Tips For First Time Travelers


The first time that I ever went abroad was
back in 2007 when I studied in Spain. Over the last few days I have racked my brain trying
to remember what kinds of worries and questions I had before my trip and answer them so that
if you’re thinking about traveling abroad, at least you’ll have the answers to the
things that I worried about before my first trip abroad. Hey everyone! I’m Dana and you’re watching
Wanted Adventure Living Abroad. My first and biggest concern was what would
happen at the airport? How did it work entering another country and then also what would happen
on the way back when I wanted to re-enter America? This concern also included what would
happen with my luggage? If I had multiple flights, when did I need to pick up my bag and when would it just go through to my final destination? As for the first part, getting into Spain
was pretty uneventful. As an American, I automatically had a 90-day tourist visa, which meant that
I didn’t have to fill out any special paperwork. This also applies for most of the other European
countries. I simply arrived, followed the signs to the exit, got in line behind everyone
else, and then told the person at the border that I was there as a tourist for three months.
I did have the paperwork of my booked return flight home, just in case they asked me for it, but they didn’t. They just stamped my passport and I went through. But keep in mind that every country is different,
and it also depends on which country you’re from, so make sure to look into it before
you buy your plane ticket anywhere. I will put some helpful links in the description
below. When flying into many places around the world,
you’ll have to fill out a customs declaration, which is a skinny little paper they give to
you on the flight. You write down how much stuff you’re bringing into the country with
you and what it’s worth, and sometimes you also have to mark whether or not you were
on a farm abroad or if you’re bringing any food with you. And, yeah, definitely don’t forget about
that apple at the bottom of your backpack when flying into America because, well, that’s
a video in and of itself. Regarding luggage, generally, if you’ve
booked your flights all together with one airline, your luggage will just go through
to the final destination. So if you’ve booked a ticket from California to France on Delta,
but you have to stop and change planes in London, as long as you paid for it all as
one and with that one airline, your bags should just go through all the way to France, but
I would suggest you check at the ticket counter every time when you check in your bags just
to be sure. Flying into America, however, it’s different.
In America, you have to pick up your bags and go through customs in the first city that
you touch down in no matter what kind of a ticket you have. So if you are flying from Germany to Florida
with a layover in Chicago, when you touch down in Chicago, that’s your first U.S.
city, so you have to get your luggage from baggage claim at the airport, go through customs,
check your bag once again, then go through security again, because you might have taken
something dangerous out of your luggage, and then you fly on to your final destination in
America. Okay, something else that I wondered about…money.
Should I get traveler’s checks? Would my debit card work in the ATMs abroad? What did
I need to do? First of all, my experience was that traveler’s
checks are just not practical anymore. I did bring some with me, but I had a really hard
time finding a bank that would cash them, and my overall experience was just they were
just too much of hassle to use. My debit card did work in the ATMs, and I
found that that was really the best way to get money out abroad. But just be sure to
call your bank and let them know ahead of time that you’ll be going abroad and for
how long so that they can mark that in the system, and then that way they don’t think
that someone stole your card and then block your account because the last thing you want
while you’re traveling abroad is a blocked bank account. But in addition to that, I would also recommend
exchanging some money before you go, just so that you have some cash in the local currency
when you land in case you should need it for anything. Keep in mind, that in a lot of places
around the world, people don’t pay with plastic like they do in America. Cash is king,
so make sure that you have some on hand at all times. Oh, and don’t try paying with a personal
check from your bank. That doesn’t work. You can’t cash them at the banks abroad
either. So if someone wants to give you some money while you’re traveling abroad, mailing
you a personal check won’t do the trick. They should just wire it into your bank account. Okay, a few more quick tips! Just don’t bring your blow drier and hair
straightener with you. Even if you buy an adapter and a converter, you’ll still probably
fry the device. Just buy a local one when you arrive. Also something else to buy upon arrival, if
you have an unlocked smartphone, instead of paying the horrendous roaming fees, just buy
a pre-paid card at your travel destination. And lastly something you should definitely
buy before leaving your home country: all the electronic adapters you’ll need. This is because, the adapters only go one
way and I’ve found, for example here in Germany, it’s easy to find adapters for people getting
ready to travel elsewhere, such as Germany to the UK or Germany to America adapters,
but it’s not so easy to find the equipment adapting to the German system here. So bottom
line, just buy it before you go. So my question for you of course is: what
other questions or concerns do you have about traveling? Please let me know in the comments
below, and I will certainly try my best to answer them if I can! Thanks so much for watching. Please don’t
forget to subscribe and hit that like button, and also be sure to check me out on Twitter
and my Facebook page for more photos and updates. Until next time, auf Wiedersehen! I’m ready! And action!

39 thoughts on “Tips For First Time Travelers

  1. What's this apple-on-the-bottom-of-your-backpack story? Will there be a video about that? 😉
    And great advice about the adapters! I had no idea! 🙂

  2. So funny I was just sitting here wondering about luggage.  I have a LAYOVER in the US from Germany to Belize… I am wondering if I still will have to go through customs haha.

  3. Hey Dana, just wanted to say that I just checked out your channel and I really like your videos 😀 Keep up the good work! It was very nice to meet you at YouTube Space Berlin (I was interviewed by you for "Easy Languages" on Saturday), maybe we'll see again 🙂

  4. Where can you get adapters from? Also, where can you exchange your money from dollars to Euros within the US?

  5. +1 for debit cards, though I remember that some German establishments only taking Eurocard when I was there, & it looks like some places choke on American cards these days.

    A couple of funny stories from my trip to America (which is foreign to me except for what we see on movies): I bought US$400 at my local Australian bank, in shiny $50 bills. I didn't know that people think you're a money launderer or something if you use notes bigger than twenties, hehe.

    Also, immigration & customs was fine arriving at San Francisco, but when I took the bus through the tunnel under the river from Detroit to Windsor, Canada, the Canadian official went through all my not very exciting stuff. Not what I was expecting!

  6. You were entering as a tourist for your study abroad? I'm studying abroad in the U.S. for a very brief amount of time as a Canadian, and I had to get a bunch of paperwork done. How does entering the U.S. work for study?

  7. That customs declaration is a legal document, if you forget that apple in your backpack they'll make sure you'll never forget again. 🙂

  8. I like this channel, but every time I hear "America", I cannot help but cringe. For such an "international" person, I would hope Dana would use "US", "USA", "the states", or whatever. But America is a continent, not a country…

  9. Many countries support a 4 digit PIN number only for debit cards while US allows more digits. Be sure your PIN is only 4 digits when traveling.

  10. IBTD on one little thing: I never took cash with me travelling to foreign countries. It's generally just not necessary. In my experience so far (notably Morocco, China and Russia), all I had to do after arriving was looking for the nearest ATM at the destination airport, shove my VISA card into it and get cash in the local currency out. Friends travelling with me confirmed even german debit-cards were actually working in chinese ATMs 🙂 But of course, that comes with some charge, while (finding the right bank of course), a VISA card can be totally free of charge.

  11. Great video! Your voice is both calming and welcoming to the experience of traveling for the first time. Im going to Europe for the first time ever in a few months which I have wanted to for my entire life but lately as the time gets closer I have been suffering from anxiety of the unknown. D'you have any pre-travel anxieties or worries? If so how d'you deal with it? Would love to hear back x

  12. This was so helpful. Thankyou. Btw do I need to get a sim from the country I visit. But hows that possible ?

  13. In my experience, in many international airports you can pay with USD. So whenever I travel abroad, I pack my Dollars I still have from my last trip to the US. For instance, in an airport in Indonesia they wouldn't accept my Visa Card, but I could pay cash with USD. Even some countries accept it, we could pay with USD in Egypt almost everywhere.

  14. Ok, now that I (an American) am traveling to Germany in less than 2 months, I'd like more advice on cell phones. I use ATT and the last time I traveled abroad, I didn't have a cell phone. So, this is my only area I have NO experience. Let the advice begin…..

  15. Why can't I bring my hair irons with me? I am travelling to the states from Canada. It will be my first time travelling alone and I haven't been on a plane in 16 years (I was only like 9). Also, do you have a list of things you need to bring when travelling abroad? ie. documents etc.?

  16. On the tip for foreign SIM cards, if you're travelling to Canada bear in mind that only Canadian residents can get a SIM card in Canada so you will probably have to pay the roaming charges unless your provider has a travel abroad option/package/deal.

  17. I loved your video, can you go over the customs form a bit more into detail? Do you use tsa approved locks when traveling internationally? What is better when traveling internationally to check a bag or carry on?

  18. Horrible if you have a international debet card like Visa, Mastercard or American Express in Munich or in many other parts in Germany. Even if some stores except them many only allow you to use the german "EC" card. So you are right. Cash is king in Germany.

  19. I haven't done any long distance traveling from My Home City since I was 12 y/o! Just local! Pretty Sad Eh?

  20. We once had those adapter plugs, that fit into a Schuko socket and accept a wide variety of plugs from different countries, for sale in our shop. But then my boss received a regulatory action stating we weren't allowed to sell them anymore because of safety issues. (e.g. the pins of some plugs could be partially exposed if the plug is not fully inserted and certain plugs would only make live and neutral contact, but no ground contact.)

    Surprisingly, the other way around didn't seem to be a problem. We still have essentially the same adapters that accept nearly all plugs used somewhere in the world (with exactly the same "safety issues") for use with British, Swiss, American or Australian sockets. I don't know why that seems to be fine while the other way around is not. But maybe that foolish bureaucracy is one of the reasons why you hardly find any adapters to use a foreign plug with a Schuko socket in Germany.

  21. In my country we uses 220 volts, if i bring my laptop, phone and other gadgets to germany will it be useful? Or i should just buy in the country?because i think europe uses different volts and plug???? Thank you. Good information.

  22. I have never traveled in life, but if I have any concerns then it would be: (some may sound stupid)

    1. How does the whole flight system works? Where to find my plane? What do I have to do there first when I arrive? How different is the orientation in airport between my country and others (for the way back)?
    2. How does the whole hotel booking+flight works?
    3. How do I oritentate myself in a foreign city? What do I do if I get lost?
    4. How do I travel from one big city to the next? Especially if they are far apart. And do I have enough time to explore before going back to hotel? When is the best time to back before it's too late? Or do you book a separate hotel while being in another city?
    5. How much cash should I bring? How dangerous is it to bring too much?
    6. Where do I store all the stuff I bought when it doesn't fit into my luggage? Is there a way to send stuff back home without going home?
    7. What kind of "paper" do I need? I know I need the ticket, identity card and passport. Is there more? I don't want to get stuck anywhere because of missing paper.
    8. Does my smartphone have internet overseas? I know I have it on my country and in EU as roaming. But does it also work for NA?

  23. Legit only just realised that your title says

    Tips for first time travelers

    for first time travelers

    first time travelers

    T I M E T R A V E L E R S

  24. I am 11 and going from California to Canada please help I am worried I'm ganna be late or get lost ahh I am scared slash stressed XD

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