The prospect of international travel is equal parts exciting and intimidating. Exotic destinations bring the promise of new sights, sounds, food, and experiences. However, these never before visited lands can also deliver challenges in understanding the language, currency, customs, and culture. This article will highlight three destinations that promise a new and exciting adventure but with a minimum of uncertainty. These destinations are ideal for first-time international travelers.
For novice travelers, there are a few essential considerations that should be included in your travel planning. In this article, investor and pilot Dan Calugar offers tips on navigating your first trip overseas.
Always check for Federal Government International Travel Advisories. By visiting https://www.usa.gov/americans-abroad, you can find helpful resources for Americans traveling outside the U.S. On this site, there is information about currency exchange, visas, and safety alerts. Another official website that is especially important during the current coronavirus pandemic is travel.state.gov. Here you will find an advisory level for your desired destination. Levels range from caution to reconsider travel to do not travel.
In addition to checking for government travel advisories, new travelers should only consider destinations where they are fluent in the country’s predominant language. Trying to negotiate signs, menus, airports, and verbal instructions in a foreign language can prevent you from getting the most from what would otherwise be a wonderful getaway.
The impact of jet lag should also be considered. Long flights, more than six to eight hours, will disturb your internal clock, and it may take a few days to get acclimated to the new time zone. Consider the length of the flight in relation to the time you have available to spend in-country. The longer the flight, the more time you should have to spend at your destination. Suppose you only have three of four days available in total. In that case, you may want to consider a location for which your travel time will not consume a large portion of the available time or require an extensive adjustment period.
A first-time traveler can’t go wrong with any of the major countries in Europe. Whether visiting the United Kingdom, Italy, France, or Spain, you will find nearly everyone speaks or at least understands English. There are plenty of safe and clean accommodations with so many popular tourist attractions that you’ll never be able to visit them all in one trip.
When looking for a tropical getaway, first-time international travelers should consider the Caribbean. The resorts in countries like Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands are safe and welcoming. Note the key here is “resorts.” Most first-time travelers to the Caribbean will want to stay well inside the tourist areas and resorts.
Mexico or Canada
Yes, Mexico and Canada are international destinations. They may not seem like it because, after all, you could drive there if so inclined. Both these U.S. neighbors have a lot to offer as vacation destinations. There is plenty to see and do with the beautiful scenery of the northern or the southern neighbor’s rich history. You will need a passport, just like any other international travel, and if you decide to drive your own vehicle, remember to get international or country-specific insurance. While both neighbors are safe and welcome tourists, the best advice is to stay in Mexico’s resort areas and get out into Canada’s wilderness.
Wherever you decide to go, remember to check for travel advisories, especially during the current pandemic.
About Daniel Calugar
Dan Calugar is a versatile and experienced investor with a background in computer science, business, and law. He developed a passion for investing while working as a pension lawyer and leveraged his technical capabilities to write computer programs that helped him identify more profitable investment strategies. When Dan is not working, he enjoys spending time working out and being with friends and family. As a pilot with over 2000 hours of single-pilot experience flying business jets, he enjoys flying volunteer flights for Angel Flight.