5 tips when travelling internationally
Travelling internationally requires careful planning – whether it’s your first trip outside the United States or you are a seasoned traveller, preparation is key to having a safe and enjoyable trip. Here is a list of five things you should check off before you leave.
Make sure you have all the required documents
It goes without saying that most foreign countries require a valid passport to allow you to enter and leave. Both the US Department of State and U.S. Embassies and Consulates have the authority to issue or verify U.S. passports. Other considerations are your children- some countries have put in place stringent laws to prevent abductions which require you to present proof of relationship to the children and evidence of consent from any non-accompanying parent. It is also worth noting that some countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months beyond the date of the trip.
Sort out money arrangements
It’s always a good idea to get the monetary conversion rate of the country you’re visiting before you go. Also, a little research into how much things cost in your destination is advisable – this will give you some sense of how much you are likely to spend and prevent any nasty shocks. Using a credit or debit card is the most efficient way to pay for things with terminals like Payzone Cards used universally. If you want to carry around local cash then use the ATM machine in the country you are visiting. They offer an exact conversion rate and they don’t charge as much as the exchange centres you find at airports or in cities.
Plan your itinerary
Carry out a little research into the destination you’re travelling to and make a list of things you might like to see and do when you get there. You can buy tickets for attractions in advance which could cut down on queues when you arrive. You should download any Apps in advance as well to avoid extra downloading charges.
It’s advisable that you check the State Department’s travel warnings and alerts. Travel alerts give information on civil unrest or other issues taking place in a country that could affect your travel plans or your safety. It’s also a good idea to print out the address and contact information of the local embassy.
Some airlines charge more than others when it comes to checking in extra luggage. Make sure you check first to avoid any unwanted extra charges. If possible it is always best to travel light and have a free hand when you need it. Carry a minimum number of valuables and plan places to conceal them.