11 Pro tips for International travel

I have compiled my pro tips below that will come handy for your International solo travel. These are pretty much situations all of us have to deal with. Here are my first hand experiences throughout my travel journeys. Hope they help you in some way!

Pro Tip 1: International Boarding requirement – Confirmed return ticket or ticket out of country is required to board your onward flight. I have seen many people stressed out when denied the boarding and end up paying higher price to buy a plane ticket on the spot. Make sure you have everything in place whatever is required for international travel and by your destination country.

Pro Tip 2: Visa/Passport requirement – Airline do check your valid visas or eligibility for Visa on arrival for destination country, make sure you have right documentation to present and verify. Minimum 6 months validity of passport is required for International travel, make sure passport is valid for that duration and has minimum 2 blank pages for stamping.

Pro Tip 3: Local currency – Check exchange rates of destination country in your home country/current location and compare online to get idea if they are offering good price. If comfortable you can carry exchanged local currency, it might be better than exchanging at airport with worst rates.

Pro Tip 4: Currency Exchange at the airport – Only exchange minimum amount required at the airport to cover immediate expenses like visa fee, transport from airport to your hotel/destination, hotel rent(if not prepaid), food/water etc. Something that can cover you for 2 days until you get more local currency in hand is good amount.

Pro Tip 5: Money exchange – Once settled at hotel, you can check money exchange places on Google or consult locals. Walk around, check prices, compare then exchange for best rates.

Pro Tip 6: How much to exchange? – Personally, I do not exchange a large amount at a time, rather some that can go on for 3-5 days depending on my tourist activities and day-to-day expenses. This way you need not stress about carrying/keeping a lot of money safe while traveling. Exchange places are usually easily accessible in bigger, touristy cities. If your are going rural. prepare accordingly in advance.

Pro Tip 7: ATM Withdrawals – Card withdrawals might be a better option to get local currency at the airport or later once landed but it depends on many factors. You will have to check your bank charges, currency exchange charges of the ATM and exchange rates. All 3 combined will affect the final rate of local currency you are getting. Do your due diligence! Some countries were great for ATM withdrawals and card payments, others were no-no.

Pro Tip 8: Photographs – Carry photographs with you as per visa requirements. To get photos done at the airport will rip you off like anything.

Pro Tip 9: Sim and Internet – First thing I do is get on free airport internet and inform family about my whereabouts. I never buy sim on airport. Always prefer researching for cheap and reliable network/data providers and checking out local markets to get a sim. Personally, sim is not a necessity for me. I prefer enjoying my travels rather than on internet 24×7.

Pro Tip 10: Airport transport – Most common transport options are subway/train, airport buses and of course taxis. Depending on your budget and time, you can choose whatever suits you. I always check transport options and routes on google maps before making decision based on how long its going to take to get to my destination. If its not dark and have time I can spend on traveling I choose train/bus, else taxi. To be honest, I mostly avoid taxis.

Pro Tip 11: Taxis – It is most expensive mode to take. Hard to communicate with the driver if they don’t speak English or your language. Absence of internet makes it difficult as we can’t use translator. Can be a stressful experience to do solo, for beginners. On the other hand, if travelling in a group, its convenient and cheaper option due to shared fare. Additional cost may incur other than fare like tolls which could come as surprise later. Clarify all before getting in!

There you go! A list to keep in check and free of initial worries which a solo traveler endures frequently 🙂

Will keep adding, till next time!

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