The secret to traveling abroad is being prepared. Before you fly off to faraway lands, take care of these important to-dos.
You’re excited to be heading for your next trip to that exotic locale, but in order to have a carefree time, it’s prudent to spend a bit of time in advance to ensure that your bases have been covered.
Below are 5 checklists to ensure that your finances are in order, that you have prepared properly and that your travel plans go off without a hitch.
1. Ensure your passport and visa are up-to-date
The majority of countries require your passport to be valid for six months after your date of return. The State Department recommends that your passport be renewed no less than nine months before it is due to expire.
Check your passport’s expiry date now, and if you need to renew it, check the U.S. Web site of the Department of State to locate the nearest passport center.
Enable six to eight weeks to process the passport application. Use the expedited service for an additional charge if you need your passport quicker than that, and obtain your passport in two to three weeks. Private expediting facilities will do it quicker, but they charge much higher prices.
Country data from the State Department contains essential statistics about your destination, such as whether or not you need a visa and where to obtain one, as well as other important crime details, special conditions, medical information, and more.
If you plan to rent a car or drive at your destination, find out whether an international driver’s license is required or if your U.S. license will suffice.
Make a photocopy of the information page of your passport and the visa page(s) for your destination(s). Pack them separately from your passport.
2. Check for health advisories and travel warnings and advisories
Find out if the U.S. government has provided a travel advisory for your destination for countries where long-term problems build a dangerous atmosphere for travelers, or a travel alert for countries with short-term conditions that could pose a danger to travelers. Flight to countries that are under travel warnings would not be protected by several travel insurance plans.
A new virus was detected in China in late 2019 and then spread to other parts of the world. Over the next year, the effect of this coronavirus (COVID-19) will continue to grow. Most of the world’s destinations remain unaffected. However, search the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ‘s website for the most recent details and travel advice before your next journey.
3. Register your trip
One alternative, particularly if you travel outside industrial nations or to remote areas, is to register with the U.S. online. State department, and enter your itinerary. The U.S. government will know about your presence in the country and where to contact you in case of an emergency. Your family and friends can also contact the State Department if it is specified that your travel details can be shared with third parties to locate you if necessary. There’s free registration.
4. Stock your wallet
Choose one or two credit cards to take with you and, shortly before leaving, call the issuers to remind them of which countries you are going to visit. Otherwise, when the issuer could find the foreign behavior suspicious, the credit card may be rejected. Do delete unnecessary things, however, such as any cards that you don’t intend to use on your journey.
Traveler inspections are no longer widely accepted, and in many countries , especially developing ones, you can have trouble using them. Instead, withdraw money from ATMs using your bank card, which can be used in even the most exotic destinations. Memorize the numeric PIN, as the numbers and letters we use will not be displayed by several ATM keypads, or they can be positioned on the keypad differently. Your most advantageous exchange rate would usually be via the ATM, although a transaction fee will be paid for most businesses.
Write down your credit card numbers, but don’t keep the list in your wallet. Know how to contact your company from abroad. Toll-free numbers don’t work from outside the U.S., but credit card companies will accept collect calls at a designated number. Get more tips on how to protect your credit while traveling.
5. Pack appropriately
Choose one or two credit cards to take with you, and shortly before leaving, contact the issuers to let them know which countries you are going to visit. Otherwise, as the issuer could find the foreign behavior suspicious, your credit card might be rejected. Delete unnecessary things, however, such as any cards that you do not want to use on your journey.
Traveler inspections are no longer widely accepted, and in many countries , particularly developing ones, you can have difficulty using them. Instead, to withdraw money from ATMs, which can be found in even the most exotic destinations, use your bank card. Memorize your numeric PIN, since the numbers and letters we use will not be displayed by several ATM keypads, or they can be positioned on the keypad differently. Your most advantageous exchange rate will typically be via the ATM, but a transaction fee will be paid for most businesses.