Going to a foreign country can be exciting, thrilling and fascinating. However, this experience can turn frustrating if you are not prepared for international travel. Simple things, such as making a phone call or ordering food, can turn into an ordeal. If you plan your international travel in advance, you can rest assured knowing your trip will go off smoothly.
Here are a few tips that will teach you how to prepare for international travel.
1. Not Without Your Passport
You cannot go abroad without a passport. So, apply for one or get your passport renewed if it is expiring. If your passport is expiring in less than six months, you need to get it renewed. Typically, it takes about six weeks to get a new passport. Make sure you make copies of your passport as soon so you get it and leave it behind with family or friends. Also, make a copy to take it with you.
2. Let’s Not Forget the Visa
Some countries require a visa before you enter. So, it is best to check this out a month or so before your intended departure. This will give you ample time to apply and get a visa. Do not expect every country to give you visa on arrival. Call up the embassy or consulate to find out whether a visa is necessary and what is the procedure to apply for one if you need a visa to enter your destination country.
3. Travel Insurance is a Must
Don’t take it for granted that your medical insurance will cover you when you are out of the country. Find out from your insurance provider whether it does. In case it does not offer coverage, you would need to get a travel insurance policy that covers you for medical emergencies and treatment. Choose your travel insurance wisely. It should offer coverage not just for medical treatment abroad, it also should cover you for delays, trip cancellation and lost luggage. Make sure the customer service number is available 24/7 if you need to call up and get something clarified while you are in a foreign country.
4. Immunization can Save Your Life
If you are travelling to a developing nation, you would need to get the recommended immunization. Some countries want foreign travellers to be immunized for yellow fever. So, check with your doctor what immunizations you need. Also, contact the consulate of your destination country and find out whether any vaccination is mandatory to gain entry into the country.
5. Money for Spending
It is best to do some research on the destination country to find out whether you can use a credit card and get easy access to ATMs. Do not take it for granted that every country will accept your credit card. Find out about the prevailing exchange rate and convert some currency before your departure. This will ensure you have money on arrival to pay for taxi, meal and tip service staff before you can cash your traveler’s check, exchange money at a bank or withdraw cash from the ATM.
6. Being Electricity Ready
You will need a power converter and adapter to use your electronic devices. Make sure you carry chargers for your laptop, camera and handheld devices.
7. Driving without Boundaries
If you intend hiring a car and driving during your international travel, you will want to have an international driving permit on you. While you may never have to show it, it is better to have one than be sorry if you are stopped for a routine check.
You may also want to have guidebooks, maps and travel apps in place, so that you can go sightseeing without getting lost.