Tips for traveling abroad for the first-time

Hello, and thank you for stopping here. 

If this is your first time traveling abroad, then you came to the right place.

Reading this article will help you to stay safe and have a pleasant first trip overseas.

Before we start talking about the recommended places you should go as a first-time traveler, there are some safety checks you should know first:

Research your travel location

When researching, you should look at things like the local law, the dominant religion in that area, weather, social and political situation, and local news.

Don’t listen to your friends and go blindly based on their advice. Things tend to change a lot in some parts of the world in a short time.

Also, check if you need a visa and what the waiting time is for it.

Some countries give visas to tourists at the airport, saving you a lot of hurdles, others don’t.

Remember that getting a permit at the airport will take some time.

Get your health checked

Check with a doctor to ensure that your health is in good condition, and you don’t have some medical problems.

If you’re traveling to exotic places for the first time, getting vaccinated is a must.

Malaria is a nasty thing to become infected with; trust me, you don’t want it.

Don’t rely on medical care because, in some of these places, medical care sucks, and you want to avoid going to the local hospital.

Learn a few words in the local language

You don’t need to learn the language, just some common words like:

  • Hello
  • Yes
  • No
  • Thank You
  • Help
  • Food
  • Money
  • Water

Most of the time, knowing a few words will help you to establish a good relationship with the locals, and this will help you to save money and find cheap places to eat.

Get travel insurance and international medical insurance 

This insurance should cover all your belongings, and thus, you are covered if you lose something or it gets stolen.

If you plan on walking a lot, find yourself a proper footwear 

Your feet are the base of all good things that will come on this trip, and you should take good care of them.

Don’t pick Cuba or Venezuela as your first country to visit

Communism and socialism may be fun when you hear about them, but once you reach one of these places, you will realize that this is not true. 

For example, in Cuba, you have two currencies at your disposal. One of them is for foreigners, and one is for the local population, and you will end up using both of them.

The confusing part is that you will not know the exchange rate, and no one will be able to tell you.

The prices are also strange and don’t make any sense.

You should forget the internet because it’s not working there.

Download safety apps and travel apps

You will find a nice variety of apps for Android and iPhone, and you should pick a few. Some of them work offline.

Don’t attract unnecessary attention to yourself

You should choose clothes without any messages.

You don’t want to end up in a Muslim country with a “Jesus is my savior” t-shirt.

Don’t be that person.

Don’t pack too much

It’s handy to have all your belonging with you, but you should stick to the minimum. If you don’t know how to pack lightly, you can find some good tips here.

Find yourself a good piece of luggage or a backpack

You should pick a sturdy suitcase or bag for your first trip. If you’re planning on taking a piece of carry-on luggage with you, good wheels and handle are a must.

Keep the trip short

If this is your first trip, you don’t know if you will like it or not.

Maybe the place bothers you or the people; it doesn’t matter.

You should have the option to cut the trip short with none or minimal cost for you.

Bring copies of your passport and papers

You should also keep photos of them in your cloud drive, making them accessible by phone.

Take printed copies as well.

Even if all your belongings are stolen, you should be able to prove who you are. 

Make sure that the validity of your passport will last through the entire trip.

Estimate your trip cost

Flights, taxi, daily dining expenses, gifts for loved ones, accommodation, local travel, and others add up.

Nowadays, it’s easy to estimate a trip’s cost. You can find trip calculators online that will help you with this task. Just remember that once you finish, add at least an extra 30% because unexpected costs will occur. 

Don’t forget to tell your banks that you are leaving for another country to avoid your cards being suspended when foreign transactions occur.

Know the embassy’s contact information and location

This is not only for safety but also for informational use.

If you are not sure about local customs or whatever, you can call the embassy.

Better safe than sorry.

Check local laws

Local law might be different, and you should check this before going blindly.

Pay attention to local signs. If it is a no-photo zone, don’t start taking photos.

Tell a friend

If you travel alone, you should tell a friend or family about your itinerary, in case something bad might happen.

Find a good local money exchange

Exchanging money at the airport or train station might be easy, but in my experience, you will also pay the highest rate. Also, a source of funds hidden away might mean a lot in case of an emergency.


I wish you a safe first trip and I recommend traveling with a friend or in a group for the first time.

This way you will be safer.

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Sorin Susanu
Sorin, the primary writer for this site, launched it in 2019 as a hobby and a means to refine his English. With a passion for travel ignited by a trip to Italy at age twelve, Sorin has been exploring the world and sharing his adventures ever since.