Things to remember when planning a foreign trip

Fruits of a momentary dream of being a tourist..

I got excited about a prospect of going abroad (USA specifically) before realizing it would be too costly. Before the realization dawned, I spend a few hours searching the Internet about how a first-time foreign tourist does things.

I won't be able to go abroad yet, but hey, at least I got a blog post out of it. :D

Maybe this can be of some help to somebody else who may be planning their first foreign trip.


Book your flights in advance. Tickets could be cheaper during some seasons.

Two-way flight tickets are usually cheaper than two one-way tickets.


Customs or some authority may not allow some things like certain kinds of electronic gadgets or may demand to examine it.

Just pointing out a possibility, not saying it would happen.


The electronic devices that you use in your home country may not work as it is with electricity supply of another country. Things like voltage and power sockets may be different.

Voltage and frequency

Check the device and its parts including wires and adapters. If something like the following is mentioned

100-240V 50-60Hz

it probably means your electronic device can work okay using the electricity supply available in most countries, including the US.

But you may still have to buy an adaptor to fit your device's plug into power outlet socket.

Power socket

Different countries have different power outlet sockets. You laptop charger, for instance, may not fit into the power outlets available in the country that you are visiting.

Checkout this website:


For visiting annual conferences, tourism, etc in USA, you need a B1 visa. It's a non-immigrant visa.

Apply early. It apparently can take some time to get processed.

In the case of USA, those who have never visited USA before would have to undergo an interview at a US consulate or embassy.

Based on what I found on the internet, it seems that the main aim of this interview is to gauge how likely you are to remain in USA even after you visa expires.

People at the embassy got lot of applications to take care of and are obviously busy people. Go with all proper documents. They won't have lot of time to spend with you.



Credit card is one of the most important things you need when you go abroad. It seems that most hotels would refuse to give you a room if you haven't got a credit card. Debit card is not sufficient.

Keep some money in some form for various things including, but in no way limited to,

Also keep some local currency (ie, physical cash) with you if you can get hold of some.

Phone and internet

If you can get International roaming pack on your existing SIM, it could be the easiest way to have internet connection (though it may be slow) when you are abroad for a short duration.


Keep some ID proof with you at all times.

Your hotel may keep your passport with them till you check out, so that probably means you would have to some other ID document.

I guess that means your visa. It possibly means that you would need to keep your visa papers with you at all times.


(Originally written in November 2021 or earlier)