How do I plan for a first international trip?
Do your research on the country. Do you need a visa to enter? What language do they speak? What currency do they use?Do your research on the destination. Are you visiting any landmarks or tourism destinations?Make copies of your important documents and keep them on your phone and/or wallet. This includes your passport, travel/health insurance policy number and contact info, and emergency contacts.Register your trip with your country’s embassy. This is called the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program in the USA and Registration of Canadians Abroad in Canada. In the event of an emergency (natural disaster, civil unrest, etc), your home embassy is responsible for getting you to safety. Registering allows them to know that you’re abroad.Pack light. The majority of travellers bring far too many items with them. Strip your suitcase down to the bare bones. Remember that you’ll probably want to bring home souvenirs and you’ll need space for those. It may be tempting to bring “what if” items, but you’re not packing a survival bag. If the weather shows clear skies for the duration of your trip, you do NOT need to bring a hard shell rain jacket and umbrella “in case it rains”. If it does end up raining, keep in mind that your destination almost definitely will have stores that you can purchase a temporary replacement. Definitely don’t bring more sets of clothing than you need. Do you really need four bathing suits? Don’t be afraid to wear clothing more than once. I can usually make a pair of good jeans last over a week before getting them dirty.If you don’t expect to have a phone service in the destination (or will have limited data), download offline maps. Google Maps allows you to save areas for offline use (including search), and HERE Maps can download an entire country.Finally, here are a couple of my favourite airport specific tips:Bring an empty water bottle in your carry on. You cannot bring a full bottle through the security checkpoint, but bringing water onto the plane is fine. Once you pass security, fill it up at a fountain. Staying hydrated is important for your health while travelling.If you check your bags, make them easy to identify from a distance. I have the same standard black suitcase that everyone else has, but wrapped the handle in fluorescent green duct tape. I can spot it from across the room, meaning I don’t need to cuddle up next to the hundreds of others at the baggage carousel.
Where should an Indian family prefer for their first international trip for 7 days, Bulgaria, Moscow or Singapore?
Since it's their first ever international trip, we have to look at cutting down on the uncertainties and also the cost factor. Hence my suggestion would be Singapore for the reasons given below.Singapore is a more familiar place for Indians with regard to language, climate and food habits. It would also cost less ( though it's a pretty cosy city compared to Bangkok and Kaula Lampur.) Indians have the visa on arrival facility, so you pay less on visa processing through agents here. Malaysia and Thailand can be easily accessed in case you wish to have a trip of a longer duration. Climate is bit warmer, but very close to likes of Tamil Nadu. Lot of Indian Restaurants are there. And Hindi, Tamil can be freely used.As against that both Bulgaria and Russia would be difficult with regard to language climate and food . Though you may get to see more exquisite tourist spot. If at all you decide on these places, for a maiden trip abroad, I would suggest to go with a trusted tour operator, specially if senior citizens or children are traveling.
Where was your first international trip to?
London in 2007.I was in my twenties in 2006 and just had obtained my first international passport. So I wanted to see the world.My nightmare started I found out the visa requirements for Nigerians but thank God I got my visa because I was young and had a good job.Then at Lagos airport to catch my flight, the immigration and customs officers stationed there tried to delay me(they always make life difficult for first time travellers), somehow I got away from them because of my work ID and I was on time for my flight.The biggest issue was at the Heathrow Airport where they made me wait for like 2hrs because they thought I had drugs on me. I had some documents that made them think I wasn't going to leave UK as at when due. So after much they let me get into the British soil.My holiday was not so good and the travelling experience at both borders left some scars.But as a more experienced traveller now, I know what most border control and immigration officers are after for most black African passport holders.
International Travel: What is it like to travel first class on any airline?
I fly economy but I always pray for an upgrade when they scan the boarding pass just before you enter the plane and my prayers rarely get answered (sometimes they do). This particular time, I already had a Houston-Mumbai Business class ticket , thanks to the miles I had racked up on Emirates so I was not even praying. On the Dubai-Mumbai leg, the girl just ahead of me got bumped up to First class. I got bit disappointed. “Why not me?”. I was so distraught that I did not even realise when the guy at the gate swapped my boarding pass. I saw it when I entered the aircraft (A-380) and my seat number read Suite 1A.( See my answer Harsh Vardhan Singh's answer to How does it feel to fly on the Airbus A380, especially when it comes to super long international flights? Any major differences from the Boeing 747 or 777, or the Airbus 330 or 340? )For obvious reasons, I was very excited and Emirates First Class experience did not disappoint.Seat or Suite: They call seats as suites and you can close the doors for privacy. Needless to say you can recline the seats 180 degrees flat. It also had a small mini-bar with no alcoholic drinks including my favourite Perrier water.Hospitality: Top notch hospitality, right from the welcome champagne, great wine and alcohol list and the food. I had my first Blue Label :) and never had to ask for repeat. It was already there before I finished my drink.Entertainment: Size of the TV blew me off and what better to watch than highlights of India’s 1983 World Cup victory with some so Blue Label on ice.Washroom/Toilets: Yes washroom. It was one of the highlights. Clean and spacious with amazing decor. 2 flight attendants were permanently stationed outside the washroom to freshen it up after any passenger used it. Anytime you use it, it feels like its not been used before. I was equipped with a shower and I am not the one who will miss out on a chance to have a quick shower at 35000 ft.Only thing that I missed out on was the First Class Lounge at Dubai Airport. Greedy Me ;)Edit 1: Thanks to some deleted comments. It reminded me of my favourite picture, which i forgot to post. I call it Holy Grail in Devanagari. It is Hindi translation of the above posted Bar Menu.
Do anyone know about International travel?
Hi Annie L, How exciting for you, a trip to Germany. I have checked on the Lufthansa flights Newark Inernational to Berlin. But because I didn't actually want to book anything I have given you the link below: http://www.lufthansa.com/online/portal/!... Good luck and have a great time.
International Travel: This is the first time I'm planning a solo trip out of Singapore. What are some tips?
you can do everything online now.First just decide on a place, bearing in mind obvious limitations like how many days your boss can live without you (if you can only get away for a week I would not board a 24hour flight to the US, for example).Flights: I use flight aggregation sites like expedia or my favourite:skyscanner: http://www.skyscanner.com.sg/be aware that prices change based on time of departure/arrival. i have found that flights are generally more expensive near the weekend, and also on night flights (to save money on hotel).Hotels:Besides the usual suspects like http://booking.com or http://hotels.com, try http://www.hostelworld.com/ or https://www.airbnb.com.sg/ for more local flavour and cheaper accomodation. It's easier to make friends with backpackers and in a hostel compared to a hotel where you pretty much just go to your room.Where to goUse tripadvisor or yelp, but many excellent but less tourist-friendly places have been buried beneath the popular top 10. You should talk to locals (reddit is a good place to start before your trip). If you can read the local language then definitely search for stuff using that. There's good shit out there that's not in English.How to get aroundGoogle maps is the universal favorite. Save maps offline, star places you want to go, calculate distance/time/fare. You can find out how on your own.If your phone runs out of power, getting lost will be an excellent learning experience.If I could give a final tip: travel lightly and deeply.Why? Lightly means you only bring the essentials. You're not wasting strength hauling around shit you don't need. You'll have more energy to participate. Don't treat your holiday as a list of things to be accomplished. Choose only a few things you want to see deeply and leave time for the surprises. If you just tick stuff off the only thing you'll be able to say when you're asked about it is, "i was there". Don't worry too much about planning everything. All you need to do is just book the flight and accommodation. The rest you can figure out when you get there. Good luck!
What was your first international travel destination?
My first was Canada as I lived in Detroit as a kid. My parents had friends in Windsor so we went there often. I also went many times later, after I was out of the Corps as I played Semi-ProHockey and we played a few games in Canada.My next one on my own was when in the USMC I and fellow Marine buddies went to Tijuana, Mex for some good, inexpensive shopping (LOL).Finally when I was married and graduating from College we headed for Europe for 2 1/2 months as a grad gift to us.I suspect Canada and Mexico are the two main first other countries most Americans go to and obviously there are many people who don’t even think of them as other international countries due to their location.
Have you ever flown first class or business class internationally?
Yes, quite a few times (most of the time company paid for it or I used frequent flyer miles). The best 1st class flight I ever flew was on Cathay Pacific from San Francisco to Bangkok with a layover in Hong Kong. On Cathay Pacific you get your own partitioned compartment, large flat panel tv with avod, gourmet 4 course meals, noise cancelling Bose headphones, the finest wines, liquor and champagnes, Shanghai Tang pajamas which are yours to keep, designer amenity kits, a seat that folded down into a full flat 7 ft. bed with down comforter and pillows and unbelievable service. You also get dedicated check-in, a private entrance to the plane through the 1st class lounge at SFO and priority baggage handling. In Hong Kong you get access to Cathay's 1st class lounge with a private jacuzzi and lounge area and a fantastic buffet with table service. I've flown other 1st class and business class flights on other airlines, but none were as good as Cathay Pacific. They often win awards for having the best 1st class of any airline in the world.
How do you plan a trip overseas for the first time?
Take as little as possible, you will enjoy travelling more if you don't have to lug around baggage. Anything that's not a necessity, leave at home. You'll need passport (and a copy of it kept in a separate location), travel documents (including insurance), and some cash (it's easier to mostly use ATM/cash point cards to withdraw local currency). Toiletries I buy locally (shampoo, sunscreen, etc), but bring my own makeup and toothbrush. It's easier to pack all liquids/creams in your checked bag. I also bring a few OTC meds like painkillers and pills for upset stomach. Camera, laptop, mobile, other electronics should be kept in your hand luggage. Remember that the outlets are different, so it's best not to bring anything that needs to be charged or plugged in, unless you have a converter. I would honestly leave anything like a hair dryer at home. It's unnecessary and a hassle, and with that sort of heat your hair's not going to do what you want it to anyway. Tie it back and forget about it. You'll need cool, conservative clothes for summer. While you will see tourists wearing all sorts of things, you'll be treated with more respect and avoid unwanted negative attention if you dress conservatively. This means no shorts, no short skirts, and no sleeveless shirts. You can't enter a religious site without being covered anyway. It's better to wear long flowy dresses (in a natural material like thin cotton or linen), loose trousers (jeans are too hot), or skirts (below the knee) with a loose, long-sleeved top. Sandals are fine, but make sure they are comfortable for walking. If you buy local clothes, they will often be cooler than anything you have.