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Tips for International Travel

International TravelTraveling can be stressful even if you’re staying close to home. If this is your first time traveling abroad or you just need a refresher, here are some tips to help make your trip as fun and stress-free as possible.

Don’t just carry your passport, make copies of it and carry them as well. If your passport gets stolen or lost you want to be sure that you can still get back into the country, or be able to prove your citizenship. Also leave a copy at home with someone you trust, this will give you extra backup. You can also make a digital copy to store on your computer.

No matter where you’re traveling, you can never be sure what might happen while you’re there. That is why it’s a good idea to register with your embassy. If there’s a problem in the country, this will make it easier for your government to contact you and get you to safety. Registering can usually be done online.

Certain destinations may require vaccinations that you don’t already have. Check with your doctor about any possible vaccinations that you may be required to obtain prior to your trip and be sure to fill prescriptions that you’ll need. It’s also a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see if your medical policy applies overseas for emergencies. If it doesn’t, and you want to add extra coverage, consider supplemental travel insurance.

Unless someone is paying your way, you’re going to need money while you’re on your trip. Look up conversion rates before you head out so you can budget properly. Also, call your bank and credit card companies and let them know you will be traveling. If you use these cards for a purchase in a new country it will send up flags and the fraud department might temporarily shut your cards off. You can get them back but if you’re in a situation where you need money immediately, this could cause problems. Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards, especially important places like trains or buses.

Plan ahead for any activities you know you don’t want to miss. By purchasing in advance you’ll be able to skip more lines and find more bargains. Download any apps you want before you travel. You could be subject to extra fees by your service provider for downloading out of area.

Different countries have different size electrical outlet plugs and voltage so buy adapters for any chargers or power cords you need to have plugged in. Also check the voltage of your electronics. If you have something like a blow dryer you want to bring, first make sure the voltage is optimal for the country you’re visiting otherwise you won’t be able to use it and it will simply take up space in your luggage.