Travelling Abroad For The First Time All You Need To Know

Ankita Shriram won a Sky scanner contest, and she traveled across London and Paris in an all-expense paid trip. We spoke with her about her first international trip. She also has some tips for first-time travelers. Before you incorporate these tips, here’s some good news: We’ve already made your travel life much simpler, and the Sky scanner 3-in-1 app makes your flight, car and hotel bookings easier.

1. What are the top three most important things a first-time Indian traveler should remember?

There is no limit to the amount of information you can have. It’s great to have spontaneity, but it’s also fun to plan ahead. For example, I was told my pick-up location for the hop-on, hop-off bus tour of London was at Piccadilly Circus, but I arrived there to find that there was no bus. I was unable to make inquiries as I did not know the name of the bus operator. Make sure to have all information, emergency contacts, and names. Your balance can quickly be drained by making calls from abroad. Call rates can be as high as 300 rupees per hour.

Consider activating an international roaming package for short trips. For extended stays, you can get a Matrix SIM, calling card, or local SIM. You may be able to make an emergency phone call to your hotel receptionist if you are kind enough. A travel card and a map are two things you can’t live without. You can use all the local transport within a city or country for a set amount of time. It is also the cheapest way to travel. The pocket map will help you find the main attractions and where to get there by train/bus/other local transportation. It was expensive to get a travel card in London, and I lost it. One-way tickets on the tube can run up to five pounds.

2. 2. Did this trip dispel any myths about traveling overseas for the first-time?

Every trip should be memorable! I’ve heard it said that French tourists are rude. They were not rude at all. In fact, they were very gracious and helpful. Although accent was a little difficult, they were willing to help with directions using gestures.

3. Which are your top tips for Indians who travel abroad for the first-time?

Be light but not too light. I am a very light traveler and realized this the first time that I was running out of clothes. Be sure to only bring the essentials, but make room for any knickknacks. If you’re going to be traveling in summer, avoid heavy jackets and don’t bring too many snacks. Instead, enjoy the local cuisine. Do not be afraid to speak with strangers. When you travel alone, it’s a good idea to meet other tourists. You can learn so much from people from different cultures and countries. Although I had many interesting conversations with people, I never exchanged contact information. Now, I wish I had. If you don’t have personal care items, ask for them. You will find soaps, shampoos, and dental kits in India. But, they are often available on request. Keep your passport with you at all times. Don’t keep your cash in one spot. My friend witnessed an Indian tourist in Paris lose his passport and wallet to a pickpocket. Your passport should be kept safe – best in a bag or pouch. Also, keep some cash with you in your suitcase in case of robbery.

4. Do you have two things that one should bring on a trip to another country?

You can’t live without toiletries. My London hotel provided me with a simple shampoo and shower gel that didn’t suit my hair and skin. It is important to have a moisturizer and conditioner with you because the weather can be drier. You have enough foreign currency in cash and coins Cash is the easiest to work with and accepted everywhere. Cash is easy to work with, and it’s accepted everywhere. You’ll always need change. Keep plenty of cash on hand. You can use your international debit card to shop at large stores. Credit cards work better.

5. What was your most memorable experience with Parisian and Londoners?

A lot of what you meet when you travel solo is dependent on who you meet. Parisians were friendly and open-hearted. They had a lot of heart. The Londoners were also helpful, but not as warm and welcoming as the French. My trip to England was made memorable by the company of some Asian tourists.

6. What was your overall experience with Sky scanner prior to, during, and after the contest?

Sky scanner has been excellent – very supportive and prompt in their response to queries and doubts. I’m also amazed at the speed with which we managed to work out the details of the trip – I was in London in less than two months after winning the contest  Also, I really like the concept behind Sky scanner – I found out recently that a few of my friends do use it to compare flight rates. I hope you guys will have another contest. Sky scanner makes it easy to book flights, hotels, and rental cars abroad, no matter if you’re new or seasoned traveler. You can do all of these on our mobile apps too.

Maxine B. Sandoval

Road To Paradiso is a travel blog that brings out the travel companion stories together so that anyone can learn from the experiences and decide which city to wander, what travel items to carry, and what time to visit.

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