Practical Tips For International Travelers

Whether it is your first instance of traveling abroad or not, here are some tips for you to follow before you set out on a trip.

Security

Take along copies of your passport. If your passport gets lost or stolen, you need to ensure that you can prove your citizenship even to gain entry into the country.

It’s wise to leave a copy of your passport at home or with someone you trust. You can also make and store an electronic copy online as well.

Upon arrival at your destination, register with your embassy. In the event of any problem in the host country, this will make it easier for your government to intervene and get you to safety.

Money

Check out the monetary conversion rates before you take off, do your math before you travel, and make sure you have enough on you.

Make sure that your credit card will work in the country you’re visiting. Many foreign countries have switched almost fully to the more secure chip-and-PIN technology, and fewer businesses abroad accept the outdated magnetic-strip cards.

It’s better to visit a bank or ATM in the country you’re visiting where you are assured of exact conversion rates and won’t get charged as many fees as the conversion centers in the airport or around the city.

Always have enough local currency with you. Not every place accepts credit cards, especially trains or buses.

Inform your bank or credit card provider in advance. This will prevent banks from suspecting fraud and turning off your card as a security measure.

Health

Consult your doctor and insurance provider. Double check to make sure that you have taken all the proper vaccinations and renewed all essential prescriptions. Check with your insurance provider whether your policy is applicable for overseas emergencies. If it doesn’t or if you need extra coverage, consider supplemental insurance.

Electronics

Check the voltage of your electronics and take along a charger adapter. Countries have power plugs in different sizes and voltages. So if you want to use your iPod or blow-dryer make sure you can charge it.

Activate your phone’s global capabilities in advance. This is much cheaper than the roaming charges you’ll incur if you don’t. Downloading necessary apps before you travel will prevent expensive roaming and data charges from your wireless carrier.

Clothing and Supplies

Always pack an extra set of appropriate clothes in your carry-on bag. Don’t be one of those travelers decked out in outlandish apparel just because the airline lost your luggage and you have nothing else to wear.

Every airline has its own set of guidelines as to the number of bags that can be checked or carried on for free. Look up on your airline’s rules to avoid any incremental fees.

Local Research

Get tickets for places you know you want to visit or see in advance. That way, you’ll be able to skip lines, find more deals and save time.

Get local guidebooks. These usually include maps, keywords and give you enough detail on popular sites so that you won’t need to purchase pamphlets at each and every venue.

Research events scheduled during your time there. This ensures that you won’t miss out on the best events — festivals, ceremonies, and natural events.

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