If you’re thinking about traveling abroad for the first time, along with excitement, you may be feeling a little nervous about what to expect. Though you will likely have a great time, it’s good to be aware of all the differences. Here are five things to expect when traveling abroad for the first time.

1. Language Barriers

This is probably obvious, but you should be aware of the potential for language barriers. This is going to occur in most parts of the world, and it’s something you should prepare for as best as you can. Of course, it’s quite unrealistic that you will become fluent in a new language before your departure date. However, you can focus on learning some of the basic phrases and greetings that you may need to use. Regardless of how much you learn, you can rest assured knowing that most places there will be people who are happy to speak a little English with you. Besides, this is part of the experience of travel.

2. Travel Documents

Before you board that plane, you want to make sure you have all of the necessary travel documents. This will include your passport, return ticket, itinerary details, medication documentations, and travel insurance. When packing your bag, remember that the most important part of your luggage are the documents you bring with you. These documents allow you for a safe and secure trip. If you’re traveling from the States, The Department of State has a traveler’s checklist that you may find handy in preparing for the big trip.

3. Currency Differences

Money may make the world go round, but its value differs depending on what part of the world you’re in. When visiting another country, it’s vital to know your currency’s exchange rate. The exchange rates vary and are constantly evolving, but you can find more insight on this here. To get the most bang for your buck, it also may be worth looking into having a credit card specifically used for travel. A travel credit card can reward you for your purchases abroad and save you money in the long run.

4. Water Taste

When traveling abroad for the first time, the new and unfamiliar taste of water may come as a surprise for some people. The taste of water may not be at the top of your mind when traveling somewhere new, but it’s good to be mindful of the differences. It isn’t unusual that water will often taste different in a foreign country than it does in your home country. For instance, if you are only used to American water, then you might notice a dramatic difference when you drink water in Europe. However, there is a chance that you will actually find you prefer it.

5. Stressful Times

There is no doubt that travel can be stressful and that may be turned up a notch when you’re traveling internationally. However, you can reduce that stress by doing everything you can to make the most of it. As long as you understand that any type of travel can come with mishaps and inconveniences, the stress can usually be managed fairly well. Be adventurous, adaptable, and go with the flow, and the fun times should outweigh the stressful times.

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok

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