Maybe your high school or college student is traveling abroad for the first time, or you have not traveled to an international destination in quite some time. You may even be an international jet-setter. Regardless, there are certain preparations that need to be handled before the journey begins.
International travel is different than a road trip or domestic air travels. Visiting a foreign destination requires more advance planning. Be sure that you are fully prepared to make any international trip worry free. Follow these seven steps to ensure the experience is everything you hoped it would be.
Don’t just grab it before you head out the door. Prior to even booking foreign trips, you need to make sure it is valid, and that it will not expire while traveling. According to the USPS, passport preparation is the most important preparation. Before embarking on your trip, make sure it is in an easy to access, yet safe location. Never carry it in your back pocket.
2. Finalize Finances.
This does not mean just having the money available to travel. Understand all currency exchange rates before you leave. Be sure to let your banks and credit card companies know that you are traveling. Use your credit card with a pin, instead of cash.
3. Make Sure Medications Are Enough.
Double check all of your prescriptions to ensure that you have enough medicine for the duration of the trip. Let your medical provider know that you are traveling. Ask him or her if there are any medical precautions to take concerning your destination. Also check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, the also have some great tips.
4. Pack What Is Needed.
Don’t over-pack and make sure you pack exactly what you need. Check the extended forecast for your destination. Ask people that have traveled to that destination what type of wardrobe is actually needed. July in Sydney is not like July in Atlanta.
5. Understand All Airline and Airport Details.
Don’t get caught off guard by not being familiar with details surrounding your airlines and your airports. Each air carrier and airport is unique. Fees, amenities and all kinds of details vary by airline and airport. Know everything you can about security details, boarding and baggage processes, gates and customs. Domestic and International processes are different!
6. Know Destination Details.
You cannot wait to head out from the U.S. for your Brazilian beach getaway. You have the entire trip planned. Don’t get caught off guard by not knowing customs and laws about your destination. Just because you do it one way in the United States, does not mean you do it that way in Rio.
7. Consult with Your Communications Provider.
Make sure that any communication devices you will be taking are able to work properly at your international destination. Consult with all of your communications providers – networks and devices – to make sure you have everything you need to stay in contact if you need to reach someone.
By making the aforementioned preparations, you are well on your way to worry-free international travel. This list is not exclusive, but covers the basics. Make the most of the opportunity. Be prepared. Enjoy your voyage!