Should you take a trip abroad this year or stay closer to home? If you’ve never been abroad or you don’t have much experience with going to other countries, you might decide to travel domestically once again, but there are actually many good reasons to consider a trip abroad.
Cheaper Than Domestic Travel
People often assume that traveling abroad will be more expensive than staying at home. Often, this is not the case. Many other countries have lower costs of living. Sometimes, the cost of a flight is the biggest expense, but if you book with budget airline, this may not even be the case. Before you make a decision, do some research. Find out what accommodations and meals cost in several countries that interest you. Look beyond hotels as well into renting a house or apartment or staying in a hostel, which may offer private and family rooms for a fraction of the cost of a hotel. To save more money, look into going during the off season or shoulder seasons when there are fewer tourists around. Prices usually drop at these times.
Get Dental Care
You might not have considered combining dental care with a trip abroad, but many people find that they can take their entire family on vacation more than once and get dental work done, such as implants or root canals, for a fraction of what the dental work alone would cost at home. Many dentists who cater to international visitors speak good English and are trained in countries like the U.S. and the U.K. Do some research on your options and see what patients have said about their experience. As an extra precaution, you can also get insurance for dental treatment abroad. This offers many of the same benefits that you would get from a regular travel insurance policy, such as coverage for cancellations, items that are lost or stolen, and accidental injury or illness.
Broaden Your Horizons
If you haven’t left the country before, going abroad can be a great way to broaden your horizons. If you have children, it can be an even more profound experience for them. Visiting another country teaches you that other people are both very different from you and very much like you. Seeing how differently people in other places approach everyday things in life, from when they tend to eat meals, to how they spend their leisure time, to how they dress, while also seeing how similar they are to you can be life changing.
There are several good ways to connect with locals as well if you are interested. Some families rent out rooms to tourists. Others may offer special tours or other types of experiences, such as cooking classes. You can find information about these and many other opportunities online.
Learn a Language
Traveling abroad can also provide a great opportunity to learn a language or improve your language skills. Even if you don’t plan to study the language, you should at least learn how to say a few polite words and phrases, such as hello, please, thank you, and may I have. The advantage of doing this is not just to be polite to your hosts. When you have made the effort to learn a little bit of the language, you will be surprised at how many doors open to you and how much better your experience will be. Locals recognize and appreciate these efforts.
If you are interested in more formal study, you can look into language schools. There may be a variety of different types of classes on offer at different levels. These often include other immersive experiences, such as a homestay. You also get many opportunities to practice the language if you are attending classes with other students from many different countries and the language you are studying is the only one that you all have in common.
See the World
It’s true that there is plenty to see in your own country–probably a never-ending supply of things to see, wherever you live–but there is so much to see abroad as well. These might be some of the great wonders of the world, whether they are ancient sites, natural landscapes or more modern developments. Many people do not realize just how extraordinary the world is until they leave their own country. Whether your interests are history, hiking, nightlife, wildlife, food, art, sports, or almost anything else, you can find it in a different and interesting flavour when you visit another country.