Everything You Should Do Before You Travel Internationally

If you are planning to travel abroad for the first time or just need a refresher. It will be wise to invest a bit of time upfront to make sure you have covered your bases. International travel doesn’t have to be tricky, just make sure your travel documents and required paperwork are in order. When you travel internationally, you’re responsible for making sure you have the correct documents to enter and pass through any countries during your trip, and then make your way back home.

Follow this checklist to ensure that your finances are in order, you’ve packed appropriately and your travel plans will go off without a hitch.

Research

  1. Secure your travel dates and book your flight far in advance to get the best price.
  2. Check guidebooks or go online and research places you to visit. Some sites require you to make reservations before you arrive.
  3. In the case of emergency, have the contact info for your nearest Embassy. Also, check for any travel warnings issued by your country.

Travel Documents

If you don’t have a Passport, apply for one. It takes between four to six weeks to get one unless you pay for expedited mail service.

  • US Passport cards are valid only when traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. They cost $55 for the first time adult applicants.
  • US Passport books are valid for all international travel. They cost $135 for first-time adult applicants. It costs $110 to renew you book if it’s expired.
  1. Make two copies of your passport, one for yourself and one to leave at home with someone you trust. Also, scan your passport so you have a digital copy.
  2. Find out whether you need a visa to enter the country you are traveling to.
  3. If you are planning to drive in the country you are traveling to, you may need to look into getting an International Driving Permit.

Medication

  1. Ask a doctor about any vaccinations you may need,
  2. Ask your doctor for a letter in case you are questioned about your medications, and ask what the generic equivalent is in case you need to buy it abroad.
  3. If you take any medications, pack enough ( plus some extra ) to cover your entire trip, and make sure all medications are in their original packaging.

Packing

  1. Make sure you have a sturdy suitcase or backpack depending on the type of trip you are taking, pack appropriately.
  2. Make sure you are aware of what you can and can’t bring in your carry-on bag.
  3. Pack liquids greater than 3.4 ounces in your checked baggage i.e toothbrush gel, rinse mouth. shampoo
  4. Check the weather to get a good idea of what to pack

Electronic Gadget

  1. Try to find places that offer free Wi-Fi.
  2. Download apps that will help you while you travel, You can download Google maps and download an offline map of your travel areas.
  3. Turn off your phone’s data feature to make sure you won’t be charged extra while using your phone over seas.
  4. If you don’t have a watch, buy one. Make sure to set it to the correct time zone for the country you are traveling to.
  5. Buy converters and adapters so that you can use your electronics. Adapters allow a converter from one country to be plugged into an outlet in another country. Converters increase and decrease the voltage of an appliance.

Money

  1. Tell your bank you are going to be traveling so that your card doesn’t get canceled and make sure your card will work in the country you are traveling to.
  2. Take out some cash in the currency of the place you are traveling to, in case you need money right away when you arrive.
  3. Look up the conversion rate.
  4. Check if there are any fees to enter or exit the country you are traveling.

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