Crossing country lines and traveling internationally can be exciting. You get to experience the many cultures and wonders of the world. As anxious as you might be to board the plane and take flight, there are some things you need to keep in mind prior to departure. Planning for an international trip is a lot more extensive than domestic travel. You mustn’t only think of what you’ll do, where you’ll stay, and what you’ll pack, you also need to consider things like your health, safety, and unforeseen emergencies. To help you remember it all, here is an international travel checklist.
Copy Travel Docs
One of the worst things you could do while traveling abroad is to lose your passport, visa, or personal identification. Making a copy and leaving them in your hotel room gives you a backup in case your originals get lost.
Copy Tickets, Confirmations, and Itineraries
You never know when you’ll need to show proof of payment, a copy of tickets, or need to refer to your itinerary to figure out where you’re going. You also don’t know how strong or if there will be Wi-Fi when you need it. Having a hard copy of these things that you may have stored in your phone gives you a solution.
Check for Travel Warnings
Before making any final decisions on a travel destination, you should check with your federal government to make sure there are any travel warnings you should be aware of. Sometimes traveling to certain destinations can be dangerous for your health and safety. Registering with the country’s US embassy can also keep you in the loop during your travels.
You should be sure to check that you have valid health and car or motorbike insurance before starting your trip. It is common to rent a car or bike when traveling abroad. However, you’ll need to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage and that it protects rentals in another country. You may also need to pass other driving requirements so be sure to do your research.
If you get sick on the trip from the food, human contact, or an animal or insect bite you’ll need to be seen by a doctor. You’ll need the right health insurance coverage to get treatment while overseas.
Notify Banks and Credit Card Companies
It’s often better to use plastic when traveling as you don’t have to go through the hassle of converting the value or put yourself at risk for theft. However, if your bank or credit card provider starts seeing charges in another country, this could send up red flags causing them to freeze access to your funds. Letting them know ahead of time keeps this from happening.
A Little Cash is Recommended
Though plastic is the best form of payment when traveling internationally, a little cash is recommended. An emergency stash can get you out of a bind should something go wrong. You don’t have to have it on your person, you can secure it in your hotel room and retrieve it if and when you need it.
Know What Not to Bring
In certain countries, there are bans on various products and merchandise. This can include anything from food and medication to lotions and perfumes. Before leaving, make sure you don’t have any of this on you or it could be a major hold up at the airport.
Know How to Act
Many countries feel strongly about their customs and expect you to respect them. For example, some countries don’t want women wearing pants and prefer they dress modestly. Sometimes even the wrong body language or hand gesture can be a sign of disrespect. Knowing ahead of time keeps you from disrespecting another country’s culture without realizing it.
Research the Area
You don’t want to end up lost in a foreign country. Wandering around and exploring can be fun within reason, but don’t get too carried away. Before going, you should do some research on the are to find out what it is for tourists to do. Try to stay within those areas to find fun and entertainment.
Traveling internationally is an exciting experience that everyone should try at least once in their lives. Whether you’re going to Iceland, Japan, Dubai, or Italy, it is important to do your due diligence. The only way to ensure your trip is safe and fun is to make sure you’ve followed the guidelines listed above.