The To-Do List of Newbie Traveler

I have only been to few countries, seven to be exact.

But I would like to share my experience.

I hope this helps you to decide in:

1) How to go about with your final preparation, if you are already planning your trip.

2) To finally decide to travel, if you are still undecided.

3) To remove your fear and/or doubt if you can do it or not.

4) To restore your faith in the goodness of mankind regardless of the race.

In my previous post I have mentioned that I have traveled to Thailand. The first country I had the opportunity to visit.

How was the feeling?

I was excited. I was nervous. I was anxious.

What kept me calmed was that I went to Thailand with a group of colleagues from the University.

I realized later on that I felt those negative vibes for nothing!

There was no need to be skeptical about traveling.

Follow the laws of your country and the laws of the country you are visiting. You will be fine.

It’s normal to feel pessimistic the first time. You will get used to it!

And always be alert. Do not just trust anybody.

How did I prepare?

1) Check your passport. Is it expired? How many months more before the expiration date.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA, Philippines) says your passport must be at least six-months valid for you to be able to travel abroad.

For those in the USA, the Consulate General of the Philippines in California requires that the passport should be renewed 8 months prior to expiration.

2) Check your visa. You can go to the website of the country you are visiting if it requires a visa or not.

So far there are more than 60 countries which Filipinos can visit without the need to apply for a visa before they leave the Philippines.

Please find below the list of countries and territories where Philippine passport holders can visit visa-free (ABS-CBN News, January 13, 2018).

Armenia: Visa on arrival
Bolivia: Visa-free
Brazil: Visa-free
Brunei: Visa-free
Cambodia: Visa-free

Cape Verde: Visa on arrival
Colombia: Visa-free
Comoros: Visa on arrival
Costa Rica: Visa-free
Cote d’Ivoire: Visa-free

Djibouti: Visa on arrival
Dominica: Visa on arrival
Ecuador: Visa-free
Fiji: Visa-free
Gambia: Visa-free

Guinea-Bissau: Visa on arrival
Haiti: Visa-free
Hong Kong: Visa-free
India: e-visa
Indonesia: Visa-free

Iran: Visa on arrival
Israel: Visa-free
Kenya: Visa on arrival/e-visa
Kyrgyztan: Visa on arrival
Laos: Visa-free

Macao: Visa-free
Madagascar: Visa on arrival
Malawi: Visa on arrival
Malaysia: Visa-free
Maldives: Visa on arrival

Marshall Islands: Visa on arrival
Mauritania: Visa on arrival
Mauritius: Visa on arrival
Micronesia: Visa-free
Mongolia: Visa-free

Morocco: Visa-free
Mozambique: Visa on arrival
Myanmar: Visa-free
Nepal: Visa on arrival
Nicaragua: Visa on arrival

Palau: Visa on arrival
Palestinian Territories: Visa-free
Papua New Guinea: Visa on arrival
Peru: Visa-free
Rwanda: Visa-free

Saint Lucia: Visa on arrival
Samoa: Visa on arrival
Seychelles: Visitor’s permit
Singapore: Visa-free
Sri Lanka: eTA

St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Visa-free
Taiwan: Visa-free
Tajikistan: Visa on arrival/e-Visa
Tanzania: Visa on arrival
Thailand: Visa-free

Timor-Leste: Visa on arrival
Togo: Visa on arrival
Trinidad and Tobago: Visa on arrival
Tuvalu: Visa on arrival
Uganda: Visa on arrival

Vanuatu: Visa-free
Vietnam: Visa-free

3) Check out the currency of the country you are visiting. It is better if you have a certain amount of that currency before leaving your country. Less hassle in going out of the airport.

Although once you reach the country of your destination, you can always change your money into their currency. There are money changers at the airports.

When I went to Bali, Indonesia I didn’t have with me Rupiah. I needed to change US dollars at the airport. I needed Rupiah to pay the taxi driver which brought me to the hotel.

Taxi drivers accept US dollars. And they were very forward in telling the tourists that!

It is better though to use the currency of their country to avoid being taken advantage of.

If you really need to use the money changers at the airports, compare the rates first. They offer different rates.

4) Familiarize yourself with the exchange rate from your currency to the currency of your destination country.

Sometimes it is confusing. Especially if the exchange rate involves thousands! P100 (one hundred Philippine pesos) is equals to 27,393 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah).

Be careful with your money in buying stuff to bring home for your family and friends.

5) Book your flight. The earlier, the better. It is cheaper if you book early.

Others use travel agents.

I downloaded the app of the airline and monitored for weeks the price of the ticket.

My round trip ticket to Ho Chi Mihn, Vietnam in 2016 was only around P6,000. I booked it months before my travel.

I checked the price two weeks before my flight because my daughter became interested in joining me but it was already around P16,000!

6) Book for a place to stay before you leave the country.

I used agoda.com in booking a hotel.

For those who are attending an event (paper presentation, seminar, conferences) it is cheaper to stay at a hotel or inn near the venue of such event.

A walking distance from the vevue is the best. It saves you money for shopping later on.

7) Bring all the receipts of your transactions.

The plane ticket, the hotel online payment, the registration online receipt (for those attending an event).

8) Bring your usb/flash drive where you saved your files for paper presenters.

* Email to yourself the files you need for your presentation. This is a precaution in case your usb/flash drive will not be opened.

9) Bring all papers and identification cards which you think you will be needing at the Immigration if you are visiting a country with visa like USA.

(Photo by Lessons Learned in Life Inc.)

Please feel free to add to my list under the Comment section. Let us all learn together.

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