In 2018 there were over 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals, an increase from prior years. Of course, 2020 put a kibosh on most folk’s foreign vacation plans, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pre-plan your next getaway.

Keep reading our guide for everything you need to know before embarking on your next trip.


Peg Down the Destination Details

The most exciting part of vacation planning is choosing where you’re going to go. Once you know where you’re going, you need to decide how long you’ll be traveling. The destination and time you’ll be spending there determine the budget you need to start saving for.

You also need to decide if you’ll be going solo or bringing along friends or family members. Traveling with others may bring your cost of travel down since you might be sharing accommodation costs.

Bring the Local Currency

One of the most essential things you’ll need on your foreign vacation is the local currency. Some travelers wait until they arrive in their destination country to exchange their money. We recommend doing your currency exchange in your home country before you embark on your trip.

Taking care of the money exchange ensures you have local currency when you arrive at your destination.

Pack the Right Items

It’s one thing to go away for the weekend somewhere local and forget to pack something essential. It’s a totally different can of worms if you’re going on a foreign vacation and forget a critical item. That’s why it’s so important to make a packing checklist to ensure nothing gets left behind.


The clothing you pack will depend upon your destination. You wouldn’t pack a winter jacket if you’re traveling to Thailand. Research the area’s weather averages to know what to expect on your trip.

At a bare minimum you should pack:

  • socks
  • base layers (t-shirts, tank tops)
  • sweaters or cardigans
  • pants or shorts
  • pajamas
  • hat and sunglasses


You may be traveling somewhere that doesn’t have the same standard of healthcare as America. If this is the case, it could be difficult for you to find medications if you need them. It’s best to bring the essentials to ensure you’re not stuck sick and symptomatic in a foreign country.

Here are some great ideas to add to your list:

  • over-the-counter pain medication
  • first aid kit
  • sunscreen
  • motion sickness medicine
  • cough drops
  • diarrhea medication

If you take prescription medication, be sure to pack that as well. You might want to talk to your doctor well in advance of your trip to ensure you take enough to tie you over.

Travel Documents

Do not leave home without your essential travel documents. You could run into serious issues without the following documents in your suitcase:

  • passport
  • Visa
  • identification (and extra copies of your ID in case you lose the originals)
  • travel insurance details
  • medical documents (e.g., health insurance)

Enjoy Your Foreign Vacation

Your foreign vacation is sure to be one to remember with our helpful guide. Take a lot of photos and enjoy your holiday!

Keep reading our blogs for more educational blogs to help you plan your vacation.

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