Planning an international trip? Here are 8 tips you need to know. Picture: Pexels.

Taking an international trip can be quite daunting for first-time travellers. While it is an exciting time, there is also the uncertainty of what may go wrong during the trip. Here are some tips to make your first-time international trip a memorable one: 

Make sure your passport is up to date: The first thing to do before booking your getaway is to make sure that your passport is adequate for travel. Passports can take up to 10 working days to obtain and needs to be valid for six months after you have travelled. Depending on your location, a visa may be required. Speak with your travel agent to see whether you require a visa and the process to obtain it. 

Take travel insurance: While the idea of a holiday seems like pure bliss, incidents can happen at any time. Comprehensive travel insurance helps when travellers face any unforeseen incidents, whether medical or natural disasters. 

Take the necessary vaccines and get medical advice from your doctor: Depending on your destination, travellers may be required to take a vaccination. Whether it is a weekend trip to New York or a safari trip to Kenya, consulting your doctor offers peace of mind.

Convert your money before you go: Converting your money before you leave for a trip saves you money and time. The last thing you want is to be duped by someone in a foreign country, or worse not have any accessible currency exchange offices near you. 

Carry local money: Apart from converting cash or having travel cards, carrying local currency comes in handy in places that do not accept certain currencies or cards. 

Book your tours in advance: In an age where spontaneous travel is a norm among tourists, pre-booking tours allows travellers the chance to plan their itineraries and budget accordingly. It also gives more structure to a trip. 

Pack a carry on with the essentials: Long layovers, flights or excursions can take a toll on the body. If you are travelling for more than 15 hours or extended periods of time, a change of clothes is necessary. It comes in handy if your luggage is misplaced or delayed at the airport, or when you want to freshen up before your next flight. 

Keep bottle water: Purchase a few bottles of water at your destination (you will get them at affordable prices at the destination's local supermarket). Drinking water at your location may be unsafe and having bottled water will make life easier.