It can be hard to know what you should do first when arriving in to a foreign country (other than finding your accommodation of course). Now, I have been in many different countries on my travels across the globe, so I have devised some tips that you may find useful, that definitely helped me out. Below listed are some things for you to consider when you first arrive into a new location.
Avoid the Currency Exchange at Airports:
If you have not stocked up on local currency, or simply need additional funds, avoid Currency Exchange services at all costs. As long as you have informed your bank of your intentions to travel to the location you are in, you should be able to use ATMs, which will allow you access to local currency at much better rates.
Get a Feel For the Area Around Your Accommodation:
Try and spend a few hours exploring the streets and side roads around your accommodation to get a feel for things. You will be spending a lot of time walking around here, from heading out to get food, to just simple things like shopping or hitting up the beach. Try and find out if your accommodation is served by public transport, or is at least near a public transport stop. You will also be able to avoid less desirable areas far easier.
How Long Do You Intend to Stay In Your Location?
If you intend on staying in a location for a considerable period of time, it may be worthwhile to open a bank account in the country you have chosen to visit. Similarly, it may make better financial sense to start hunting for reasonable rental accommodation, rather than paying for hotels and hostels.
Intending to Drive Abroad?
If you intend on driving in the location of your choosing, check the local traffic regulations first. I learned the hard way that my home licence was not valid in some locations, or needed to be exchanged for local licences in others. Making this mistake – driving under the assumption you have the right to do so, could lead you into considerable trouble with local law enforcement. You will also need to ensure that your level of cover for insurance is sufficient for that country (and indeed valid in the first place).
Try & Obtain Internet Access:
One of the first things I do when getting into a foreign country is getting access to the internet. Even just to let loved ones know that you have arrived safely into the country, having internet access is very important. It will also allow you to research local sights, order food and plot paths with Street View. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how useful the internet is however, so I’ll drop it!
Armed with these ideas, you will be able to settle into your new location with ease. Best of luck with your travels!