Ministry of Hajj
Ministry of Hajj
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A few things you should do before visiting a foreign country

There are many benefits to traveling that people might not realize. Traveling makes you more open minded, expands your horizons, and makes you look at the world through different eyes. Today, traveling has become an integral part of people’s lives, who strive for the next journey, spend months planning every detail. However, no matter how well you plan, you need to be aware that you might miss little details that are imperative, especially when you are visiting a foreign country that you haven’t been to before. Below, we have gathered some of them with the intent on helping you make the right preparations before getting on the plane and flying overseas.

Mind the laws, rules, and regulations

In some countries, you are not allowed to take photographs in public. Not of the buildings, religious temples, mosques, and certainly not of the people. In other countries, women are not encouraged to be out without an appropriate male escort, while in other parts of the world, you should not venture out into the wilderness without a guide. It’s not just about respecting the country’s culture – it’s also about official laws and regulations. Venturing out into the desert is not advisable – but when you are on holiday, you might make some irrational decisions that might lead to a disaster. So, make sure to learn everything you can about the country. Discover the actions that are punishable by law, discover which actions are frowned upon by the locals, and discover in what ways you might make offense by accident. It will save you a world of trouble once you are there.

Pay attention to the visa regulations

Did you know that there are some countries in the world, like Saudi Arabia, where you need a sponsor and a visa to visit?

Traveling is not only about booking a flight and getting on the plane. You need to make sure that your passport is valid – and would be valid for at least six months after your visit. You need to make sure that you can get a visa upon entrance, or, if you require a visa beforehand, apply for it within time. Keep in mind that receiving a visa from the country’s embassy might take time – up to three or four months, which is why it’s important to plan for months beforehand and apply for the visa in time. In some countries, such as Russia, a mere sponsorship from the hotel where you’d be staying at is sufficient, but in other countries, you might need to pay for the visa and the whole trip beforehand. Once you arrive there, you will receive guides who will be with you throughout the visit, which means, in essence, that you would be sharing your holiday with them. Learning everything you can about the country’s visa regulations will ensure that you will not find yourself in unusual situations you are not prepared for, or worse, not getting admitted into the country at all.

Make sure you can drive internationally

Make sure to do your research and discover whether, with your current driving license, you can drive in other countries. Don’t worry if you aren’t allowed – getting an international permit is not very difficult, and most car rental companies offer insurance as well. However, if you do not ensure this, you might break the law and end up needing to pay a fine if you are pulled over by the police. The good news is that most driving licenses are accepted, as long as you have the necessary documents and insurance, but that does not mean that you should just skip this step and go ahead and rent the car. Also, do not rely on the car rental company to give you all the information you will need – especially if that information means you would not be renting the car in the end. Get your information from official sources, and make sure that you follow the necessary steps to obtain everything you need to drive a car in the foreign country.

Equip your electronics

Different parts of the world use different electrical outlets. You might be unable to use your electronics without replacing your adapters with ones that will match the electric outlets in the foreign countries. Most people, regardless of the purpose of the visit, be it recreational or business in nature, take their laptops, tablets or iPads and smartphones with them. Even if you are only using your laptop to play your favorite games to claim bonuses, you would need the right adapters to plug it in. You should be able to find the correct adapters once you are in the country, in case you don’t equip properly before leaving, but if the foreign country does not get a lot of tourists, chances are they wouldn’t have interchangeable adapters on hand.

Mind your finances

A lot of people are surprised when they hear that they should inform their bank that they would be leaving the country. Later on, when the bank freezes their account due to detecting foreign activity on the card, they are surprised and more than a little perturbed. In fact, their holiday might be ruined, especially if it's only supposed to last a week. Imagine, spending five days out of ten on your holiday unable to use any money. To continue, and you have international phone calls to do to let the bank know that it is really you who is using the card and that it hasn’t been stolen, which is a lot of hassle on holiday. In the end, you might end up spending several days in a foreign country with the cash you have in your pocket as your only means of getting by. You do not want this to happen because visits to foreign countries are unpredictable and exciting at best, and incredibly frustrating at worst – and having your account frozen when you are overseas is one of the worst things that can happen to you. So, let your bank know where you will be going, where you will be staying, and the duration of the trip. This way, the bank will be aware that there is nothing sinister going on and you will be able to enjoy your visit to a foreign country in peace.