suitcase-overflowing-with-clothesSome people think that the only thing to travelling around the world is booking your tickets, grabbing your passport, packing your suitcase and then heading off. However, this overlooks one of the most important aspects – the research and planning that needs to go in to selecting your destination.

There are things that people should do before they go overseas, but what they are depends on your planned destination, the purpose of your visit, and how long you plan to stay there for.

Here are some suggestions on the most sensible things to do before going abroad.

  • Firstly it is always a sensible idea to carry out research about the country, or countries that you plan to visit. Treat it as turning back the clock to when you were at school and read as much information as possible to finish your assignments and your homework. Only this research could keep you and your family safe overseas, or indeed stop you from going in the first place.
  • If you plan to stay over the long-term consider learning the language spoken in the selected country if nobody, or very few people speak English.  It is also wise to find out if you need tourist visas, or work permits, and if they can be applied for before you go, or after you arrive.
  • Travel agencies and holiday companies will often provide you with informative brochures to let you know about any of the countries they offer holidays to.
  • Besides travel agents you can also garner information from airline companies that fly services to and from the country that you intend to go to. The embassies and sometimes the consulates of foreign nations in the United States can also provide you with information about their countries, and what you will need to take with you should you go there.
  • For Americans, the Department of State issues Background Notes on the majority of nations across the globe, essentially all the basic information you will need to get by in any of these countries. These notes are now available on the internet.
  • Furthermore the Department of State issues the Consular Information sheets, which provides you with all the information you need, besides details of how to contact US embassies and consulates aboard should you need their help.
  • Whenever it feels that it is appropriate to do so the Department of State also issues Travel Warnings as well as Public Announcements. Travel warnings are made public to deter American nationals from going to countries where they could be placing themselves in danger, and there is no US embassy or consulate to help them out. Public Announcements are made if situations change suddenly.
  • Finally, be sure to speak to a travel doctor to find out whether there are any specific injections that you need before visiting that country. The last thing you want to do is come back with an unexpected illness.

Remember – your safety is the most important thing to consider when travelling. Be sure to do your homework before you decide to travel – but don’t let that detract from getting out there and seeing the world.