MUMBAI: A Turkish hammam in Istanbul, skydiving in Dubai, Oktoberfest in Munich or a drive to the picturesque Isle of Skye in Scotland—what are you planning to do in your first overseas trip? Travelling is fun but it is perfect only when it is budgeted for. Here’s a cheat sheet for your first overseas trip
PASSPORT AND VISA
Passport costs approximately ₹1,500 for a fresh application and ₹2,000 for a tatkal application. If you are planning to go abroad and don’t have a passport, apply for it well in advance to avoid last minute hurdles. The visa fee depend upon the duration of your visit and the cost varies from country to country.
“Countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Maldives, Tanzania, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Jordan and Seychelles offer visa on arrivals. The fee can range from $20 (around ₹1,400) to $135 (around ₹9,500) and more. You can get a visa-free entry in countries such as Bhutan, Indonesia, Nepal and Serbia," said Milind Bhide, managing director, Countryside Adventure Holidays.
“Some countries need you to pay in order to enter or leave the country. These are not included in the airfares and can range from $25 (around ₹1,700) to $200 (around ₹14,000)," said Bhide. For example, when you are flying out of Bali, you need to pay a departure tax of $15 (around ₹1,000).
Travel insurance is a must for going abroad, as any unforeseen medical issue can cost you dearly. “In general, travel policies cost from 4%-10% of your total trip cost. For example, if you purchase a trip with the total cost of $6000 (around ₹4.19 lakh), your travel insurance policies will range from $300-$600 (around ₹20,000 to ₹42,000), depending on the variables," said Bhide. A travel insurance provides medical assistance, during trip cancellations, delays and other interruptions during the trip, he added. Some countries require compulsory vaccinations and immunisations. For instance, if you are travelling to Kenya, you have to take a vaccination for yellow fever. Travel insurance usually doesn’t cover vaccination costs.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE FEE
You will also need to convert currency to travel overseas. Currency charges vary across countries and agencies. “Not only do the charges differ but also the exchange rates used by the agencies. The charges generally vary from ₹150 to ₹10,000 or 1% of the value of transaction," said Sudarshan Motwani, founder, Bookmyforex.com
CARD TRANSACTION AND WITHDRAWAL CHARGES
While travelling overseas, it is prudent to carry money in a mix of cash and card.
“The foreign transaction charge can range from 1.5%-3.5% of the total transaction amount. The network will automatically charge a conversion fee of 1%-2% fee on foreign currency exchange. Cash withdrawals can cost you 1%-4% in addition to the standard cash withdrawal rate for your credit card," according to Navin Chandani, chief business development officer, Bankbazaar.com.
CELLULAR SERVICE PROVIDER EXPENSES
To navigate in another country, you will need phone connectivity too. “Data costs should always be accounted for in your travel budget," said Bhide. Ask your cellular provider for international travel plans or get a local sim. The plan may cost between ₹290 and ₹600 for a day, depending on the country you visit.
There are other costs such as flight tickets, accommodation, food, shopping, sightseeing fees and gifts. However, don’t forget to do basic due diligence before opting for travel insurance, checking currency exchange charges with multiple platforms and evaluating card transactions costs in detail.