I believe Chuck would agree with me… Everyone should experience travel to another country at at least one point in their lives.
- Learn about other cultures.
- Taste new cuisines.
- See beautiful and amazing sites.
Now, I do know that once certain people in your life discover you are planning travel abroad, they may attempt to dissuade you. And the main reason will probably be safety.
I must say that you should live your life. If your heart and desires are pushing you to travel abroad, by all means, follow the dream.
Yes, there are risks, but we take a risk every time we get behind the wheel of an automobile or step foot outside our home. Heck, there are even risks inside our home. The main thing is, you take all available precautions to keep yourself safe.
So before traveling abroad, there are many things you should consider. Some are on safety and others are just… Considerations that should be at the forefront of your mind and even better, on a piece of paper in the form of a checklist.
Here are the top 15 things to consider when traveling abroad.
#1: Passports And Visas
This must be an absolute top of the list consideration. Getting these renewed and updated can be not only somewhat frustrating, but time consuming too.
Keep in mind that the majority of countries require that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date.
It can take up to 6 weeks for a Passport application gets processed so do not procrastinate.
It is wise to visit your Doctor and tell him/her where you are traveling and to make sure you have all vaccinations you may require. Also make sure that you have renewals on any medications you need.
#3: Read And Study For Safety And Security
It is wise to check for travel advisories and alerts. You can find those at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html
You should also know entry and exit requirements, local laws, customs, driving safety, etc… The more you learn, the better your trip will be.
First and foremost, you should have the addresses and phone numbers of American embassies or consulates in the countries you are traveling to.
To make this even better, enroll in the free program called S.T.E.P. (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). This way, the embassy will know you are there.
#5: Flight Prices
You should start early searching for the best deals on flights. Sometimes it can take a lot of stress off if you just use a trusted travel agent to handle this particular area.
#6: Use A Copy Machine
You should have copies (2) of every important document. This can help you if any of them get lost or stolen.
Carry 1 set of copies with you in a separate area from the originals and leave one set of copies with loved ones who are not traveling with you.
If something does happen, you will have proof of the existence of those documents and it can speed up the replacement process.
#7: Do Carry Some Cash
While many places overseas do accept credit/debit cards, especially if they have a chip, it is still a good idea to carry some cash for any emergency situations. And when I say cash, make sure it is local money; your dollar bills probably won’t be accepted.
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#8: Purchase Adapter Plugs
The United States is somewhat unique on the type of electrical outlets we have compared to Europe and other places overseas.
Before you travel, you will want to research what type of outlets are used in the location and purchase adapters that will allow your electronic items to work.
Before you travel you should check with your insurance carrier and make sure you are covered medically while traveling out of the country. You may want to discuss travel insurance to ensure you are covered under any emergencies.
#10: Contact Your Credit Card Company And Bank
I remember the second time I tried to use my card when I first came to Puerto Rico and I was denied.
My bank had no idea I was here and assumed someone had gotten my number and was using it. It took several days and about a jar of Tylenol to overcome that problem.
Don’t go through what I did. Contact the banks and/or credit card companies beforehand so they know you are the person using the card in the country you travel to.
#11: If Your Children Are With You
If you are traveling with your children, make sure you have documents that show you are the parent.
Many countries will not recognize a United States driver’s license. It is wise to just get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Here is a link that explains how to get one.
#13: Pack For The Weather
It is a good idea to check the weather where you are traveling to and also research past weather conditions during that season.
Pack accordingly. You probably will not want shorts if it is snowing.
#14: Learn Some Of The Language Basics
Knowing some words such as bathroom, hotel, embassy, etc., in the native language is wise. I love an app called Duolingo that can help you learn basic, intermediate and even expert language levels.
#15: Carry Toilet Paper
If you find yourself in one of those moments when you will have to drop some change in and use a public Water Closet (Restroom), you probably will not see any toilet paper.
It is just smart to carry some with you everywhere.
Just use common sense and you will do just fine.
The reference links I provided have a lot of information too.
Travel and enjoy without having stress… Just follow these tips and you will have a fantastic trip.
If you have any questions or comments, you can post them below.