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Written by Srinath Shankar on March 24, 2017 Share on

Hacks for the first time international traveller

Travelling abroad for the first time? Got them butterflies in your tummy? A million questions would be floating around your head. You have googled every little thing you need for that first time abroad trip. You don’t want to be caught unawares at the airport or any place right? Here’s a list of hacks for the first time international traveller. 

Find out which destination suits you!

Take this quick quiz – your travel horoscope will tell you where you should be headed to.

Dreading Jet lag?

On your first trip abroad, give yourself time to recover from jet lag. Depending on which country you are going to visit, allow 7-10 days for a vacation that include a day or two to get over jet lag. Here’s how to beat the lag – Sleep on your time zone and eat meals according to the new time zone. Resist taking naps and drink lots of water, you’ll be set to enjoy the vacation!

Getting your Visa

When you apply for a visa, write a detailed covering letter on why you are looking to travel. Explain in detail and back it up with more than required list of financial support. This definitely improves your chances of getting your visa. And why worry when we at Pickyourtrail have a dedicated team to help you with this! 

 Looking for economical deals?

Turn on your incognito mode in your browser when searching for ticket fares. Airlines normally show higher prices for flights that you have searched earlier. Not getting good enough fares? That’s what we are here for! Our brand new travel planner not only gives you great flight rates, but also awesome vacations complete with flight+ stay combos. 

Booked yourself Business Class? 

Why not try and upgrade yourself to Business Class? Think it’s impossible? Not really. Call your airlines and put in a request for a business class upgrade. Mention specifically that this is your first international flight and that you are excited about the experience. Write an email to the airline to back up your request.

 Check your passport

Always check your passports if they are valid for more than 6 months atleast. Handwritten corrections might attract attention.

 Make a copy of your documents

Scan your passport and any other document you think is important. Email them to yourself. In case you misplace them, you’ll have a copy stored. Most travellers don’t realise how important this is!

Read the fine print 

Maximize your baggage allowance by reading the fine print. Air Asia, for example, allows hand baggage of 7 kgs and a laptop bag. So that is basically 2 small bags. Just fill them up smartly, and you’ll be set!

Connecting flights?

If you have a tight schedule of connecting flights, plan in advance. Select your seat placement ahead in the cabin where you can get out faster. Or inform the crew that you have a connecting flight, so you can stand ahead in line to get out faster.

 Book your food

Always call up the airlines early on and give your seat/meal preference. Long flights without proper food can be very difficult to manage.

 Phone Plans

Do not buy SIM cards from India. Buy local SIMs that have better data and local call plans. Prepaid ones will also allow you to make international calls.

 Maximize your credit cards

Firstly, tell your bank you will be abroad, so they would know not to freeze your card when you use it on a vacation. Apply for credit cards that give you lounge access at airports. Easiest way to travel comfortable! Check out these cards to start with – HDFC Regalia, Regalia first, Citibank premier miles.

 Go Gadgets

Portable phone chargers and camera is something that tops the list. For more gadgets to stock up on, take a look at this list of must-have travel gizmos. Here’s another hint: always carry personal hygiene essentials from home, since it works out cheaper than buying it there.

Smart Apps

Download essential Apps like Uber, Groupon, Zomato, that are relevant to the destination you are visiting. Also check for the local coupon codes applicable in those countries to get deals. Check out these 10 lifesaving apps if you are going to Australia or New Zealand.

Opted for self-driving?

First, check if your license is valid in the destination you are headed to. If you are taking up a car on rent, check the car for any damages before you take it. In case you get into a minor accident, document the damage immediately with a photograph and alert the rental agency.

Your hotel

Remember when you check in to your accommodation, take a card that has the hotel’s address on it. Take a picture of it on your phone too. Helps, if you have lost your way and need to ask  a passerby for directions.

Explore the city for free

Visit information centres of the city in the airport/train station to identify which are the attractions you can visit for free. They also carry flyers with offers on local attractions. This is one great way to see maximize your vacation, here’s another if you are visiting Europe. 

Learn the lingo

Have a long flight to your destination? Use this time to learn the local language. Apps like Duolingo help you with practicing some common phrases; brush up on your ‘how do you do’ and ‘where is the nearest restaurant’ phrases. So you won’t be totally lost in the strange land!

Food tips

The best way to check if the place you are eating in is good is to check for long lines! Trust the locals with what they eat. Faster the turnover, the fresher the food will be! Check if there is a walking tour of the food joints of the city, can’t be a better way of getting introduced to the city’s cuisine.

Pickpocket pains

If your wallet or bag has been pick-pocketed, and you are short of cash, go to the nearest Western Union and get family or friend to wire you money. It takes an hour or so to reach you.

Inspired to take the first step to your first international vacation? Allow us to be your host!

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