There are few things in life more exciting and glamorous than international travel! The excitement of flying, the thrill of exploring new and exotic locales, the enticing food and drinks of an overseas trip. Not to mention the souvenirs, the suntans, the anxiety of forgetting your passport and/or visa at home…Wait, what? We know international travel is incredible, but it can’t be made possible unless you travel smart and travel savvy. Here are 10 tips to make sure your trip overseas is stellar and not a bummer.
1. Schedule a checkup
Some regions of the world may require you to get special vaccines or booster shots before you go. Research any medical situations that may or may not be ongoing in the country you plan on visiting. Not only that, but contact your insurance provider and make sure your insurance plan applies to any complications that may occur overseas. Better to be safe than sorry!
2. Consulates, embassies, and visas
Contact both your home country’s consulate and the consulate of the country you plan to visit and their embassies. Let your home country’s embassy in the nation you are visiting know you will be there. In case of any complications while traveling your home country’s embassy is a safe haven and will provide assistance to you. Some countries may have particular visa or travel requirements or even restrictions for citizens of your home country or in general. Be certain you can legally enter and exit the country you want to visit with the proper visas and other documents they may require. CLICK HERE FOR OUR GUIDE
3. Copies, copies, copies
It would be wise to make copies of your ID and passport to leave with family or trusted friends back home and carry with you while out and about. Keep sensitive documents or items in a safe place, but have a copy while exploring, especially in regions where local authorities may scrutinize you as a traveler.
4. Contact your bank
Let your bank and credit card companies know that you will be traveling abroad. Be specific with the places you are visiting and maybe spending money in. Otherwise, they may think fraud is occurring and freeze your account. That is not something you want to occur while hiking through mountains or trekking through jungles! Also, be wary of the exchange rate and be sure to convert some money beforehand. This way you can hit the ground running when you arrive at your destination.
5. Book in advance
Nothing is as disappointing as going to the Louvre, for example, and being told you need to have booked your tickets online weeks in advance! This does happen, and it could happen to you too! So, to avoid the disappointment, frustration, and embarrassment of something like this occurring, better do your homework on bookings in advance.
6. Hit the books (some more)
While you need not become an expert in the countries or regions you plan to visit, knowing some local customs and maybe a few helpful and survival words here and there won’t hurt! What gestures or actions are offensive? Are people in the area known to rip off tourists? How do you say “please” “thank you” and “where is the bathroom?”. These will come in handy.
7. Bring the books with you
Of course, once again we don’t expect you to become a walking encyclopedia on your future destinations. That is why grabbing some guidebooks, even just some analog maps will be a wise decision. We mean a physical map. Sure, folks will scoff because “everything is online” but that physical map will be a real lifesaver if your electronic devices run out of battery, get lost, stolen, or can’t connect to the internet. Speaking of which…
8. SIM cards and phone plans
Make sure you set up a way to get a SIM card or other means of connecting to the internet while abroad. No, not to post your selfies to Insta, we mean, once again, for like survival stuff. Though you can go ahead and post your selfies to Insta, too! Going along with this, contact your cell provider and see what global capabilities your phone has so you don’t come home to a massive roaming bill.
9. Charge your batteries
Or anything, really, by getting your hands on charger adapters either before you go or before you leave the airport once you arrive. Make sure to look up the voltage of chargers, too. You don’t want to blow out a socket while charging your devices overseas.
10. Pack extras and check, double-check, triple-check
We cannot stress this tip enough. Okay, so technically, it is two tips. The first is to pack extra clothes just in case of bad weather or lost luggage. But going along with this one, also be sure to check everything. Do you have your passport? Are you sure? Are you certain? Okay. Are you leaving the hotel on your last day with everything? Boarding pass? Are you sure? Are you positive? Okay.
Following this guide will make you a smarter traveler. We hope these tips help you make your next travel experience incredible. While stories of misadventures abroad can have some endearing and thrilling moments, it may be better to err on the better side of caution than to come home with a compelling tale of mishaps. So make sure you check, double-check, triple-check, and happy landings!