Travel Tips for Your First Time Overseas
Planning for an overseas trip can be hectic and exciting all at the same time. It can be even more hectic when you are travelling for business. I know I felt like I had to get so much done in a limited amount of time for my business trip to Mumbai, India. Here are some travel tips before you head overseas.
Once I found out I was travelling to Mumbai, I had about a little over a month to get ready.
1. Do some online research - The first thing I had to do was look up information about what others had done before they travelled to India. Luckily, I also had coworkers I could count on to answer any question about things I should be doing ahead of time. I also received emails from my company on the next steps that should be taken.
2. Get a passport! - I had to obtain a new passport since my old one expired. Honestly, this should be done way ahead of time, not right before a business or personal trip overseas. If you wait, like I did, you have to pay extra fees to expedite the passport. With the fees and the cost of the passport, it cost me around $260.
3. Get your shots done and medication ordered - While I was waiting for my passport to be sent back in the mail, I went and got the shots and prescription medicine I needed for India. Now, every country overseas does not require shots so I recommend you look up information about the country you are traveling to or call Passport Health. When you go to a place like Passport Health, make sure to bring your medical records. It helps to know what shots you have already gotten in the past so you are not paying for a shot that is not needed. For me, shots and the prescribed medicine cost around $300. Just make sure you call and ask what are the recommended shots/prescribed medicine and how much is it going to cost. Also make a call to your insurance to see if they cover any or all of the required treatments.
4. Obtain a visa if necessary - Once my passport arrived, I was able now to obtain a visa for India. You will know if you need to obtain a visa or not to enter a country when you do your initial research online. When you go to get a visa, double check you have everything on your checklist. I know I didn’t, and I had to run to a FedEx to print another form. Also, make sure to go in person to at least drop off your information. Going in person takes a shorter amount of time for it to get done then to send it in the mail.
5. Make a list of all the extra items needed - Once all of the important documents are done and taken care off, take some time to make a list of things you might need while you spend time overseas. I had a list of clothes I needed to buy, shoes I wanted to purchase, a backpack for the travel time on the plane, and toiletries that might be necessary since I will be gone for 3 weeks. Also I couldn’t forget to exchange currency before I left.
6. Obtain currency - When it comes to getting the right currency, you have two different options: exchanging the money at a station in the airport when you arrive at your destination or getting the bank to exchange the currency. The first option just means you have to bring cash with you to be able to exchange the currency. On the other hand, you can have your bank exchange the currency ahead of time and they can do this by taking money out of your bank account. Some banks may take longer than others, so make sure you just call your local bank and ask how long it will take.
7. Purchase those extra items-The last thing before you start to pack, is there is still time to go do some shopping. This is the best part for me because I love getting new things. With a list already made of the things you must get, this will make the shopping trip more efficient and easy. For India, I just made a list of things I might need while I was away for three weeks, such as allergy and cold medicine, hand sanitizer, tennis shoes, lounge clothes, etc. While you are going through the process of getting prepared, ask people who have been to the country you are going to so you know what extra you might need to purchase.
8. Pack everything up and Have fun! - Last but not least all there is left to do is pack, arrive at the airport and have a fun trip. Packing can be tough and there are so many ways to pack a suitcase. The most efficient way I have found to pack is to army roll all of my clothes. I try to make outfits including the undergarments and army rolling outfits together. This makes it easier if I am going to be living out of a suitcase for a while and it helps with packing. I know then exactly how many outfits I have in my suitcase plus it gives me more room for extra shoes. Army rolling will help with packing more items besides shoes into your suitcase and your carry-on will also not be as heavy. Plus if once you get to the airport and your bag is still overweight (mine always seems to be), you have a carry-on that still has a lot of room that can fit a few more items.
Getting to travel overseas for the first time can seem like a lot, but it gets easier the more times you go. Taking just a few steps to stay organized and ahead of things will definitely decrease the hectic and nervousness of flying to a new country. Just follow the steps mentioned above and summarized below and you should be in good hands.
1. Do some online research.
2. Get a passport!
3. Obtain the necessary shots and/or prescribed medication.
4. Obtain a visa if it is necessary
5. Make a list of extra items you might need to purchase.
6. Obtain currency
7. Purchase those items and have a fun shopping experience.
8. Pack everything and make copies of your important information to give to a family member in case of an emergency.
9. HAVE FUN!
Thank you for reading. I am Courtney Dansby, Application Consultant 1, and the A3 National Communications Lead. During the month of April, we will have a few blog posts on topics we think that the employees of Capgemini and everyone will find interesting. Stay tuned throughout the month for more articles.