There are a lot of different details to think about before you go on an international trip. You need to be prepared to stay in a foreign country that’s got different laws, culture, languages and expenses. If you don’t even know where to begin, here are eight to-dos to check off the list as you prepare to go abroad.
Prepare Your Travel Documents
Often times, when people visit another country, they don’t give themselves enough lead time to file for the proper travel documents like travel visas and passports. As soon as you determine whether you’re traveling abroad, begin to gather the necessary information to apply for a passport and travel visa. Different countries have different restrictions so do your research on which documents you’ll need specifically. And if you already have a passport, make sure it’s valid for six months after your return date or you could get held up.
Get Required Vaccinations
Some countries may require that you have certain vaccinations before entering. You can find out exactly which vaccine and health information is applicable to your destination at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. On the topic of health, make sure to also fill any prescriptions you have prior to leaving since you likely won’t be able to get them in the country you’re in. To add, check to see if your prescription is legal in the country you’ll be travelling to. Bring a copy of your official prescription from the doctor and any other documentation proving you need it.
Bring a Universal Adapter
Making sure your devices are powered up is crucial when you travel internationally. Be sure to bring a universal adapter like the CoolingTech Travel Adapter—which includes four international plug adapters that work in more than 150 countries.
Exchange Your Currency
Be sure to exchange your U.S. dollars to your destination country’s currency before you leave. You’ll most likely be able to exchange in the actual country that you are travelling to, but to be safe, make sure you have enough currency at least for the first few days in case you don’t find a local bank or place that facilitates currency exchange. That way, you’re not stranded with no money upon arrival.
Research the Culture & Customs of Your Destination
Traveling to an international country calls for proper research on its cultures and customs. Do some research on the country and even try to learn some basic conversation in the country’s native language so that you can assimilate more easily. Useful language apps like Duolingo offer an easy way to learn a new language. Putting in the effort to educate yourself about the country you travel to will show the locals your respect for their homeland.
Secure Your Home
Because you’re not within national borders, leaving your house for an international trip can cause added worry. Home automation systems like ADT secure your home with automatic light timers and alarms and video surveillance that you can watch from the connected app. If any unusual activity happens within the home, you’ll be notified in real-time and can take the necessary measures to protect it. To additionally secure your home, make sure you put a hold on the mail or have a neighbor collect it for your while you are away. A telltale sign that someone is on vacation is a jam-packed mailbox.
When you’re packing, leave your prized possessions out of the equation. If you don’t, it could make for a huge regret later on if anything is lost or stolen. Tourists can be easy targets to theft, so when you’re travelling internationally, don’t even give anyone a reason to steal from you.
Notify Your Bank and Credit Card Company
If you have a debit or credit card that can be used internationally, make sure you notify the corresponding bank or credit card company that you are travelling abroad. Do this before you leave or your card might be frozen and deemed useless.
The little steps you can take before an international trip go a long way. When you take the right steps to prepare, you’ll have an easier transition and more enjoyable time abroad and hopefully have an experience of a lifetime.