Whether you’re heading abroad to travel or to relocate for a lengthy period, you’ll no doubt have done your fair amount of research to know what to expect and facilitate the process. However, use the following information as a checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything crucial, because going to a foreign country is no small deal; you’re likely to be entering a world that is potentially quite different from the one you’re used to at home… and in some ways in which you may not expect.
- The Basics
Have you managed to sort out the right type of visa and put in your application, or made arrangements? It might be a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport and ID, and some extra passport photos should the need arrive. Make sure you have sufficient time remaining before your passport expires, and enough passport pages, depending on the country you’re traveling to; different countries have different expectations for these factors.
- Cultural differences
It is wise to brush up your knowledge on the culture and etiquette of your chosen destination. Many Eastern and Western countries have vast cultural differences that are not so easily recognized. Learning basic cultural mannerisms will ensure you communicate with respect and help you to eliminate any faux-pas. For example, some countries use handshakes or even cheek-kisses as a form of greeting, but in South Korea, it is important not to make physical contact. When sharing drinks in Germany or France, eye contact is expected when making a toast, but be careful in China, where raising your glass higher than anyone elder to you is considered rude.
- Online restrictions
If you, like many, will be relying on email and social platforms to keep in touch with friends and family or even to work, make sure you brush up on any internet censorship laws that might be in place. China, for example, does not allow access to popular sites including Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Wikipedia. You can often overcome this by using a VPN, but not all of them work, so make sure you find les meilleurs vpn for your destination. It may help to ask expats, do some research and comparatif vpn. Additionally, refrain from making any political comments online while you are a visitor to a country.
- Brush up on language basics
You don’t need to learn an entirely new language just to visit a country (in fact in many destinations popular with tourists, some locals enjoy conversing in and practicing their English), but learning some basic words you might need to get around will get you a long way and potentially help you avoid landing in any troublesome situations. If this really sounds like a challenge to you, try picking up a handy translation guidebook or downloading a reliable app prior to your departure.
- Be aware but let yourself have fun!
You may be having some pre-travel jitters, or feel like being in a new country will be a daunting experience. However, as the popularity of travel has blown to vast proportions in recent decades, you’ll always find help available, so don’t be afraid to ask! As many fellow travelers will tell you; it’s a rewarding experience to see how and where others live, and one you will not regret.