Maybe this is your first international trip. Maybe you just haven’t been out of the country for a while, and this is the first time in years you’re going out. Maybe you’re going solo for the first time. Maybe you’re going with your new family with a toddler in tow. No matter the circumstances, it pays to be detail-oriented when you’re going to a new country for the first time. There’s nothing like new immigration policies to shock you.
If you’re travelling to other countries such as Singapore, a comprehensive food guide will help you know which restaurants and food to try. You might be allergic to seafood, and Singapore is known for its chilli crab. You have to skip some restaurants that offer only chilli crab. You shouldn’t waste your time lining up in hawker centres when you can’t even eat what they offer. Similar to a tourist guide, the food guide will help you plan and maximise your schedule in this new country.
Have you applied for a passport for your toddler? You can get your passport within two weeks of your application. Make sure that your passports are still valid. If you haven’t travelled for quite some time, check when your passport is about to expire. Do this before booking the tickets.
Have there been any changes in the immigration policies in recent years? Politics play a big role in the immigration policy of a country. Are you allowed to visit this particular country? The worst thing that can happen is for immigration to block your travel when you have already booked everything. Make sure that there aren’t any travel bans from your government to your destination.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which originated from Wuhan, China, has already killed more than 2,500 people. This means that it’s not a good idea to travel to China right now—and there’s a good chance your government has banned travel to the country, too. Diseases all over the world should make you extra careful when travelling. Seek your doctor’s advice. Get the vaccine shots you need. You should also register with your embassy so that in case anything happens, they know how to contact you.
It is always wise to bring cash when travelling abroad. The U.S. dollar is a currency recognised all over the world. You can exchange it for your destination’s currency once you’re in the airport or hotel. But you should also check with your credit card companies whether they will work if ever there’s an emergency. It’s nice to have a backup in case you find something you like or in other scenarios.
It is important to know the local laws and customs of your country of destination. It pays to be this detail-oriented when travelling. In some countries in the Middle East, women are prohibited from wearing shorts and minidresses. In Thailand, you cannot enter a mosque when you are dressed inappropriately (according to their customs). In Singapore, you will be fined for chewing gum. Know how to conduct yourself before arriving at your destination.
Travel changes you. It is an experience that you’re bound to remember for life. Whatever country you decide to visit, it will leave a mark on you. But before you focus on the journey, you have to prepare for any eventualities that might come your way. You don’t want your travel to be ruined by a mere change in policies that you have overlooked.