What to do 1 Month before Travelling Abroad for the First Time
We have taken you through the preparation process for taking your girlfriend abroad for her first international trip. We have put together a step by step guide covering what to do six months ahead of time and three months ahead of time. Now we have reached the one month prior to departure date and there is not a whole lot left to do other than buttoning up the last minute things, and shopping for the trip. Ensuring she has clothing appropriate for where you will be staying, and plenty of the cosmetics she is used to using.
As the departure date for the big trip abroad approaches there will be less and less to do. By this time your girlfriend should already have her Australian Tourist Visa in place and all plane tickets and accommodation plans should have been finalized.
Do not forget to make copies of main page of her passport and the visa page upon arrival in Australia to carry everywhere while the passport itself is in a safe location.
If you have not already done so now would be a good time to purchase travel insurance. It is not required for a tourist visa but is still a good idea.
Vaccinations should be complete by now unless there is a particular one required to go to certain remote areas and is time sensitive. Have your girlfriend check with her doctor as these are rare and depend largely on where you will be travelling while in Australia, and even the duration of the visit.
Bridging the Cultural Divide
In Thai culture the act of gift giving is very important. Not just the gift, but everything about it right down to the beautiful wrapping, and lovely bow. Spend some time in the month leading up to departure to go gift shopping with your girlfriend for all the friends and family you will be meeting on your journey. Create a list of all the people you are going to be visiting and together select an appropriate gift from Thailand. There are so many handmade gifts that show off the artisticness of Thai culture.
Make sure and purchase gift wrapping supplies such as paper and bows separately and wait until you arrive in Australia to actually wrap the gifts. You do not want customs destroying all the work you both put into making the gifts presentable.
For her, having gifts to give to your loved ones will help bring her culture to yours. It will give her something to focus on, and a reason to engage people who are new and unfamiliar. The gifts will act as an icebreaker, and give your friends and family even more of a reason to remember your sweetheart.
Call on Your Friends and Family for Help
We have put together a list of restaurants, massage places and Buddhist temples in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane for you to take your girlfriend if she gets homesick. Take it one step further by attempting to prevent homesickness. Send your friends and family ahead of time to scope out these places. Get them excited about Thai food, Thai massage and even the temple. If they are already familiar with these places it will be all that much easier and less awkward when you all go out together. This can have some added benefits as well, such as preparing your friends and family for Thai cuisine which can be very very different.
We already talked about how important food is to Thai people within their culture. If your friends and family already have an idea of Thai food they enjoy it will make it easier if you for example want to have your girlfriend cook some traditional Thai food. If you set her up ahead of time for success it will make building the relationship with your friends and family all the easier.
Know your Thai Holidays
If you will be travelling during a Thai holiday you will need to consider this, especially if it is one of the bigger ones where your girlfriend may be used to spending the day or days with her family or at temple. Plan ahead, there are various temples around the country that celebrate Thailand holidays at the same time as they do in Thailand. Prepare ahead of time, and know where the nearest temple is to your location during that time.
Preparing her Residence for time spent Away
Do not forget to prepare her residence to be vacant for the duration of your visit. This can mean anything from having plants watered and gardens tended, to mail pick up, and water and electricity being shut down. Perhaps you want to arrange a house sitter for her home, or if she is in a condo maybe you want to rent it out while you are travelling. Whatever the situation and however long your visit will be make sure to prepare her residence accordingly.
If she is renting be sure and have her discuss with her landlord. Have someone check on the house from time to time and email you if anything goes awry.
Preparing for Emergencies while Travelling
It is no fun to think about but you will need to have a plan in case of emergency. You need to prearrange someone in Australia for your girlfriend to call if the two of you get separated or if something happens to you. Talk about it, select a person you are both comfortable with and make sure they are aware that they are your emergency contact. Better to be safe than sorry.
In addition to this making a list of important names and phone numbers to be kept is extremely important. We all love our cell phones, especially smart phones, however if in the event one gets lost, stolen or broken you will need to be able to access important numbers. Make two copies, one to carry with you and one in your luggage at home.
There are many things to consider when making a trip abroad, especially if it is a first time trip. Keep these tips in mind when preparing for your trip and hopefully it will be all smooth sailing.