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.