Globetrooper News: Blogs & Stories
Published on: Sep 2, 2015 @ 16:00
Don’t Forget These Important Steps When Planning to Travel Internationally
Traveling outside of your native country can be exciting, but definitely requires a lot of planning and preparation. While you’re probably visualizing yourself in a foreign country taking in a foreign culture, there are a few things you’ll want to do to make sure your trip goes off without a hitch. Aside from booking the flight, hotel, and rental car service for the trip, you’re going to need to do a bit of research to ensure that you have the best time on your getaway. Below are a few steps that you should follow before heading out of the country:
1. Plan Well in Advance
The best advice you can receive for any type of trip would be to plan it well in advance. However, when it comes to planning an international trip, you really want to keep the procrastination to a minimum. As there are so many things you must do ahead of time, you want to make sure that you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s. For instance, you’ll want to start booking hotels well in advance to ensure that you have the proper accommodations when you arrive. Researching various hotel options and choosing one that fits within your budget can take some time. The same goes for booking flights and car rental services if you intend to drive.
2. Make Sure You’ve Got Your Passport and Visa
You’re not allowed to visit other countries without the proper traveling paperwork. This will definitely include your US passport along with any visas that may be required. If you have a passport already, you’ll want to check the expiration date to make sure that it is still valid. It can take several weeks to apply for a new one which is why you’ll want to start checking this out early on.
Some nations also require that you have a tourist visa on hand as well. You’ll need to do some research to determine what the application process is for getting a visa as it will vary by country. Applying will also be an investment you’ll need to consider as it will take time and a considerable amount of money.
3. Ask Your Doctor About Vaccinations
Depending on the country you intend to travel to, you may be required to get vaccinated to prevent certain diseases. You can generally find information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on which vaccinations or medications may be required before traveling to a certain country. For those with preexisting medical conditions, it may also be a good time to ask your doctor about filling the prescriptions so that you have them with you during your travels.
4. Make Sure There are No Advisories
Before you embark on your vacation or decide to start booking hotels, it is a good idea to check to see if there are any travel alerts or warnings to the destination you’re traveling to. It’s a good idea to check this out before you start planning your trip as the level of alert or warning may change your mind about the destination you’re traveling to.
5. Don’t Forget the Finances
To prevent your credit card accounts from being frozen for suspicious activities, it is a good idea to give your credit card companies a call and let them know you’ll be out of the country. You also want to do a bit of research on the exchange rates in the country you’re traveling to so you know exactly what you’ll be spending on merchandise.
6. Obtain an International Driving Permit
In most countries, your US drivers license and insurance are not recognized, meaning that if you’re going to be using a rental car, you’re going to need to obtain an international driving permit. This will help you to familiarize yourself with the differences in driving as well as the laws in the foreign country. You may also need to contact the country’s foreign embassy to find out what the rules and regulations may be as they pertain to driving.
7. Brush Up on Your Foreign Language Skills
When you’re in a country that you’re not familiar with, you want to learn a few key phrases so that you can communicate with the locals and get around easily. You want to learn important phrases such as how to greet them and ask basic questions. There are also lots of cheat sheets online that you could print out and keep with you in case you get tongue tied.
8. Make Copies of Everything
To be proactive in the event that your travel documents should become lost or stolen, it is a good idea to make a copy of everything. This includes your passport, visa, driver’s permit, hotel receipt copies, and whatever else you might be taking along with you on your trip.
Traveling abroad can be such a great adventure as long as you’ve done all the proper planning and preparations. All of the above mentioned steps are important to ensure that you’re able to enter the country and experience all it has to offer without any problems. After you’ve ensured you’ve taken care of all the above tips, all that’s left to do is pack for your trip and get ready to have an awesome time exploring new territory.
Travel Tip Troopers,
You’ve been waiting for the holidays to begin. It seems like ages already that you planned to visit Europe or further with your furry friend, excited that pet passports and relaxed rules in the respective country allowed that. So, did you, in your excitement, overlooked facts such as dogs jetting off without insurance are liable to give their owners skyrocketing vet bills?
Have you considered the possibility that your beloved companion can fall ill, hurt someone else, or suffer from injury itself? Take France, for instance. Did you know you will be charged a hefty amount of £3,500 if the animal had a car accident and had to undergo surgery? And just as it’s with human, your pet are prone to bad stomach and inflamed thyroid too, conditions that are expensive to treat.
Further, not all insurance policies are the same on this account, something that individuals like Louis Habash are quick to take note of and point out. It is imperative that you check the insurance policy before you decide to take your cat or dog with you. Even as insurers claim to cover pets abroad, doing so will give you a better idea of what exactly their policy includes. You honestly don’t want to rush to the hospital only to discover the policy was limited to a certain payout and that you had to fund the rest of the treatment cost.
Whether it covers the routine checkup like teeth cleaning and vaccinations or also includes accidental coverage in the package, pet insurance is beneficial if you want to ensure the holiday proceeds along smoothly and have the family fun you wanted. Some policies even compensate if your plans have been disturbed by the accident or illness.
However, Louis Habash feels this is not the only thing pet owners looking up pet-friendly destinations should have in mind. While nothing beats the general check-up and bringing it up to date with specific treatments to see they are deemed fit to travel, you will find the following checklist pretty useful as well.
Refrain from feeding your pet two hours before you have to leave and just to be on the safe side, encourage them to go before driving away from home
It’s a healthy practice to use an approved cage/crate or a harness for your pet when you put it inside the car to keep it safe
Avoid leaving it unattended in your closed car
Try to schedule your journey in a way that lets you stop for break two hours or so to let it out, cool down, be fed, or simply to stretch; it’s better if you had taken them on short trips before as well so they are accustomed to it
Keep its recent photo with you and updating its ID tag is yet another precautionary measure to practice without feeling guilty about it
If you are travelling by air, you should discuss with the vet or pet consultants how to help it cope with stress and feel comfortable especially if you know they are nervous around loud noises; tranquilizers are usually not encouraged
Its been a long time coming, but I am finally traveling with a cell phone. Since I started my travels in late 2008, I have been unconnected with the world, at least in terms of having a smart phone. There are so many benefits, now that I am back in the world of technology. Using Google Maps to find places. The camera’s ability to take great photos, not only for my blog, but also for Instagram and other apps. Being able to watch movies on it. And the screen, o’ my the amazing screen. I’m sold… and back in the 21st century, finally.
Nothing gets me more inspired to get up and travel better than an excellent movie. There is something about watching a couple hours of pure inspiration that makes me want to get up and go more than perhaps any other bit of inspiration, even a good travel book. A well made movie can not only give you the visual reasons to head of somewhere, but almost lets you feel the warmth of the Sun and smell the food and feel how it would be to stay there for a while. What are you favorite movies that inspired you to travel?
During 2012, in honor of 5 years of our NVR lifestyle, we decided to give our home-base a lot of air time. Let’s just say we’ve been celebrating Seattle in a big way. Now, as the year draws to a close, we want to share Seattle with you.
We’re giving away a 2-night stay in Seattle.
Life is good. Costa Rica has proven to be every bit as wonderful as we remember, and we’re heading back to marriage equality in Washington State. Double win!
Zooming to Shanghai via high-speed train – 200 mph, yo! – we were buzzing from our hutong experience in Beijing. Continue reading →
The smartest thing we did in Beijing was getting out of our posh hotel and moving into a traditional residential area. Sure, the fancy hotel had us about as close as we could be to the major tourist attractions, but it certainly didn’t give us an accurate feel for how the city pulses and moves.
Before landing in Beijing, China, we decided that – once on the ground – we’d pay close attention to our first impressions. Unfiltered first impressions.
As I write this, our time on Maui isn’t quite over, and we’ve already snapped hundreds of pictures. It’s overwhelming to sit here clicking through them all because it’s a reminder of how incomprehensibly magnificent and diverse this island is. Such a small place yet so much to see, do and experience.
Pure travel porn.
The first time I got a chance to see Seville, I knew I was going to love it. I have developed a love affair with Spain this year, and Seville is simply one of those cities that I adored from the moment I laid eyes on it. The beauty of the place is plain to see — and the food is fantastic also. Close to Madrid, it should be on the list of anyone that visits Spain.
I’ve been in Europe for most of this year and I’m finding that the places have been liking the most are near the coast. There is something about being near the water that just seems to keep me calm and cool, in spite of some of the scorching heat. But let’s face it, one of the other reasons I love coastal spots is that is where the best bars are located. Here are five of my favorites in Europe.
I really liked Washington DC. I mean, what is there NOT to like? The place is OOZING with history. But by the end of our road trip, I just felt this gaping hole without Shaun. These were places we said we would explore together – just like Chicago. We were looking forward to being museum nuts together. We were going to take silly pictures in front of monuments together.
Last year, we decided to – from time to time – highlight some of our most spectacular past journeys under an “Awesome Adventures” heading. To qualify, the journey has to be the best of the best. There aren’t many.
So far, we’ve only gotten around to sharing details from our visit to Antarctica and our quest to see the Northern Lights. Today, in honor of our All American month and the London Olympics, there’s a new Awesome Adventure to share. Continue reading →
It’s time for us to give Seattle a little air and, instead, do a some rambling on-and-on about our second favorite city. Portland, Oregon.
We used to live there, so this bit of Portland love is long overdue.
When we were in Dubrovnik, Croatia – which we’ve waxed rhapsodic about multiple times here – there is one thing that really bothered us.
See, we’re not totally biased.
No better time than the beginning of our “All American” month AND the week of July 4th to do a photo wrap up of our three week USA road trip across Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado.
During this road trip, we’ve lucked out – so far – with top-notch campsites. While we’re not doing any backcountry camping this time around (that will come later in the summer), We’ve snagged some fantastic car camping sites that have been almost as ideal. Continue reading →
Heading out of Colorado for the last part of our camping road trip, we were exhausted and brain dead (but inspired!). So what did we do? We leaned even further into the madness by frying ourselves in the unrelenting sun of Arches National Park and forcing ourselves to explore Canyonlands National Park at sunrise.
Let the road trip begin!
We flew into Las Vegas and immediately set out on a small-scale road trip that will have us camping and exploring our way to Colorado. You know we can’t go too long without getting a hit of the great outdoors. So, by the time June rolls around, we’re eager to schedule some camping and hiking.
We’re always excited to get back to our home base. This time, though, we were especially eager because we were looking forward to trying out our Global Entry Trusted Traveler memberships upon landing in the United States.
Our love affair with Croatia continues. So much so that – as was the case in Spain – we uncharacteristically became beach/water guys. I guess it’s that we wanted to experience everything. And when, last Friday, that included the opportunity to have our own private swimming/sunning spot for the day, we couldn’t pass it by.
What in the hell is happening to us? Continue reading →
Before even getting off the plane, we knew we’d like Croatia. Our short flight from Spain took place on a particularly clear day, and we could see the jagged, verdant coastline as we flew along it into Dubrovnik.
Lately, we’ve been trying to keep things in balance because – as we’ve been saying – the travel dominos have started to fall. We’ve begun a string of travel that, interspersed with everything else in life, will have us on the move for a good chunk of time.
We have vacated our dream rental apartment in Barcelona. As I write this, we’re sitting at the airport having a pre-flight, early morning cup of coffee. Yes, we’re back in the game with airlines and their nefarious ways. This time, with a real heavy-hitter, Vueling. You’ve probably heard of Vueling. It’s the airline that hasn’t met a fee it doesn’t like to impose.
For years now – with every visit to Washington DC – we tease it. Well, it’s now time to “put a ring” on our pick for the top memorial in this attraction-rich city.
We’re here in Washington D.C. for a bunch of reasons in addition to the advocating we talked about last time. Despite the fact that nothing about our jam-packed visit has anything to do with the much ballyhooed Cherry Blossom Festival, we happen to be here in the midst of all the pink and white hubbub.