To make planning your big trip as easy as possible, start with these 7 tips:
1. Be prepared
Do your research and find out if you need a visa or a work permit where you are going. Try to arrange a job and a place to stay before you go. Learn at least a few word of the local language and get clued in on local do’s and dont’s.
Sometimes even the best laid plans can go wrong so make sure you buy a return ticket just in case things don’t work out. Some countries may not be admitted without a return ticket.
If you are going backpacking, read the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s guide to backpacking and adventure tourism. Always check the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s travel advice for the country you plan to visit and their ‘Know before you go’ information
2. Bring your essential documents
Make sure you have a valid passport, your birth certificate (or at least a copy of it), your driving licence and the appropriate visa if required. Make copies and save them to your email.
If you’re going to be looking for work, bring evidence of your qualifications and references from your previous employers along with your up to date CV.
If you became an Irish citizen by naturalisation you need to register annually to make sure you retain your Irish citizenship while you’re abroad. Download and complete Form 5 from the Immigration Service then send it by email to Citizenshipdeclarations@justice.ie.
3. Money matters
It might sound obvious but make sure you save money in advance. Setting up in a new country can be expensive, especially if you’re not moving over with a job. Have enough money to support yourself until you find a job or in case of emergency. Get an idea of the cost of living where you are going at www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/.
Find out if you can use your Irish bank cards in your chosen destination. Ask your bank and make sure you let them know before you go. Try to use cards rather than cash but have a small amount of cash in the local currency just in case
4. Get travel and medical insurance
Make sure you are covered and get travel insurance before you go.
It’s also worth getting medical / health insurance as you may not be covered by the healthcare system in your chosen country with out it. If you are going to an EU countryon a short break, you can also get a European Health Insurance Card from your local Health Office before you go. See www.ehic.ie for details.
5. Have some contacts where you are going
Bring any contacts you have on accommodation and jobs, as well family or friends in your country of destination. Emailing these contacts to yourself is a good way to keep them safe. For peace of mind, leave a copy of your planned itinerary with family or friends in Ireland.
Download the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade TravelWise app and register your contact details. Look up any local Irish contacts like support organisations, GAA clubs, business networks etc. Also make sure you have contact details for your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate in case you need help while you’re away.
6. Don’t travel without…
- A valid passport and at least one other form of photo ID
- An entry or work visa if it is required (without this you could face detention or even deportation in some countries)
- Medical prescriptions and records if you need regular medication or have an existing medical condition
Give yourself time to adjust, things will be different to Ireland and this is all part of the experience. Mind yourself and read these #3thingstoknow to mind how you go.