How to Prepare for Your First Trip to Another Country

Thursday, April 13, 2017
Your first trip to another country can feel very exciting. Don't let your enthusiasm distract you from preparing, though. Before you take your first trip abroad, you should follow these five pieces of advice. They'll help you save money, stay safe, and avoid bureaucratic hurdles.

Hold Your Mail Service

  Image via Flickr by Photographing Travis

When thieves roam neighborhoods, they look for the easiest targets. An overly stuffed mailbox tells intruders that they can break into your home without much resistance.

You can help protect your home by asking the postal service to hold your mail. You just have to fill out a simple form to stop thieves from targeting your home.

Unlock Your Phone

Many phone service providers charge high rates for international data use. You can avoid ridiculous rates by unlocking your phone. When you reach your destination, buy a prepaid SIM card from a local provider.

Having a prepaid SIM card means that you get to pay the lower prices that locals enjoy. Prepaid cards also cap your data expense. When you have a limited amount of data to use, you're more likely to reserve it for important times.

Prepare for Medical Emergencies

Make sure you pack all of your medications so you'll have them while you travel. Depending on where you go, you may have a difficult time getting prescriptions filled. You may also want to talk to your doctor to make sure you're healthy enough for long flights and stressful travel situations.

Since you can't predict when a medical emergency will happen, you should get a MedjetAssist membership. If you get sick or have an accident, MedjetAssist will arrange transportation to a safe medical facility where you can receive treatment. MedjetAssist will even help you get out of a country when a crisis makes the area unsafe.

Get a Passport and Make Copies

You'll need to get a passport before you can travel to another country. It can take up to eight weeks to get your passport, so don't wait until the last minute. Even expedited passport service, which costs more money, can take up to three weeks.

Once you have your passport, make a few copies of the document. Keep each copy in a different location to lower the risk of losing all of your information. You may even want to give one to a travel companion. If you misplace your passport while traveling, having a copy makes it much easier to get back into the United States.

Notify Your Bank and Credit Card Company

When you start purchasing things in a foreign country, your bank or credit card company might freeze the account to protect you from fraud. Let them know your travel plans ahead of time so you don't lose access to your money or line of credit.

Taking a trip to another country requires some preparation. As long as you follow these tips, though, you should find that you can enjoy your trip without too many worries. When you're prepared, you get to relax and enjoy the experience.

" This is a contributed post for more information please refer to our Disclaimer."



  1. Hey, to get some aboard you should check Sounds like they will have a great solution to have some cash for cheap. :)

  2. Making passport copies is a genius idea! what great tips to prepare yourself before you take a trip!

  3. That is smart to notify your bank when traveling. It would be awful to have your card frozen

  4. Those are very good points to get done.
    Especially the passport. I need to let a friend remember this important part

  5. Such great advice!!! Unlocking your phone is a fab idea as is copying your passport! Great post!

  6. Thanks for sharing these really great tips. I would love to start travelling abroad more but I do get nervous about it. These tips really help me to feel like I can protect myself against various unfortunate circumstances.

  7. These are great tips! I would love to visit Portugal sometime.

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  9. i should add, take the address, email and phone of your embassy and/or consulate.....just in case you have an emergency and you need to talk to someone in your language

  10. These are great travel tips. I never thought to unlock my phone when traveling abroad. Great idea! My sister and her husband travel a lot, too. One thing she did was have friends rent out her home while she away for a few years.

  11. Really good tips I never thoug about tell the banks, but thank you so much the post helped me a lot for my next trip abroad.

  12. These are awesome tips! I would have never thought about holding my mail or buying a prepaid sim!

  13. This is important to keep in mind. I always wondered what I'd do with my cell phone if we visited overseas.

  14. Whenever I go anywhere, I hold my mail. I didn't think about how you should alert your bank and credit card companies that you are going abroad, but it definitely makes sense.

  15. It's never easy especially when you're all alone. I make sure that my family and I will always have direct and clear communication so that they won't have to worry about me and vice versa. These are all very helpful tips.

  16. Wow! I can't believe how useful some of these tips are, and so simple too! I never thought to unlock my cell phone, that's definitely going to be a lifesaver. Thank you for sharing!

  17. These are absolutely a good ideas and tips, I love to be on my trip and Medical Emergency was so important.

  18. I just renewed by passport because I am traveling to Scotland this August! I love these tips. Thanks so much for sharing.


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