A trip to an offshore spot that you have never visited is always invigorating. It’s an eye opener that there are a lot to see, learn and enjoy. I was only 20-year old when I boarded my first international flight to London. Later I was on my business trips several times but the ‘first thing’ always comes with some special feeling.

Before my first foreign trip, I ended up messing with everything during packing and it reminded me of two famous characters in ‘Three Men in a Boat’ by Jerome K Jerome. And I left my passport at home, set for airport and returned from half of the way. By the time I reached airport, I wore a tired and disheveled look, picking up glances from many for wrong reasons.

I don’t like you to do those mistakes. Here are three important tips – or you can say it suggestion – for you before jetting to overseas.

Hotel business cards:

Asking for the business card at the front desk is the first thing that I do upon my arrival at an overseas hotel. Even if I lose my way, I will still have the name and physical address of the hotel written in local language. Though English is an international language and second most spoken tongue in the world, having something written in a local language will always be of great help.

Carry cash:

Though you can get quick cash through ATM, some US banks charge hefty fees for using ‘out of network’ ATM service. As an alternative option, you may carry a good amount of cash so that you can pay that much fee at a time at an airport ATM. However, I will always discourage you from carrying a hefty sum of cash; otherwise you may find yourself left with too much local currency after your trip ends. Both Fidelity and Charles Schwab provide checking accounts that won’t require minimum balance and will pay you back for all ATM charges including overseas fees.

Six-month passport regulation:

The date of expiry on your passport is quite misleading. In US, the foreigners are allowed to use their passports until the date mentioned on them. However, some countries will deny you entry if your passport is going to expire in less than six months. This is because if some unexpected reasons force you to stay there longer than your planned vacation, it is important for you to have a valid passport. To avoid such kind of problems, it is better to renew your passport in time, at least nine months ahead of expiry date.

Experience makes a man perfect. After a few overseas trips, you will find yourself in my shoes i.e. you will start advising others who are jetting to an exotic destination for the first time in their life.

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