If you’ve never travelled out of the country before, you might be surprised at how much more needs to be done before your vacation can begin. From packing to planning to communicating, everything is different on an international vacation. And while we certainly can’t warn you about everything, here are a few things to keep in mind if you plan to travel out of the country.
1. Find Out About International Calls – Every service provider is different, and every country is handled differently, but you need to know what you can and can’t do when travelling. For some, it’s simply understanding what it will cost while you are abroad, but for other providers, you may need a special SIM Card to allow you to even connect overseas. Also, find out how texts are handled – some providers don’t charge additional to text, which can make it a great way to keep in touch.
2. Passport and Visas – As obvious as it may be, be sure your passport is not going to be expired when you travel. It can take months to get a replacement passport, so you want to be sure far in advance that you are able to travel. Also be sure to check the rules where you are traveling – some countries will require you to apply for a visa to travel there. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to almost a year depending on where you are headed.
3. Check Travel Advisories – Make sure there are no serious weather issues, outbreaks, or geopolitical warnings before travelling. The last thing you want is to get there and find out you can’t leave the airport because of a monsoon, malaria outbreak, or civil war.
4. Know Where the Embassy is – If something should happen while you are out of the country, the embassy may be the only safe place for you. No matter where you are travelling, this piece of information can save you countless hours of paperwork or even save your life.
5. Check the Vaccines – When travelling to certain areas, vaccines are recommended to fight diseases which we don’t have here in the United States. Some of these shots are simply a booster, while others are a new shot all together. If you plan to travel abroad, reach out to your doctor to make sure you don’t need any vaccines.
6. Give an Itinerary to Someone – Make sure someone at home knows where you will be every day. This doesn’t mean they need to know which museums you will be seeing which days or where you plan to shop, but it should include the cities you will be in and when, as well as the contact information for your hotels or hostels along the way.
Again, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should give you a head start as you prepare to leave the country. No go take care of these items so you can relax and enjoy yourself on vacation.