Things You Should Know Before Visiting A Foreign Country

When travelling abroad, there are a lot of things that you need to know and prepare for. This is because, while travelling time is meant for enjoyment and exploration, you risk losing it all if you don’t prepare well. So the next time you plan a trip, make it your mantra to prepare. And this doesn’t only apply to your air ticket and luggage. There is much more to it than that, and these tips will come in handy.

Customs & Importation Restrictions

Different countries have their own set of laws and regulations concerning what people can bring into and take out of the country. Therefore, take your time to familiarise yourself with these to avoid embarrassment and frustration. The best source for such information is normally their embassies. You can visit them physically or look through their online pages. Also, family members and friends who have travelled there before can be helpful. Some of the common restrictions include certain medications, precious metals, precious stones, currency, pets, etc.


Before you board the plane, ensure that you prioritise matters that have to do with your health. Take time to visit the international centres for disease control to learn about various vaccines you’re supposed to take in relation to your destination. Some countries have set mandatory vaccination requirements, so don’t be surprised when asked for a vaccination certificate upon arrival.

Also, if you have an existing medical condition, ensure you get approval from your doctor. And while you’re at it, ensure they draft a letter for you. This will be helpful in case you experience an emergency abroad. At least the doctors over there will know where to begin. In case you need to be on continual medication, remember to check if you can bring them into a foreign country or if you are able to purchase them after you land.

Travel And Motor Insurance

Most health insurance policies restrict validity to domestic coverage. Therefore, check with your insurance broker if the cover can be extended. If not, you may need a new one when booking your trip. This is important, more so if you’re heading to regions known for emergency situations such as storms. In this case, medical evacuation insurance is perfect.

Additionally, if you plan on driving while abroad, remember to check the requirements for driving licenses and motor insurance. This will come in handy if you find yourself facing traffic offence charges. As much as your car hire company might help you with the insurance part, you will have to arrange your own international driving permit.

Traffic Laws

All countries have traffic laws in place to maintain safety and sanity on the roads. So, ensure you learn them by heart before you depart. Countries such as Canada are well known for their strict penalties when it comes to driving offences. For instance, aggressive driving, street racing as well as drowsy driving can get you charged under the criminal code. Jeffrey Preszler from Preszler Law states that Ontario motor vehicle law is complex, and is often skewed in favour of the defendant or the insurance company.

Equip Yourself With New Information

Allocate time in your daily schedule prior to departure to learn about your destination. You can start by keeping abreast on news and current events in that country and the latest travel advisories. Learn a thing or two about their politics and relationship with neighbouring countries. Also, extend your curiosity to include their traditional customs and master a few phrases of their national language. You can start with courtesy words as they can come handy when interacting with new faces. You will be glad when your effort pays off.

Take Enough Money

Yes, it is true that most countries won’t allow you entrance without proof that you have sufficient funds to pay your way during your stay. There are various ways to ensure your needs are taken care of and you have sufficient funds available for emergencies. Besides travellers’ cheques, another way is through the use of credit cards. You will, however, need to inform your bank so that they can advise you on its use outside your country of residence.

Also, remember to keep all purchase receipts during your stay. Most countries allow foreign tourists to claim back the Value Added Tax (VAT) portion of your expenditure (if applicable in that country) when you depart.

Planning an international trip is quite thrilling, especially for first-time travellers. You do, however, have to plan well to ensure your visit is as fulfilling as possible. And for this, you can start by understanding the various restrictions, taking health precautions, being informed and, of course, having enough money available. Remember, you will be taking care of yourself over there, so be prepared.

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