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How to prepare for your first international trip

Heading out of the country for the first time this summer? We know, it can be a bit nerve-wracking. Luckily, with these tips and tricks, you'll be totally prepared for your upcoming international trip. Bon voyage!

Pack a carry-on only (if you can)

Less baggage is always better! While you might have tons of cute outfits in mind with shoes, accessories and more, *trust* that your trip will go a whole lot smoother with a carry-on-only suitcase. Especially if you don't have a direct flight, you run the risk of your luggage getting lost in foreign airports. Plus, not having to stand around at baggage claim = more time to enjoy your destination.

Pack as light as you can, with tops and bottoms that are interchangeable (helloooo, basic white tee + denim shorts). Bring a pair of comfortable sneakers that match with everything. Some Airbnbs and hotels even have laundry facilities that you can use mid-trip. So ditch that big suitcase—you'll thank us later!

Pack appropriately for your destination 

Depending on where you are traveling, there may be different dress codes or restrictions. Make sure you pack clothes that are appropriate and respectful for where you are traveling. A good rule of thumb is if you're visiting any churches, temples or mosques, you will most likely need a more modest outfit.

Also, don't forget to check the weather! Although you may be visiting a typically warm spot, it could be a bit chillier the week you're there. Keep an eye on the weather and pack accordingly!

Buy an adapter for your specific destination

Lots of countries have different electrical outlets than the U.S. Check to see what adapter you may need depending on where you are traveling to. Keep in mind, the E.U. and the U.K. have different outlets, so it might be best to invest in a multi-country adapter like this one from Amazon if you're going to a few different places.

Invest in a good neck pillow

If you have a long flight coming up, you will *definitely* want to purchase a high-quality, comfortable neck pillow. Getting sleep on long-haul flights is super important, especially if you want to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to hit the ground running wherever you're going. This versatile neck pillow from Amazon is a traveler's dream.

Add dietary restrictions to your booking

If you're flying overseas chances are you will have at least one, if not two in-flight meals. Although most of the meals are basic, if you have any dietary restrictions, add them to your flight booking ahead of time. From vegan to Kosher meals, airlines can accommodate for a multitude of diets if alerted ahead of time.

Pro tip: Most special meal requests get served first, so you won't be waiting long for your food!

Layer up

You never know what the temperature on the plane may be, and there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable on an eight-hour flight. Wear layers that you can take off and put back on as you need, preferably ones that will match with the outfits you packed (*wink*). Most airlines will provide a thin blanket on long-haul flights, but it's better to be safe than sorry. 

Learn basic phrases in your destination's native language

Heading to Paris? Pick up some French before you go. Visiting Mexico? Practice your Spanish ahead of time. Wherever you're traveling to, it's a good idea to learn a few key words and phrases in the native language. Words such as "hello," "thank you," "please" and "Sorry I don't speak ____" are helpful to know. 

Plus, locals always appreciate when visitors respect their language and culture, so don't feel embarrassed if your speaking skills aren't perfect.

Check out more travel inspo from GL!
☀️ Everything you need for a successful flight
☀️ 6 must-have travel pieces to complete any outfit
☀️ 5 tips for going on vacation with your friend's family

Where are you traveling to this summer? Show us your travel pics on Insta @girlslifemag!

Slider image: @marlafay
Top image: @gretchengeraghty
All GIFs via Giphy


by Hannah Kennedy | 6/5/2023