Traveling outside your country for business or leisure can be a very exciting and eye-opening experience. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind to ensure that your trip is pleasurable and hassle-free.
Here are some of the things to consider when traveling internationally:
- Check your passport
Before you start planning for an international trip, ensure that your passport is up-to-date. Many countries around the world require passports to have at least six months of validity. In addition, your passport should have at least two blank pages that can be stamped. Once you have ascertained the validity of your passport, make several copies of the page that has your full name and photo. Leave one copy at home and keep the rest in different pieces of luggage. You could also store an electronic copy in your email account. In case the original passport gets lost or stolen, your copies will help prove your citizenship.
- Research travel alerts
Your travel plans can be interrupted significantly by occurrences in your destination country. Travel alerts and travel warnings are issued for events such as political disturbances, demonstrations, strikes, imminent terrorist attacks and health risks such as Ebola. Therefore, be sure to read newspapers and check online for the latest news about your destination country.
- Check-in with your insurance provider and doctor
Before traveling, find out if your medical insurance cover applies abroad for emergencies. In case it doesn’t, consider supplemental insurance to get some extra coverage. You should also consult your doctor and ensure that you have all the necessary vaccinations. If you are on medication, get all the essential prescriptions before leaving the country.
- Get an International Drivers Permit
If you are planning to drive during your stay abroad, an International Drivers Permit (IDP) will help you rent a car legally and drive without any hassles. Almost 200 countries around the world recognize IDPs. They are written in a wide range of languages, which means that they will be easily readable by rental car agents and the police. IDPs also provide insurance coverage when you are driving in a foreign country. Click here to find out how you can get an International Drivers Permit.
- Manage your money
Create a travel alert in person, via phone or on your bank’s website indicating when you’ll be traveling, where you are going and what debit or credit cards you will be using. You should also research on the exchange rates in the country you are traveling to. If the rates are not favorable, it would be wiser to exchange your money before getting on the plane. Do most establishments in the country accept credit cards? Are ATMs easy to locate? Getting answers to these questions will help you manage your money better.
- Learn important phrases
While it may not be possible to fully comprehend the native language of your destination country, you should make an effort to learn some basic words and phrases. This includes:
- Thank you
- Do you speak English?
- My name is…
- Where is the train/bus station?
- Where is the bathroom?
- How much?
- The numbers 1-20
- Research your destination
Get guidebooks that contain phrases, keywords and maps about your destination. You should also download important travel apps before your trip. Don’t forget to research on fun stuff like natural events, ceremonies and festivals that will be happening while you are visiting. To enjoy some great deals, consider buying tickets in advance.