You’re excited to go to that exotic place for your upcoming vacation, but to have a carefree time, it’s wise to invest a little time in advance to make sure you’ve got your base covered. Follow this checklist of 7 Tips You Must Do Before Your Next International Trip to make sure your finances are in order, that you have packed well and that your travel plans run smoothly.
1. Make sure your passport and visa are up-to-date
Most countries require that your passport be valid for up to six months after your return. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises you to renew your passport no less than nine months before the expiry date.
Check your passport’s expiration date now, and if you need to renew your passport, check the U.S. State Department website to find your nearest passport facility.
Give six to eight weeks to process the passport application. If you need the passport faster, use the accelerated service for an additional fee and receive your passport within two to three weeks. Private gasification services can do it faster, but they charge much higher costs.
The Foreign Ministry’s country information provides important facts about your destination, such as whether you need a visa and where to get it, as well as other important details about the crime, special circumstances, medical information, and more.
If you are planning to rent a car or drive to your destination, find out if an international driver’s license is needed or if your US driver’s license is sufficient.
Create a photocopy of the information page of your passport and the visa page(s) for your destination(s). Pack them separately from your passport.
2. Check for health advice and travel advice and warnings.
Find out if the U.S. government has issued a travel warning for countries where long-term problems create a risky environment for travelers, or a travel warning, for countries with short-term conditions that may pose a threat to travelers, to your destination. Many travel insurance policies do not cover travel to countries where a travel warning applies.
At the end of 2019, a new virus was identified in China and then spread to other parts of the world. The impact of this coronavirus (COVID-19) will continue to unfold over the coming year. Many destinations in the world remain untouched. However, for your next trip, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for the latest information and travel advice.
3. Ensure vaccinations and fill in the rules
Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for health information and vaccination regulations for your destination. For maximum protection, you need to receive the necessary vaccinations six weeks before departure. If you are traveling to a country where the disease is rampant, consult a travel doctor.
The CDC website is also a good source of information about the health risks of consuming water and food at your destination, non-prescription items to pack, and other health tips.
Check the foreign embassy of the country you’re traveling to or where you’re passing through to find out which prescription drugs are allowed or illegal in the country.
Take photocopies of your prescriptions, packaged separately from your drug, and write down the name of the generic drug. Always pack your medicine, in the prescription bottles, in your carrier bag. If you need to use syringes, make sure you have a letter from your doctor. Always indicate the syringes before going through security.
Pack more than enough medicines for the duration of your trip, as it can be difficult to have your prescription filled abroad.
4. Register your trip
One option, especially if you’re traveling outside the industrialized countries or in remote areas, is to register online with the U.S. State Department and enter your itinerary. In case of emergency, the U.S. government will be aware of your presence in the country and know where to contact you. Also, if your family and friends indicate that your travel information may be shared with third parties, you can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to locate you if necessary. Registration is free.
5. Save your wallet
Choose one or two credit cards to take with you and call the publishers shortly before you leave to inform them which countries you are going to visit. Otherwise, your credit card may be rejected because the issuing company may be suspicious of international activity. However, remove unnecessary items, such as cards you don’t plan to use on your trip.
Travel vouchers are no longer generally accepted and it is difficult to use them in many countries, especially in the developing world. Instead, use your bank card to withdraw money from ATMs, which can be found even in the most exotic destinations. Remember your numeric PIN, because many ATM keyboards don’t display the numbers and letters we use, or they can be placed on the keyboard in a different way. In general, your most favorable exchange rate will be through the ATM, although most companies will charge transaction fees.
Write down your credit card numbers, but don’t put the list in your wallet. Know how to contact your company abroad. Toll-free numbers don’t work from outside the U.S., but credit card companies accept collect calls on a particular number.
6. Buy travel insurance
It is likely that your health insurance will not cover you when you travel abroad. Depending on where you are going, you may want to consider a medical evacuation and emergency medical insurance. Even if your trip requires a large deposit or is booked many months in advance, travel break and cancellation insurance can provide valuable protection from the unexpected.
7. Proper packing
Do not bring valuables with you except for the electronic devices you need. Expensive jewelry can catch the eye of thieves who are good at targeting tourists. If you bring valuables, be sure to put them in your carry-on baggage or keep them in the hotel safe.
If you are wearing prescribed glasses, prepare spare glasses.
Use closed baggage tags to label each bag. Please include your name, address, and phone number on both the inside and outside of your package.
Purchase a Transportation Security Administration authorization key and keep your luggage locked at all times. Check if you can send a locked bag on a domestic flight. The TSA lock may not be recognized and maybe disconnected to inspect the bag. Never put your valuables in your luggage. After security checks, make sure that all valuables are in your carry-on baggage.
A little effort will work.
If you’re an educator, you know that studying is the best attitude. I’m not here to do some research. The more you know the history and customs of the country you are traveling to, the more you will enjoy and benefit from the journey. Here are some examples.
If you’re going to a conservative country, don’t bring shorts, miniskirts, or tank tops.
If you’re going to a place where you often have to take off your shoes to get into tourist areas, have slip-on shoes ready.
Know who you’re tipping and how much.
Learn how to say simple phrases in the words you’re visiting, such as “thank you” or “good morning”.