Food & Drink Magazine

How to Prepare for Your First International Trip When Restrictions Lift

By Marialiberati

It is exciting to finally see travel restrictions in the process of lifting. In the near future, many people will be allowed to travel internationally and experience the world again. However, given current health concerns, it will be especially important that future travelers prepare adequately for their trip to ensure that they can journey safely and effectively. Here is a list of several things you should think about while preparing for your first international trip after COVID-19.

Get Your Vaccine

In order to keep travel safe, many countries are requiring or strongly recommending that you get your COVID vaccination. In fact, several countries require that travelers show proof of vaccination via a vaccine passport. In general, however, it shouldn’t matter whether or not a vaccine is recommended or required by the host country: In reality, if you wish to keep yourself and others safe during your travels, you should definitely consider getting vaccinated. Talk with your doctor if you have any immediate concerns about the vaccine. And even if you are already vaccinated, make sure that you still follow safety guidelines such as social distancing and wearing masks on your trip.

Book Your Trip

In order to make your trip run as smoothly as possible, try booking everything well in advance. This will ensure that you get the best quality for the best price—before everything fills up with other eager travelers. Don’t just book the first option available; rather, take the time to do a sufficient amount of research so that you get the best options. You will not only want to consider the obvious bookings (i.e. your flight, cruise, etc.), but also local transportation, daily excursions, and even restaurants. Having a detailed plan of your trip—including alternative plans if things go wrong—will save you a lot of headache in the future.

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Get New Clothes

Depending on where you will be going and what activities you will be doing, you will want to pack accordingly. In order to have the best experience, you may need to purchase some new clothes or shoes. For example, if you will be doing a lot of walking, make sure you have quality walking shoes (don’t forget to break them in!). Or, if you are going to spend a lot of time in the water, you may want more than just one swimsuit. If you are traveling somewhere more conservative, be prepared to respect the country’s standards of dress. And lastly, you might want to pack more formal outfits for fancier occasions.

Plan Where to Eat

As mentioned before, you probably want to plan out each detail of your trip—including where you plan to eat. When you visit a new country, there are always so many new experiences to enjoy. Many of these new experiences include local eateries and traditional foods. Since it can be sometimes difficult communicating with the locals or navigating the country’s systems of transportation, it is best that you research ahead of time the different restaurants you will want to try. That way, you can be prepared to easily get to your destination, as well as know what and how to order food .

Medical Records

A lot of foreign countries require that you show proof of health via medical records. You may be expected to get bloodwork done or get multiple vaccines in order to qualify for a VISA or entry into the country. Therefore, before traveling internationally, make sure that you research ahead of time what tests or immunizations you may need before travel. Talk with your doctor who can help you get everything done and sign all the paperwork appropriately.

Study the Language

If you are traveling to a country where the residents predominantly speak another language, you may want to prepare yourself by learning a couple of words and phrases in that language. Not only will people appreciate your efforts, but you will more easily form relationships and friendships with those you meet, as well as better navigate the country. While there are a lot of important phrases you could learn, some of the most critical ones may include, “Where can I find…?” and “How much does this cost?” Familiarize yourself with the most useful vocabulary for your trip, including words like train, bathroom, market, taxi, hospital, etc.

Research the Culture

Similar to knowing the language, understanding the culture of your destination will allow you to better navigate social settings and appreciate the differences of that country. Never forget that you are being graciously invited into another country and, therefore, the people deserve your respect. Research what the customs are concerning things like salutations, tipping, eating, dress, business practices, etc. For example, in some countries, it is very rude to tip a waitress, while other countries see tipping as the polite thing to do. In the end, preparing to follow cultural expectations will ensure that you don’t unintentionally offend others.

Pack Light and Securely

Let’s be honest, one of the best parts about travel is the ability to embrace a new culture and bring small parts of your experiences home to show others. For that reason, it will be important to pack light and leave room for space in your luggage to take home souvenirs and other memorabilia. Secondly, to keep all of your belongings and keepsakes safe during travel, make sure that you secure your luggage in a way that will mitigate your risk of damage or thievery. There are plenty of different locking mechanisms available for purchase that are TSA compliant and great for keeping your stuff safe. You would never want to lose all those special mementos, after all.

It is an exciting prospect to see so many countries gradually starting to open their borders up for international travel. After all, international travel is how our diverse world comes together in unity and appreciation for one another. Nevertheless, more than ever, it is essential that prospective travelers plan ahead and prepare accordingly for their trip. In following the guidelines listed above, you will be able to get the most out of your travels and be prepared for a safe, COVID-free journey.

The Maria Liberati Show
The Maria Liberati ShowGourmand World Award winning author/Celebrity Chef Maria Liberati intersects where food meets art, travel and life! Join Maria as she interviews fascinating guests in food, wine, culture, art , literature. Guests let us in to their food world and answer the question "What does food mean to you" and share the special connection food has in their life. Maria has a talent for creating common ground for people from all walks of life and many varied talents through one common denominator-food. Discover what food means to you, your life ,your history, your persona. Support this podcast: <a href="" rel="payment"></a>

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