I hear you want to take your first trip over the pond! Look at you! Don’t worry you got this! There are so many blogs, articles and friends you can ask to help you take that leap! I was three for my first international trip and it included my parents and three siblings packing us up and moving to England! I was young so I don’t remember much about it but as an adult these are the things I suggest you do and plan for when going abroad.
Passport- You definitely need a passport. Not just a passport card but the actual passport. You can read up on this at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html Passports run about $160. $110 for the passport, $35 for the processing fee and $15 for the Post Office photo. You can take your own photo with the passport photo maker app, or even at your local drug store. My suggestion would be just going to the post office and getting everything done in a few quick steps. Current passports must have at least two blank pages and must be valid for at least six months after you get back, depending on the destination.
Credit Card- a credit card is not necessary but it can be very beneficial. A good starter credit card is the Capital One Venture. There’s no annual fee and you get points per dollar spent on travel. You can use this credit card for deposits as sometimes using a debit card there may be a larger amount held which may take away from your overall budget if you don’t have a large enough balance or plan properly. Also be sure to make sure your cc doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees or that alone can tie up additional funds.
Cash- Depending on where you are traveling, some countries don’t accept US credit cards. For instance Cuba doesn’t accept US credit or debit cards. I was forced budget properly to take cash. China which seems pretty tech savvy was another challenge as some places accepted my US cc and others didn’t. Again I couldn’t use my debit card to get money out of the ATM to then exchange for their currency. I also recommend always taking small bills for tips.
Packing- Now this is totally up to you but I always make sure I pack clothes, toiletries, feminine products (as these are sometimes difficult to find in other countries) a camera, charger and tripod. I am team carry on for many reasons but the main one being, you never know what kind of situation you could end up in. Some buildings may not have elevators or properly working elevators, wide doorways, the car could have a tiny trunk, etc. I also just don’t want to be lugging around anything in case my accommodations change for any reason.
Cell Phone- Find out if your cell phone will work? This is important especially if you plan to use Uber, Lyft, Maps or any other service to assist you with your travels once abroad. Confirm if you have an international plan and what the cost is.
Travel Insurance- Some cc’s offer free travel insurance so be sure to look into all of your options. Find out which medical services your primary health insurance covers abroad, and consider adding whatever it doesn’t cover to the travel insurance policy’s medical plan.
Vaccinations- Determine whether vaccinations are required and or suggested for the destination you are traveling to. you can search this information at https://www.passporthealthusa.com/vaccinations/
Adapter- Keep in mind that not all electrical outlets are the same. A universal charge can be a game changer while traveling abroad. https://www.amazon.com/universal-charger/s?k=universal+charger
Remember to ask for help, everyone has to start somewhere. There are too may resources to be left in the dark about something that you could have easily asked for googled.