I absolutely love traveling to distant countries. Even though I dislike taking planes to get to my destination, flying is often inevitable. Arranging flight reservations is only one of the issues travelers have to deal with. I’ve gathered 9 useful tips for those traveling to other countries later this year and listed them below. If you are planning a trip overseas, then these tips might make your journey a bit more enjoyable!
9. Take out Travel Insurance
I haven’t had any catastrophes while traveling, but there’s a first time for everything. Travel insurance comes in many forms. It can provide you with reimbursement for a canceled or delayed flight, lost luggage, emergency medical care, and a variety of other issues. I always make sure to apply for at least a small amount of coverage when traveling overseas, especially if I’m traveling with my kids.
8. Carry Prescription Medication on Your Person
I try to give airlines the benefit of the doubt, most of the time. However, there are certain things that I make sure to take in my carry on. If you have prescription medications that you are taking with you, they need to be in the appropriate containers. Each bottle has to have your name on them and contain the correct medication. Thankfully, the airlines don’t limit that amount of medications you bring with you, but if any of them exceed 3 ounces or aren’t placed in a zip-top bag they must be checked by a security officer.
7. Leave Information with Friends and Family Members
Make copies of passports, personal information, travel documents, hotel reservations, and anything else that tells where you will be and on what date. You never know when an emergency will occur, whether on your end or back at home. It’s a good idea to give as much information as you can. Believe me. I spent time hiking in another country and came home to find my son in a body cast. There seemed to be a lack of communication on the company’s part I was traveling with. I didn’t find out about my son until he didn’t show up at the airport. In my opinion, you can never provide too many details to those you trust.
6. Familiarize Yourself with Cultural Differences
Some countries have very different cultures and it’s good to know how to conduct your self in public. The last thing tourists wish to do is to be found offensive. Even if a certain way seems strange to you, it’s best to follow the old adage: “When in Rome…”. This phrase started off as a reference to certain aspects of church, but is now applied to so much more.
5. Keep Cash and Credit Cards Safe
I use a money belt when traveling and try to have only small amounts of cash with me. Traveler’s checks are an option for people who don’t want to visit a bank or fight with an ATM to get cash all the time. These checks are purchased from your personal bank and are usually in small denominations, such as 20 dollars. Many businesses accept this form of currency. A valid form of identification has to be presented when a traveler’s check is used, which makes this a much safer way to pay for items.
4. Exchange Money before You Leave
Having money on hand is important when traveling. You never know when you’ll need to hop in a cab or make a quick purchase once you arrive to your destination. If you can help it, don’t use the money exchange services in the airport. These give you a much lower exchange rate. You can contact your personal bank and exchange money before you go or visit a bank in the country you are traveling to.
3. Be Ready for Customs
If you’ve never traveled outside your own country, then you probably aren’t familiar with how big of a pain it can be to go through customs. Make sure to have flight arrangements that allow plenty of time between connections, so you can safely clear customs and not have to sprint to catch your next plane. I’ve had to do this with a toddler in tow and it was a stressful experience.
2. Have Quick Access to All Confirmation Numbers
There are confirmation numbers provided with just about every reservation; flights, hotels, sight seeing tours, etc. To avoid any hassle down the road, it’s a good idea to know where all these are located, in order to quickly prove that you’ve actually reserved a space. These numbers are a reference source that should also contain your payment information as well.
1. Make Sure Your Passport is up to Date
It takes a minimum of 6 weeks to get a passport and that is only if you pay the extra to expedite the process. This amount of time isn’t even guaranteed. I’ve known it to take as long as 8 weeks with the speedy service. It’s best to send off for a new passport at least a couple of months before your trip.
These 9 useful tips for those traveling to other countries don’t cover every aspect of international travel, but I feel these are possibly the most important. Traveling with small children is a whole different matter! What other travel tips would you have for someone who isn’t a well-seasoned international traveler?