Tips for International Travel
Whether you’re in the process of planning your first international trip or just beginning to think about it, we have some excellent tips to keep in mind.
- Passport: If you already have a passport, check the expiration date and renew it if needed. If you need a new passport,
visit http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english.html. Keep in mind that it can take up to six weeks for a new passport.
- Understand the culture: Before you depart, do some research on the culture of the country you are visiting. Depending on what you find, you may need to bring different clothing. It is also important to understand the basics of the culture because a gesture that is not considered rude in the United States may have a negative connotation in the country you are visiting.
- Language: Purchase a book with phrases that will be helpful to you or learn the basic language requests that you will have. Some examples would be, “Where is the restroom?” or “Please direct me to the nearest train station.” Or, you may choose to hire an English-speaking guide to meet you at your destination.
- Trip Planning: is vital when it comes to overseas travel. Work with a travel agent or on your own to plan an itinerary complete with mode of transportation planning, hotel stays, and more. It is important to have a basic itinerary planned before you leave home. Also, your phone may not have service, so make sure you have maps or phone numbers of each destination.
- Safety: Know the safety measures you’ll need to take in your destination. For example, if pickpocketing may occur, purchase gear to help you protect your valuables.
- Reviews: Read the reviews of each attraction that you will visit so you can learn tips and tricks from previous visitors. Also, if an attraction allows you to purchase tickets ahead of time or offers an option to skip lines, consider opting for this to reduce wait times.
- Water: Before you leave, research whether the tap water is safe to drink. If it is not, plan to use bottled water and don’t drink any drinks that have ice in it (as that ice may be contaminated).
- Electric Outlets: Look to see what the electric outlets are and go to a store to buy an outlet that will work (if needed).
- Money: If you are bringing your credit card, make sure it’ll work at your destination and call your credit card company to let them know your travel plans. Further, if you plan to do a currency exchange, be aware of the rates before you go.
- Luggage: Last but not least, always bring your essentials and an extra change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the off-chance your checked bags to do not arrive in time.
- Medical: Let your doctor know where you are traveling in case any shots or prescription drugs need to be given to you prior to your trip.
And finally, have fun! Traveling overseas allows you to embrace and experience other cultures. Enjoy your trip and all that you will experience!