Have you ever felt overwhelmed at the thought of traveling or moving abroad? These are the 7 things to consider before moving abroad
Maybe you have planned a trip to Thailand for months and the time has finally come for you to go. You’re thinking “What are some things I should know before moving abroad?”
Well, as someone who has been traveling full-time for about 3 years now, I’m here to tell you some things that you should know before moving abroad.
1. PLAN YOUR TRIP AHEAD
The first thing you want to do is, of course, purchase your plane ticket in advance. Buying a ticket just a few days before your trip and paying a few extra hundred dollars is no fun at all! Also, be aware of hidden fees when you think you may spot a cheap flight!
It is eye-catching when you see what you think is a deal on a flight until you click on it and realize there are hidden baggage fees and payments that need to be made for your seats on the plane!! You’ll end up paying even more than the first ticket you thought was a steal.
Plan out where you will be staying and most importantly, how you will get from the airport to your apartment or hotel! This is very important because there could be a lot of drivers at the airport waiting to scam foreigners by charging them crazy prices to go a short distance in their taxis.
It’s kind of like getting ripped off by the meter taxis in New York City where I am from!!
Find out if the country you are going to has Uber or Grab taxi, which is a popular trusted car service company abroad. This may be your safest and cheapest option to get to your destination from the airport.
My boyfriend and I have taken Uber or Grab taxis many times in Bali, Thailand, and Brazil and we did not pay more than $1 USD for a 15-minute drive!!
It is also important to figure out the place that you are staying at ahead of time. Whether it’s an apartment or Airbnb, definitely make sure that your place is already paid for and that you have done as much research as possible.
This will help you make sure that you are getting a good deal for the place you are staying at and that you have read plenty of reviews to see what others have to say about the owner and the apartment or hotel.
You can check Airbnb’s host profile on the website to make sure that they were the ones who uploaded the information that was posted.
Message your host asking as many questions as possible and refer to the help section on the Airbnb website where they mention: “Some cities require hosts to register, get a permit, or obtain a license before you list your property or accept guests. Read up on as much information as possible before booking and figure out what amenities the apartment or Airbnb may or may not have so that you can figure out what you need to bring along with you!
2. HAVE A PLAN B
This is A VERY IMPORTANT step to take before deciding to live or move abroad.
Have you asked yourself these questions?
1. What will I do if I run out of savings?
2. What will I do if my Airbnb doesn’t end up being the way I imagined it to be?
3. Do I have multiple options of places to stay if the one I picked does not work out for me?
If you cannot answer any of these questions, you need to do a little bit more planning before getting on your flight! So why are these very important questions to ask yourself before flying?
It is very important to plan ahead especially because you are in a strange country where you may not know anyone because you really have to be able to protect yourself you experience an unexpected situation. If you have a dilemma in your home country, it may be easy to just go back home or go to your parent’s home until you can figure out a plan B.
In a foreign country, you really only have yourself or maybe your partner to help figure things out. Especially if you don’t speak the native language, this can get to be a very difficult situation, very fast, which leads to my next trip.
3. LEARN THE LOCAL LANGUAGE
Now learning the country’s language is very important as well because learning just a few basic words can truly be life-saving when you are in a foreign country.
If you need to say simple commands in the native language such as:
Asking where the nearest doctor or hospital is?
asking what is on the menu?
All of those terms are very simple terms you should at least know how to say in the native language so that you can go about your everyday life in a foreign country. It is pretty difficult to get around in any country without knowing at least some basic phrases in the native language. Think about all the places you may go to every day while on your trip.
You may need to talk to the people in the hotel lobby that you are staying at, need simple directions information about a local restaurant place may want to ask what is on the restaurant menu or if the grocery store accepts card or cash payment.
How difficult would It be to ask all these questions without knowing the local language? Pretty difficult. Austin and I definitely have a few memories in which we really wish we knew more words in the local language in the country we were living in.
One time, we were both at the beach bike riding and Austin had to use the bathroom and could not communicate with a local restaurant worker asking desperately to use the bathroom!
Lesson learned from this event? LEARN THE LOCAL LANGUAGE!
Learning a country’s foreign language also shows people a great sense of respect you have for them and for their culture, and may allow you to make some friends along the way because they will really appreciate that you took the time to learn their language!
4. CHOOSE A SAFE AREA
One bad area can give the entire country a bad name. Take Brazil, for example, Copacabana may be a cool area to a lot of people for its party scene. Did you know that this is an area where 80% of the crime in Brazil happens? Don’t quote me on the percentage, but a lot of crime does happen in this tourist area.
If you are interested in the nightlife scene, it is still very important to make sure that the area you are visiting or moving to is SAFE! Especially if you are a foreigner entering a foreign country, you could be a potential target. Not trying to scare you, but just want to inform you so that you can be careful! Before coming to Brazil, we were scared into thinking that Brazil was a super dangerous country with a very high crime rate.
Although this may be true in some parts of Brazil, this definitely isn’t true for all parts of Brazil. We currently live in Rio de Janeiro in a very safe area in Barra da Tijuca. We are basically in the “Hollywood Hills” of Brazil, a lot of locals here that we are friends with have told us the dangerous parts of Brazil and told us that we picked the safest part of Brazil to live in. As you can see, it is very important t “scope out” the place you are going to as much as you can.
There is only so much you can do to find out about a place without actually being there but you can do a lot of research online as well as join ex-pat Facebook groups for the country you plan on going to. You can talk with not just visitors of the country but locals that are from that country that have been there their whole life and that can tell you what the country is really like.
You can also talk to others who are going to that country or that has lived there for many years and that can tell you some tips you should know before going.
5. LEARN THE CULTURE
You may not think this is very important but the reason it is important to learn not just the language but also the culture if you can is that it helps you take on a different perspective, and see the world in a different way than you are used to seeing. Living in a different country can definitely open your eyes to a lot of things.
You can realize that the way media portrays another country may not always be true until you go there yourself and see how things really are there.
Another reason it is very important to learn a country’s culture is that simple things like wearing shoes in your home may seem normal or inoffensive to you but in other countries, this couple is very offensive.
For example, Thai people view a human’s feed to be the dirtiest part of the body, and if you visit Thailand, you will notice that a lot of stores and places require you to remove your footwear before entering the building. When my boyfriend and I attended a teaching course in a university in Chiang Mai, Thailand we had to remove our shoes every day before entering the building to go to our English teaching class.
It will definitely be a lot easier for you to interact with people from that country if you can understand their culture and know a bit of their language as well.
Do you know what the laws are for visas to the country you’re traveling to? This is very important because you do not want to overstay your visa or put yourself in a position to get kicked out of a country or risk jail time.
Some countries like Brazil allow you to have a visa on arrival for 3 months! Thailand only allows you to have a visa on arrival stamp that allows you to stay in the country for up to a month.
Then, you have to renew your visa for a fee or get a new stamp on your passport by completing a visa run which is leaving the country for a day or more and then coming back in to get a new visa stamp on your passport.
Figuring out how you will renew your visa is important depending on how long you plan to stay in the country. Figuring all of this out in advance is very important.
7. Working Online – Saving Up Money For Travel
Of course, this is something that is self-explanatory and you probably would not be going on a trip unless you had savings!
To go along with what I mentioned before, this is very important because if you need to follow along with your plan B but don’t have enough money to do so, you could run into a lot of issues!
If things don’t work out the way you plan to or you decide that you didn’t like the area that you are staying in, you should at least have enough money for a flight to another city or country.
Did you find any of these tips helpful? I’d love to hear if you did in the comments down below. Thank you so much for reading this article today and I hope to see you again in my next blog post!
If you want to keep up with our travels, go ahead and follow us on our travel page on Instagram @onelifepassport! Comment below what else you would like to know/see about our experiences traveling the world! Also, check out our YouTube Channel!
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