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It is important to be well-prepared for overseas travel. Before reserving flights and accommodations, necessary travel documents, which in most cases is a passport but could also include a visa, should be obtained. Applying for a tourist visa can be a time-consuming and expensive process, and should be done before any other travel arrangements are made.
Researching the history, government, and religion is often helpful. Background information on travel destinations can be found in reference books, travel guides, or online. Weather and clothing styles are other important areas to research beforehand. Dressing in a local or similar style helps travelers feel more comfortable, and in addition, locals know how to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. This is especially important in very hot, cold, or humid overseas travel locations.
When packing, versatility is the biggest asset. Laundry facilities are generally available and basic, multi-purpose clothing can save space in luggage. Comfortable walking shoes are another essential piece of travel gear.
In preparation for a trip, one should think through a basic day in the destination country and note any questions about accommodations. A guidebook will serve as a helpful tool and can provide basic information on the location's culture and also provides extremely helpful details on travel, currency, banks, and Internet points. Guidebooks can also be referenced for information regarding electricity and whether a converter is required. A converter or adapter can be purchased at most major travel stores.
Researching the customs of the culture is important. The customs and way-of-life should be investigated before departure, noting any areas where cultural faux-pas are more likely. Awareness and openness are important and will help make travelers comfortable and confident. In some locations, it is especially important to note the roles of males and females and how and when they can interact and appear in public.
Investigating currency exchange rates and methods of exchanging currency are also important. It is sometimes possible to exchange currency before overseas travel, depending on the destination. This can, however, be expensive to do before traveling. Nearly every major airport now has a cash machine available. It is also possible to bring cash for exchange upon arrival.
For most overseas travel destinations, it is better to plan and book accommodations ahead of time. Visit the tourism website for a list of accommodations and contact information. Making bookings ahead of time in some locations may not be a possibility, and in these cases accommodations can be booked upon arrival.
Before leaving for overseas travel, every traveler should make it a general practice to remove 10 items from their luggage. Overpacking is nearly inevitable. No matter where the overseas travel destination, people live there and go about daily activities just like anyone else. A lightened load will be much appreciated when moving about in a new and foreign place.