You want to travel somewhere new. You want to immerse in the culture, as opposed to relaxing at a resort. For your first time traveling abroad, you’ll want beautiful and interesting sights mixed in with some infrastructure and not too bad of a language barrier, so the obstacles during your travels don’t become the entire focus of your trip.
There are so many amazing locations that fit these requirements for first time international travel, but we’ve narrowed it down to five of the best places worth getting your passport ready for.
Canada is an easy country for a first trip abroad. Vancouver, BC is a top choice as a busy and beautiful city with diverse neighborhoods, but for something a little more of a stretch, why not try Montreal? In Quebec, they speak both French and English, so while you won’t have a language barrier you’ll be introduced to the idea of one. You’ll get the feel of European charm, mixed in with skyscrapers and mountain views. Delicious French cuisine. It’s North America, with a European touch.
There is so much to explore in this beautiful country! If you’re interested in outdoor adventures, this is an amazing place to travel. Visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for waterfalls and forests. See Arenal Volcano and visit the hot springs. Check out the rainforest and beaches in Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio. See a sloth in person! And eat amazing Costa Rican food. While Spanish is the main language, you’ll find a lot of English speakers here.
Southeast Asia sees a lot of English speaking travelers and they have done their best to help with the language barrier. Vietnam is a beautiful country, with colorful temples and street life and a well traveled infrastructure. Vietnam has beautiful historic cities, like Hanoi, and mountains for hiking in the Central Highlands, so there is something for everyone here. Do not miss your chance to try true Vietnamese coffee!
Iceland is a hotspot for travel right now. Most Icelanders speak enough English that the language barrier won’t be a problem and the country has adapted well to the surge of travel junkies coming here. There are lots of affordable flights to Iceland, there are black sand beaches, volcanoes, and waterfalls you can spend days staying at. Do not miss your chance to soak in the hot springs. If you can, renting a vehicle and road tripping can be an amazing experience, though there are many tours you can join which also gives you the chance to meet other travelers along the way. If you’re traveling in the winter, from October to February, you increase your chances of seeing the northern lights!
For somewhere further afield, try New Zealand. This small country is full of beautiful scenery, laid back vibes, and is just unique enough to provide the awe inspired magic of an amazing, cultural travel experience. This is another English speaking country with a reputation for being very safe. It’s also an outdoor enthusiasts dream location. Some of the best bungee jumping in the world can be had here, as well as skydiving, zorbing, whitewater rafting, heli skiing, canyoning, off roading, zip lining, and caving. And don’t forget a trip to Hobbiton!