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Your Travel Abroad Checklist

[ 0 ] August 5, 2013 |

mauritius

When you finally get your overseas trip planned out, your excitement level is pretty high. You want to start packing today even if your flight doesn’t leave for another three months. Before you start planning out your packing strategy, you need to make a To-Do list for all the things you need to do before your day of departure.

Here is a list of the things you need to take care of before you head out to the airport and on your adventure:

Get Your Documents Together

The proper documents for overseas travel can take several weeks to acquire, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get them all in order before your trip. The documentation you need can vary from country to country, so conduct your proper investigation and research and find out exactly what you need.

Documents can include:

-Passport: If you already have a passport, check the expiration date. If it expires in less than 6 months, you need to renew it before you leave.

-Entry Visa: Some countries will require foreign visitors to have an Entry Visa that need to be applied for in advance. Some countries, including the USA, require visas even if you are just transiting. Be sure to check in advance.

-Immunization Records: Some countries may require you to be vaccinated against certain diseases. Check to see if you will require any for your destinations. Take digital copies of these with you as it’s unlikely you’ll need them but you never know.

-Permission from a parent: If you are a parent travelling with children without your partne some countries may ask you to prove that you have permission from the other parent to travel overseas. The same applies for grandparents travelling with grandchildren. Also, if your last name is different from your children some countries now request proof that your children are actually yours. You may be required to show a copy of your marriage certificate as well as a permission to travel letter from their other parent.

-Proof of ongoing travel plans: on occasion, you may be asked to show proof of travel plans to leave the country that you are about to enter before immigration will allow you to pass. You may even find that you will need to show this proof before you can even board your plane.

-If you are travelling with prescription medications make sure they are in their original packaging and labelled.

 

Take Care of Finances

If you plan to use credit or bank cards while you are abroad, make sure you notify the financial institutions that you will be out of the country and what countries you will be visiting. Some companies will put a hold on your card if it notices unusual card activity (such as being used in another country!) and that can put a serious damper on your vacation if you can’t get to your funds. But, it will also protect you if you are in, say, China and the company sees charges being made in Turkey.

Know what the currency exchange rates are for the countries where you will be traveling. This makes it easier to understand how much you can expect to spend without being surprised when it comes time to buy that souvenir or pay for your lodging. Work out a rough budget and in particular, know how much to expect to pay in those first few hours. What should it cost you to get from the airport to your accommodation? If you don’t have accommodation pre-booked, check several places online so that you have a rough idea of what to expect and look up food prices. That way you won’t be caught out in those first few hours without enough cash.

If you plan on exchanging currencies prior to departure make sure you do this a week in advance as the money exchanger may need to order in your currency. Before exchanging money, use a currency converter online as a quick-reference for knowing roughly what the exchange rate is so that you can find the best available rate.

 

Mind Your Safety

Whenever you are traveling to another country, it is always, always (always!) a good idea to register with your Embassy. This makes it much easier for the Embassy to provide you with assistance if you lose your passport, get into trouble with local law enforcement or if there is a natural disaster while you are there.

Another thing to consider is purchasing travel medical insurance. If you fall ill or get injured while you are away, you want to be able to get medical attention. Your medical insurance at home likely will not cover any treatments while you are abroad. Search the rates of companies that specialize in travelers’ insurance, such as Travel Guard and Travelex. For US citizens, if you don’t have medical insurance at home it’s particularly important to check that what coverage your travel insurance will offer you – they may cover you overseas but if you need evacuation back home you might find any bills you accumulate as soon as you hit home soil will be yours to cover.

You might also put together a small medical kit to carry with you as you travel with essentials, such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, and any prescription medications (have a copy of your prescription!). It is also a good idea to keep a list of your allergies and medical conditions on you (medical bracelet/ card) in case you are unable to tell medical personnel (unconscious, language barrier).

AMS Bag (part 1)

Other Necessities

Check with your phone company about unlocking your cell phone for the time you are away to avoid costly roaming charges. Turn data roaming off and either buy a few international prepaid phone cards or plan to buy local sim cards once you arrive.

Pack any adapters you need for electrical items and any charges that you will need (cell phone, laptop).

Give a copy of your itinerary to a friend or family member so that they will know where you should be at all times.

Learn key phrases in the language of the country you will be visiting. You don’t need to be fluent, but knowing how to say “hello,” “thank you,” “I’m sorry,” counting to 5 and any other important phrases will be very helpful.

Preparing for your trip overseas will mean checking off a lot of important to-dos. Know what important papers you need, make arrangements for your finances and insure your safety while you’re away. The trip of a lifetime can’t happen without a lot of planning and prep, so make your checklist and follow it before you go.

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About onurwaytravel: Colin has been travelling the world with his young family for the past 2 and half years. He runs a couple of websites all revolve around travel, family travel and digital nomadism. His websites include http://ourtravellifestyle.com, http://vagabondfamily.org, http://nunomad.com and now http://on-our-way-travel.com. View author profile.

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