insurance is the most essential and smart thing you ought to opt for before setting your foot on a foreign land.

Uncertainty is prevalent everywhere. Thus, it only makes sense to be prepared. It does not matter whether how long will you be gone for, but purchasing an international travel insurance plan is a must. It acts a protective shield and emergency care solution when things go haywire while you are abroad. It covers health insurance, accidental injuries, unplanned cancellations, loss or theft of personal belongings, and even emergency transportation!

Reading the fine print of the documentation can give you a clear picture of the coverage details. Opt for a plan that provides the following:

  • Clear reimbursement terms: An efficient plan always has clear terminology presented to the customer. It is essential that the insurance holder is aware of all the conditions of the policy terms. It also has information regarding the claim settlement percentage which gives you an edge while deciding a plan.
  • Medical expenses: In case you face a situation where there is an unavoidable medical emergency which might require hospitalization, the insurance provided is liable to pay for all the expense you would have to bear. Just ensure to keep all documents and receipts safe.
  • Lost Baggage or passport: Quick Assistance in terms of lost belongings such as your luggage or passport can prove really helpful when you are stranded helplessly in a foreign land.
  • Other emergency situations: In case where you might have a canceled flight, or a hijack scenario, natural disaster or otherwise, a simple and economic international travel insurance can go a long way in keeping you safe.
  • Policy premium: A higher amount of policy coverage only adds to the cost of premiums paid. Take an intelligent pick by comparing the premium amount on offer by various international travel insurance providers.
  • Country Coverage: You do not want to be stuck with a reason for no international travel insurance because your insurance provider does not cover a particular country. Thus, it is recommended that you check the list of countries covered under the chosen insurance plan.

Choose from a variety of plans that provide a complete package and allow customization of the plans in general. To make that decision easy for you dear traveler, we have shortlisted a couple of international travel insurance plans that might just work out in your favor.

  • SBI Travel Insurance:
    • Avail for travelers from the age groups 6 months to 70 years.
    • Accidental cover, personal liability cover, passport losses and cover against hijack and lost baggage.
  • HDFC Ergo Travel insurance:
    • Covers medical emergencies, Dental expenses, Emergency cash for hospitalization
    • Coverage against hijack.
    • Personal Accidental coverage and baggage losses are also covered. Maximum eligibility age is 70 years.
  • Future Generali Travel Insurance:
    • Coverage eligibility has been extended up to 80 years.
    • Compensation is meted out in case of lost passport. Insurance holder is eligible for reimbursement in case they apply for a duplicate passport.
    • Exclusions, however, involve pre-medical conditions, self-harm, unlikely pregnancy situations such as miscarriage or abortion.
  • Apollo Munich Travel Insurance:
    • Covers personal accident which might include severance of limbs.
    • Delayed or canceled trips are effectively covered.
    • However, accidents due to adventure sports such as scuba diving, mountain climbing are excluded from policy terms. Open for customization makes it a popular deal.

2. Pack Light

Nobody is fond of the hassles of dragging that heavy trolley around. Therefore, pack light if you are going away for a shorter duration. Carry minimum or lightweight electronic products with you. Piling up heavy electronic goods such as DSLRs or laptops slow you down. Nonetheless, it makes you an attractive target for thieves. Even if the situation demands that you carry all of them, ensure that they are safely locked away saving you all the struggle and additional baggage costs.

A smaller bag with all your essentials can ensure that you stay organized throughout the trip. Roll up the clothes, use shoes to stuff the smaller clothing items, lighter fabric can be a blessing in disguise, dual-purpose outfits, smaller containers of personal items such as shampoos and conditioners, make-up et al. Medicines and prescription drugs are also recommended. A couple of snacks in the check-in baggage can save you from starving in case you haven’t planned ahead. Make a list and you are sorted.

3. Take Care Of Communication:

Staying connected with your loved ones is essential no matter wherever you travel. But because of obvious reasons, your regular network doesn’t support when you are traveling abroad. So what do you do? Opt for international calling cards! A prepaid card, free Wi-Fi, instant messaging platforms can go a long way in helping you keep your family and friends informed.

Save on the roaming costs and that huge bill of data usage by choosing economic plans that are usually available at the airport. Few destinations give an option of renting an international number. A proper travel adapter can maintain the voltage fluctuations when you are trying to charge your phone. A few little tricks here and there can help you cut down costs of your travel.

4. Travel Documents

Your passport is going to be all-time companion of identity when you are abroad. Ensure to have a valid passport on yourself every time you step out of the accommodation. Make multiple copies and keep it in places accessible to you. Take photos of the passport, visa, and other essential documents. Not only does it save you the time of digging through the documents in your luggage, but also acts as a backup evidence in case you ever lose it.

It is also recommended that you keep a copy of your contacts, paperwork, tickets and other essentials printed out for emergencies. Travel experts suggest that sharing a copy of these details with your family and friends can give them a fair idea about your itinerary. Having a copy of all these important documents on your email also makes it highly feasible.

5. Banking Details

Keep your bank informed about your travel plans before you board that plane. Why you might ask? We belong to a millennial generation where owning a credit or debit card hardly comes as a surprise. Stringent R.B.I regulations have mandated it for banks to check with the customers in case a suspicious transaction is done online or otherwise. Keeping the banks informed about the dates of your travel will prevent unlikely blocking of the cards when you need them the most.

Your debit card is your primary source of cash when you are not in your homeland. Therefore, it is mandatory that it works at all times. Additionally, it gives an opportune moment to check if there are any extra charges when you do transactions abroad such as swiping them at merchant portals or withdrawing cash. In case of such circumstances, you could ask your bank to sign you up for a free international plan which comes with an added benefit of protecting a cover while you enjoy your vacation abroad.

6. Stay Safe And Vaccinated

Vaccination regulations differ according to the countries. Coming down with a disease is the last thing you want when you intend to enjoy that international trip. Never neglect minor wounds or insect bites for you never know what pathogens they might be carrying. A potent travel insurance plan can help cover the expenses in case of emergencies.

Get vaccination that is recommended by the tourism department of the country. Keep antibiotics and other prescriptions handy for unpleasant situations. Imagine you do not know the native language of the country you are traveling to, let alone translating your illness to the pharmacist there! Better be safe than sorry.

7. Find Your Embassy

An embassy in a foreign country is your only hope in case of crisis, big or small. Make a note of the embassy address, phone number, email addresses and find that location when you encounter a situation. The embassy at a foreign location has diplomats and consultants from your country who work round the clock to provide you with assistance.

In case you lose your passport or get arrested, count on the embassy to pull you out of such sticky situations.

8. Finding The Right Accommodation

Depending on your travel preference, solo or in a group, plan for your accommodation in advance. Be it a luxurious hotel or a modest hostel; it is mandatory that you have a place to crash as soon as you land in that foreign country. Look for deals and discounts that can cut corners for you. In case you are traveling in a group, look for group discounts and offers online through accommodation websites.

In case you intend to travel solo, plan to find home stays through portals that pool you with the locals. This will give you exposure to the lives and culture of the destination and a new friend! Verify before you decide on a hostel, home accommodation or house exchange. It only helps you earn brownie points on the safety feature.

9. Learn About The Destination

Prior information about the destination can help you while you are abroad. It is recommended that first-time travelers learn a couple of things about the place they are headed out to. Not only does it help you out in keeping a list of places you intend to explore, but also gives you a general overview of how the place is like. Studying before-hand about the cultural preferences of the country prepares you for any situation. Find out what the season is likely to be on your arrival. Dress appropriately as the locals do.

Blending into the crowd safeguards you from being an easy target for sellers trying to rip you off or thieves who might be vying for a potential target in that tourist. Be anything but vulnerable. In spite of safety advertisements, crimes do occur at the most popular destinations. Keep your belongings and cash as safe as possible.

10. Download those apps

So what if you do not know the local language? Google translate has got it sorted for you! Purchase a translation book if need be. Learn the basic words such as “please”, “sorry”, “thank you” etc. Not only does it make you come across as courteous but also adds to your language prowess. Local maps can guide you only so much. Find excellent navigation with Google Maps. Load and save the destinations as per your will and enable map usage with offline feature. Find local apps that help you shortlist the food joints, locations, shops and areas that are on your bucket list.

Travelling abroad is altogether a different experience in itself. A properly planned and organized itinerary can help you have a stress-free vacation that you have always aspired for. So what are you waiting for? Go hustle, pack your bags now!

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