While I’m always daydreaming about our next big adventure, there comes an exciting point in time where the daydreaming ends and the actual planning begins. And if one thing is true, traveling internationally is always a little more hectic. Aside from not knowing the language, there’s a new culture to understand, new food to try, new places to
get lost explore, and different time zones to adjust to. And those are all the fun things!
Of course, there are plenty of logistics to figure out before your next international trip as well. Questions like:
- What are the entry requirements? Do you need a visa? (and I’m not talking about the credit card)
- What vaccines are required?
- Is your phone going to work? If it does work, will you have to pay a FORTUNE in roaming charges?
- Will your credit card work? Will you be charged fees every time you use it? Do you need a pin to use your credit card?
- Can you drink the water?
And that’s only the beginning, my friends.
With so many questions to ask and an unlimited amount of information at your fingertips, it is incredibly easy to feel overwhelmed. So today I am sharing a special three post series, with a step-by-step guide to help you plan your next international trip. While this guide focuses on our upcoming trip to Thailand, it could easily be used as a starting point for other trips as well.
It’s no secret, but you’re going to need a Passport to travel internationally; so while this hint is not included in any of the following travel tips (spoiler alert!), I’m going to go ahead and assume you already have one. I’m also hoping that as a long-term reader of Pictures and Plane Tickets you’ll know that the first unwritten rule is creating airfare price alerts on Kayak.com. I tend to have a few different locations on my travel horizon at any given point in time, so it’s important to me to keep an eye on airfare in order to snag that awesome deal when prices drop.
Two travel tips and we haven’t even started our official list… 🙂 Let’s jump in and sort through that travel chaos!
Step One: Buy a Travel Guide!
Visit your local bookstore or browse Amazon.com and pick up a copy of your favorite travel guide. I like to have an actual book not an online copy because you’ll never run out of battery power with an actual book. Psst: I can here you calling me “old-fashioned” from here. 😉 And maybe I’m just totally paranoid, but when I’m hanging out on the beach and decide on a quick dip in the ocean, I feel that a $12 book is less likely to be stolen than my husband’s fancy iPad.
Step Two: Visit the Tourism Website
I’ve browsed tourismthailand.org more times than I can count, and I can count pretty high–not to brag or anything… 😉 Start by Googling, “Traveling to Thailand” and you’ll find all sorts of travel related websites. Don’t stop at just one, the more you research the more you’ll understand and learn, and that’s NEVER a bad thing.
Step Three: Write it Down
As you begin researching, it is important to have a notebook nearby in order to keep everything organized. I always create a very basic itinerary as a starting point for planning out our days and then build upon the bare-bones structure as I research. If there are any activities that are a must-do on vacation write it down. That way, as you’re reading through your Travel Guide and browsing the websites you’ll be able to keep an eye out for those specific activities and its corresponding details. Staying organized is vital to avoid feeling overwhelmed in this process.
When planning a trip, international or otherwise research, research, research, and stay organized. 🙂 Coming up on Wednesday, we’re uncovering the tips that will keep your vacation on the right track.