Remember the following and make it your mantra: a good trip is the result of good planning. This applies to every your trip, but especially if you are traveling to another country. It may be tempting to order a ticket and start fantasizing about your vacation, but there is work to be done. In addition to planning a trip – accommodation, restaurants, events, etc. – international travel requires additional steps and research to ensure that there is no stress. Fortunately, we have divided everything into a ten-point plan that will make your next international weekend successful.
1. Check your passport and ask for all the necessary visas.
Although there is no need to remember the expiration date of your passport, you must check the trip and see if you know where your passport is stored, before making international travel plans. In general, you would like your passport to be valid for at least six months after entering a foreign country, although some countries allow it to be done at a lower cost; For more information, see the US Department of State website. As the expiration date approaches, you will need to renew your passport before the next trip abroad.
Although this is not a universal requirement, tourist visas are necessary for visiting many countries of the world, and the application process varies considerably from country to country. If you have a US passport, the US State Department website is the best place to determine if you need to apply for a tourist visa depending on the countries you visit and how much time you want to spend on each one. between them. It is important to know that applying for a visa can be long and costly. Therefore, it is better to avoid it as quickly as possible. Some countries, such as China, offer multi-year visas that allow multiple entries and exits. If there is a chance that you will return to the country sooner than later, multi-year visas can save you a lot of time and money in the long term.
2. Carry out a vaccination and make a first aid kit.
Depending on where you are going, you may need to take special vaccines or medications for various diseases as a precaution. For the most comprehensive and up-to-date medical recommendations, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, which also lists health data in different countries. If you regularly take prescription drugs, you need to make sure that you have enough time to cover the trip, so you do not need to go abroad. Finally, and especially if you travel to remote areas, it is recommended to pack medicines without a prescription (aspirin, imodium, etc.), which may not be easy to find.
3. Check travel notifications and save the trip.
Before traveling abroad, consult the US Consular Information Service for the Prevention of Travel (“Short-term events that you must know when traveling in the country”) and travel warnings. If you need us, think about whether you should go to the country . It is worth reading these notes before booking a trip and just before leaving. You must also register for the Intelligent Traveler Registration Program (STEP), which facilitates State Department assistance. In case of an emergency, pay attention to the addresses and phone numbers of all US embassies or consulates at the destinations you visit if you contact them .
4. Prepare your finances.
Before you go abroad, call your bank and credit card providers to indicate your destination. If companies see foreign fees without knowing that you are abroad, they can freeze your cards, which can be quite boring if you are in the store or trying to pay for dinner. Before you go abroad, look for the exchange rate and know how much it costs in general, where you go to find out how much you are spending. If you want to receive traveler’s checks, do not hesitate to do this, but keep in mind that they are not widely distributed and are exchanged at a lower price than at an ATM, no matter where you are in the world.
5. Make copies of travel documents.
The most important thing is to keep at least one copy of your passport in a safe place separately from your passport. You also need to make copies of the visas that are part of your current trip. Also it is necessary to copy the hotel reservation, confirmation of tickets for the train and all other travel documents. In this digital age, having only digital copies of these documents, it is very practical (and harmless to the environment). All right, but make sure that these items are stored locally on your device so you can access them without connecting to the Internet. If you store sensitive information (such as passport verification) on your phone or in your inbox, make sure that your passwords are strong enough to prevent potential intruders.
6. Obtain an international driving license.
The international trip of your dreams will not happen if you do not plan properly. This is due to the fact that in most countries it is illegal to drive without a driver’s license and without insurance, and you do not recognize many American driving licenses. Car rental usually provides insurance, but for a license requires an international driver’s license, either from the AAA, or from the National Auto Club. It is also a good idea to get acquainted with local rules of conduct wherever you go. Contact foreign embassies for official rules and regulations regarding driving.
7. Get all the necessary equipment for your electronics.
Sockets are different all over the world, so you need adapters to connect your devices to external sockets. It is best to buy an adapter with different settings that will match most of the outlets. So, you just need to worry about the adapter instead of the adapter for each country. You should also check the power of the power supply wherever you are, and make sure that your devices are compatible – cell phones and computers are shared. If you have a device that is incompatible with higher or lower current, you should buy a transformer or leave the device at home. And if you do not already have them, it’s worth investing in mobile phone chargers and / or spare batteries that can be charged and exchanged for mobile phones, cameras and other electronic devices.
8. Learn the keywords in the local language.
Of course, this is the best practice, the basics such as “hello”, “thank you” and “where is the bathroom?”. To find out, but the more you can speak the local language, the better. Then there are cases when the ability to communicate effectively is a problem of health and safety. If you suffer from food allergies or serious illnesses, it is important to learn how to teach other people these topics in a foreign language. If you do not feel comfortable with your language skills, deceive and print out the document with the appropriate phrases or create cards with you.
9. Charges for entrance and exit surveys
Regardless of whether a country needs a tourist visa, it can charge entrance and / or exit fees. For example, Argentina allows US citizens to visit for up to 90 days without a visa, but before entering the country it is necessary to make a “reciprocal contribution” of $ 160 – you will not be allowed without a visa. a copy of the receipt. The consular information program is the most reliable way to determine if the country is charging these fees. On the page of any country you will find full information on the tab of entrance, exit and visa regime.
10. Buy health and travel insurance.
Before the trip, check your insurance policy to see if it includes international coverage. If not, you should buy a short-term policy that covers you during your stay abroad, if something happens. Similarly, a reasonable way to protect your trip and your money is to take out travel insurance. Policies and coverage vary from one provider to another, but the basic idea is that you return your money if your trip is to be canceled, postponed or allowed for a variety of reasons.