Are you going abroad soon? If you don’t want to get stuck in a tricky situation in a foreign land, double check these things before traveling internationally.
The number jumped to 27 percent in 2007.
Today, 42 percent of the country owns a passport, and they’re using them.
The trick to traveling overseas isn’t buying all the books or even speaking the local language fluently. You can almost guarantee yourself the time of your life if you do these ten things before flying internationally.
- 1 Double Check Your Passport Validity
- 2 Meet Your Visa Requirements
- 3 Buy Insurance
- 4 Let Your Embassy Know
- 5 Inform Your Banks
- 6 Make Copies of Your Passport
- 7 Buy Your Essential Tickets Now
- 8 Download Offline Maps from Google
- 9 Research Your Destination’s Annual Calendar
- 10 Unlock Your Phone
- 11 Traveling Internationally is a Breeze with the Right Prep
Double Check Your Passport Validity
Many times a vacation nearly gets spoiled by the realization that your passport expires soon. Too often, this happens long after you booked, when a passport renewal is both expensive and stressful.
Many countries require your passport to remain valid for at least six months past your date of entry. If it isn’t, the airline may not even let you on the plane.
Meet Your Visa Requirements
Do you need a visa to take your vacation? If so, do you know where to buy it and how to pay?
In some cases, you may need to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip or even from the country’s embassy.
Even if you can buy your visa at the airport, make sure you’re prepared to do so. For example, you can obtain a visa to Tanzania upon arrival in Tanzania. However, you will need to pay in cash and in U.S. dollars
Many Americans rely on the insurance provided by their credit cards when they travel abroad. But that insurance doesn’t cover you everywhere or all the time.
Case and point: your credit card’s car rental coverage includes Northern Ireland, but only one or two credit cards extend the same coverage to the Republic of Ireland.
See where you have coverage, and then find a reliable product to pick up the slack. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Let Your Embassy Know
Are you visiting a country where protests are a regular occurrence? Let your embassy know.
Even though State Department warnings tend to be overzealous, it is a good idea to know what the government thinks about your destination. Registering yourself at the embassy upon arrival is also a smart idea if you find yourself caught up
Inform Your Banks
Most big banks now use AI to predict when you will be abroad. If you bank with a local bank or credit union, you may still need to let them know. Give them your travel plans before you leave to avoid getting denied at the ATM when you arrive
Make Copies of Your Passport
Passports get lost or stolen regularly, so it’s vital to keep yours safe at all times, especially when you’re abroad.
For extra protection, make photocopies of your passport. Leave at least one copy at home, and pack the others in your carry on.
You can then lock up the hard copy of your passport in a safe and still have I.D. when you’re out on the town.
Why would you need your passport for museums or events? If you buy tickets to a site or event, they likely want to check your I.D. at the gate. For example, if you buy the Jordan Pass to visit Petra, you need to show both your copy of your Jordan Pass and your passport at the gate of every site
Buy Your Essential Tickets Now
Many tourists choose a destination because they have a list of must-see sights there.
There’s a good chance that your must-dos are also on many other tourist’s lists. That leads to ticketing issues, long lines, and the risk of missing out.
Even if you want to fly by the seat of your pants, book those essential tickets before you leave for your trip. Booking in advance often allows you to skip the queue when you arrive and can even save you money
Download Offline Maps from Google
There’s going be a transition period between the airport and getting wifi/connection where you’ll need a map.
Download maps for a local area directly from Google Maps before you leave. Doing so means that you’ll be able to do basic navigation at the very least immediately upon arrival.
We particularly recommend this trick to anyone intending to take a road trip to a remote region where phone service might be limited
Research Your Destination’s Annual Calendar
You have a place and time set for your vacation, but what’s happening in the local area around then?
Before you book your flights, do a quick search to see what’s on the calendar for the locals. Is there a public or religious holiday? Is there a huge annual event scheduled during your trip?
Knowing about these events not only gives you a chance to get involved while on your trip, but it prevents colossal booking mistakes.
Say you want to go to Dubai in June. You found a great deal on flights and think you won the lottery. A quick search of Dubai in June might reveal that you’ll travel during Ramadan.
What does that mean? Almost everything will be closed during the day in observance of the month-long holiday. And if you want to eat, you’ll struggle to find food before sundown – at least beyond expensive, boring hotel food.
A few minutes of research saves hours of logistical headaches and gives you a heads up about what your trip will be like on the ground
Unlock Your Phone
Most people believe they have two options when they travel abroad: turn on their carrier’s expensive roaming plan or hop between wifi connections.
There’s another option for those who wish to take it: unlocking your phone.
If you have a SIM-enabled phone, you can ask your carrier to unlock it so that you can buy a local SIM and use that instead. Buying a local SIM card is almost always cheaper than using your home carrier and far more reliable than hunting down wifi connections.
Plus, there won’t be any surprise bills when you get home.
Traveling Internationally is a Breeze with the Right Prep
Whether you’re getting ready for your first or tenth trip abroad, the amount of prep you do before you leave guarantees smooth travels and amazing memories.
Traveling internationally doesn’t need to be complicated. You just need to complete this essential checklist to make sure you’re covered no matter what happens.
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