8 Tips for Traveling Internationally

8 Tips for Traveling Internationally

Best Practices That Ensure Your International Vacation Goes Smoothly

Embarking on an international vacation is an exciting adventure that promises new experiences, sights, sounds, and flavors you can only get in another country. Be prepared to indulge in otherworldly cuisine, local arts and culture, and breathtaking visuals that add international flair to your Insta feed.

Of course, international travel isn’t as simple as hailing an Uber or booking Austin hotels on your phone. Proper preparation is key to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey. To help mitigate the common pitfalls and faux pas of international travel, we’re covering the best practices to navigate foreign destinations and overcoming language barriers. Let’s dive into the key aspects that will make your globetrotting experience unforgettable and stress-free.

Travel Best Practices

In most cases, traveling internationally means hopping on a very long flight. For example, flying out of the midwestern United States to Paris means at least 12 hours of travel time, not to mention all the hours that must be factored in for layovers, delays, and so forth. Your travel days will be exceptionally long, stressful, and tiresome, but there are ways to make them easier.

  • Get all your documentation in order. International travelers will need their ID and valid passport. Always keep these on your person – never pack them. And make digital copies just in case the originals are lost or misplaced. Have immunization records on hand if they require them at your destination.
  • Make the necessary time calculations to mitigate jet lag. There’s nothing worse than arriving in a new country in the wee hours of the morning feeling exhausted from lack of sleep.
  • Invest in comfortable seats and elevated flight accommodations. There are certain international airlines that feature sleep pods, which are well worth the investment for long flights that take the better part of a day.
  • Pack snacks and beverages. There will certainly be food available on the flight, but the selection is usually limited and only offered intermittently.
  • Bring your own entertainment. International flights mean you’ll be sitting in one place for hours with very little to do. Be sure to download some movies, TV shows, podcasts, or books before departure day; you may not like the option on the airline. Don’t forget to pack chargers or an external battery for your devices. You can also use this time to brush up on the local language.
  • Be mindful of your health. Flying internationally means being in close quarters with other passengers. If you’re concerned about catching an illness, consider taking an immunity booster prior to the flight or wearing a mask.
  • Don’t forget to figure out how you’ll get from the airport to your lodging after landing. International airports have taxi service, private car services, and public transportation, but it’s always a good idea to plan this part out rather than improvise when you arrive.

International Currency and Finances

Simplify international money issues by using a combination of credit cards, local currency, and mobile payment options. Notify your bank of your travel dates to avoid any holds on your cards.

Research currency exchange rates and consider having a small amount of local currency on hand for initial expenses; this can be procured through your bank. Utilize secure ATMs for cash withdrawals and exercise caution when using currency exchange services. In some countries, you can pay with your debit card at restaurants or newsstands at the airport and get cash back in local currency.

Navigating International Locations

Enhance your navigation skills by utilizing travel apps, maps, and translation tools. Download offline maps for your destination to navigate without relying on data. Familiarize yourself with public transportation options, ride-sharing services, and local customs for a seamless exploration of international locations.

Overcoming Language Barriers

Breaking down language barriers is crucial for a positive travel experience. Learn a few basic phrases in the local language and use translation apps to communicate effectively. Carry a small notebook for written communication, and don’t hesitate to use gestures to convey your message.


Engage with locals with a friendly and open attitude, fostering positive interactions. Many locals in foreign countries use English as a second language, but it’s a good best practice for vacationers to not entirely depend on that.

International Safety Precautions

Prioritize your safety by researching the safety conditions of your destination. Some areas are potentially dangerous or have documented high crime rates; this is the case in every country.


Keep emergency contact numbers and addresses handy. Stay in well-lit and populated areas, secure your belongings, and remain vigilant in unfamiliar surroundings. Never entrust your passport, cell phone, or valuables to someone you don’t know.

Securing Your Home

Before jetting off, take precautions to secure your home. Lock all doors and windows, set alarms if available, and ask a trusted neighbor or friend to collect mail. Use light timers to create the illusion of occupancy and avoid sharing travel plans on public platforms. You can always upload all your vacation photos after you’ve returned.

Avoid Committing a Legal Faux Pas by Studying Local Laws

Did you know that it’s illegal to spit in public in Singapore? Are you familiar with the law that bans feeding the pigeons in Venice, Italy? If you’re visiting a new country, be sure to brush up on local laws that may not be obvious to American vacationers. Trust us on this, you don’t want to find out the hard way that swim trunks aren’t allowed on French beaches. Preparation will spare you from making an embarrassing or costly mistake.

Create Back-Up Plans

Flexibility is key when traveling internationally. Have contingency plans for unexpected situations, such as flight delays, accommodation issues, or changes in your itinerary. Carry essential items in your carry-on, including medications and a change of clothes, in case of luggage delays. If you take the time to address all the worst-case scenarios that may play out, you will feel much more at ease knowing you’ve prepared.

Enjoy Your International Getaway

Embarking on an international vacation is a thrilling experience that can be made even more enjoyable with careful preparation. By incorporating these tips into your travel plan, you’ll navigate new lands with confidence, connect with local cultures, and create lasting memories. Whether you’re savoring local cuisine, exploring historical sites, or immersing yourself in new traditions, your international travel adventure awaits – bon voyage!

Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle is a renowned philosopher with a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Cambridge University and a Ph.D. from the University of London and has been enlightening readers. His academic background in philosophy and psychology and a deep understanding of human consciousness make his writings profoundly impactful. He is also known for his bestselling books, which have been translated into multiple languages. His hobbies include meditation, classical music, and exploring different cultures. He also enjoys nature walks, painting, and practicing yoga.

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