As you prepare for travel abroad, you may begin to feel overwhelmed by all the things to remember. Do I have all the documents I need? Have I taken care of all the details at home? Worry not, we’re here to help. Here is a list of the essential things you will need to do before heading to the airport.
- Get a passport. If you already have one, check its expiration date. Most countries won’t let you in if the expiration date is less than 6 months away. If you need a new passport, apply right away, don’t wait. Although we got ours in less than a month it has sometimes been known to take as long as 3 months to arrive.
- Get your visas. Not all countries offer visas on arrival. Depending on your nationality each country has different arrangements, and requirements can change. Waiting for a visa can take a month or more, so submit your visa application early and ensure it will be valid for your entire stay.
- Medications. If you use medication, ensure you have enough to last throughout the duration of your trip. Carry a copy of your prescription for added security. Also, if you are undergoing any special treatment, consider carrying a scanned copy of your records or a letter from your doctor detailing your treatment.
- Check with your insurance carrier. Ask your medical insurance provider if your policy applies overseas for emergencies. If it doesn’t or if you want to add extra coverage, ask about supplemental insurance.
- Verify country-specific vaccinations. Some countries won’t let you enter without proof you’ve been immunized against certain diseases, such as yellow fever or malaria. All immunizations must be recorded and presented on an official International Certificate of Vaccination, also known as the “yellow health card.”
- Make sure your credit card will work in the country you’re visiting. Does your card have a chip? European banks have switched to chip-and-PIN technology, and fewer businesses abroad accept the outdated magnetic-strip cards.
- Pay your upcoming bills. Sign up for your bank’s Bill Pay feature and online access so you can transfer money and/or pay bills while you’re overseas. Alternatively, you may want to pay any bills in advance or leave signed checks with a trusted friend.
- Check entrance/exit fees. Some countries require travelers to pay an entrance or departure fee, which can cost as much as $200. These fees are not included in the price of your airline ticket, so budget accordingly.
- Tell your credit card company. Few things are worse than not being able to access funds while overseas. Tell your bank when you’ll traveling and where you will be, and ask them to add the information to your file.This way, your bank’s fraud department may freeze your account, assuming someone’s stolen your number. Also, if you are renting a car overseas, find out if your credit card offers any coverage for damages to a rental car.
- Buy tickets before you arrive. Tourists can often get special discounts that locals cannot access. Many cities offer a pass that offers free or discounted admission to major attractions and transportation. By buying in advance, you’ll be able to skip the ticket lines and better plan your itinerary.
- Search and download apps and maps beforehand. There are many apps to help you plan your trip and navigate while there. To avoid data charges from your wireless carrier, download all your travel apps before you leave and ensure that any apps you choose can be accessed offline.
One thing you might forget, bring a match anywhere because you might need it in an emergency. Many people have ignored this trifle on their vacation trips. bring flameless lighter because it’s very safe and practical to carry anywhere.