Ensure Your First International Adventure Goes as Smoothly as Possible

International travel can be a great, even profound way, to learn about and enjoy the diversity of peoples, cultures and places the globe has to offer. The opportunity to visit and explore another country can be a life-changing experience, one not soon forgotten by the voyager making their way into an unfamiliar and exciting new destination.

Before embarking on your first international adventure, it’s important to know the steps you should take to make your trip go as smooth and enjoyably as possible. Below are several basics every novice traveler should know as they prepare for the journey of a lifetime.


More of a general idea, the idea of planning your trip ahead of time is something whose importance cannot be overstated. Knowing, planning and preparing for the many aspects of your voyage, from making a connecting flight to the most efficient route to take to your hotel, is essential to avoiding potentially demoralizing setbacks.

Passport and Visa Requirements

International travelers should always be aware of the passport and visa requirements of the destination country, as this information is essential to avoiding travel nightmares while ensuring as smooth a journey as possible. When in doubt on a country’s requirements, don’t hesitate to check out the information on the State Department website.

Notifying the Bank

Nothing is perhaps worse during an international trip than having your credit/debit card suspended by your bank due to “suspicious” activity. Be sure to notify your bank prior to your trip about where you’re going and how long you plan on being gone.

Louis C Desmarteaux is an avid and experienced international traveler, having visited all but one of the seven continents around the globe.

Make It Fun for Everyone

Being a good sport is about far more than one’s willingness to shake the opponent’s hand at the end of a contest; it’s about ensuring the game, regardless of the sport, competition or coaches involved, is played cleanly, fairly and within the rules, and that each player has done everything they could to make the game fun and fulfilling for everyone. Good sportsmanship is key to a fair, competitive and enjoyable contest, and works to maintain and promote the integrity of competition.

Several basics of good sportsmanship, and fair play, are included below.

Respect for Yourself and Others

Athletes of any age or skill level should do their best to show respect for themselves, their opponents, opposing coaches, officials and fans at all times. Treating everyone the way you would want to be treated, respecting the positions of officials and coaches, and respecting your teammates and the opposing team are all central to the concept of good sportsmanship.


Good sports are always willing to show encouragement to their teammates, especially when a mistake is made. This also applies to oneself, as the ability to forgive oneself for a mistake is key to keeping one’s head in the game, as well as refusing to let emotions take over.

Play within the Rules

Every player should do their best to respect and follow the rules of the game, regardless of the score. Respecting the rules is the most effective method for ensuring a fair and level playing field throughout the contest.

Louis C Desmarteaux operates tennis programs and clinics throughout the Greater Boston area.