If this is your first time traveling abroad, or maybe you just need a refresher here’s a list of tips you should do or bring before your trip.
Hotel business cards
The first thing I do when arriving at a hotel overseas is take a business card from the front desk. That way, if I ever get lost, I have the name and address of the hotel in the local language. Large populations around the world speak English, but having something in a local language that I can show locals and taxi drivers is an extra bit of insurance.
The six-month passport rule
The expiration date on your passport is actually a bit deceiving. The U.S. lets you use your passport up to the date inside the cover. However, several countries will deny travelers entry if the passport expires in less than six months. Why? If for some unexpected reason you get stuck overseas longer than planned, that country wants to ensure that you have a valid passport to eventually travel back to your home. To avoid any problems, renew your passport during a downtime in travel, about nine months prior to the expiration date.
Notify your credit card company’s fraud department of what countries you will be visiting and on what dates. This way, they won’t think your card is stolen and shut it off just when you need it the most. Be mindful of any countries you might be changing planes in; you might need to make a charge during your layover, especially if there’s a delay.
The way to get cash is usually an ATM, but many countries banks charge steep fees for using an ATM that is out of network. You can take out a large amount of cash at the airport ATM so you pay that fee only once, but it’s never advisable to carry large sums of cash. Plus, you risk having too much local currency left over at the end of your trip.
The best exchange rates are often found using your credit card. However, many credit cards will tack on a foreign transaction fee, sometimes as high as 3 percent. It’s a pointless fee that no traveler should ever pay. Platinum American Express are two of the cards that don’t levy this fee. For your card kindly first enquire from your bank.
Credit card chips
U.S. credit cards rely on magnetic strips on the back that are swiped at vendors. In Europe, cards have a chip embedded in them which—when paired with a PIN—are used for purchases. It’s a much more
Most vendors overseas can still swipe your card. But train ticket machines, gas stations, and other machines where we pay without interacting with a person often reject cards that are swiped. Many credit cards are now coming with chip and signature technology.
I always carry an eye mask and earplugs in my medicine bag because you never know what your hotel room is going to be like. But I also carry Advil, NyQuil, Imodium A-D, Tums, and a handful of other key medications. Yes, even the most historic European neighborhood has a drugstore. But do you want to be running around Germany late at night, trying to translate “diarrhea”? If you’re heading to third-world countries, stocking up on the right drugs is even more important. Many travelers fill a prescription in advance for the antibiotic ciprofloxacin and bring it with them just in case. For safer side get a renewd prescription of your vital medicines from your doctor befor leaving.
Foreign airline sites
If you are on a tight budget—and don’t have to book through your company’s travel department—look at overseas airlines’ sites in their home country. Google chrome can usually help you alot for translation of pages of tickets as well as for languages for your efficiency.
Set up your cell phone to avoid international data roaming. Many business travelers have an international calling and data plan. But infrequent travelers don’t. The biggest costs can come from transmitting data overseas.
Unwanted local currency
If you have left over local currency which is ain’t needed then, while checking out take that cash and ask the hotel to apply it to your bill and then pay the remaining balance with my no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card.
If you don’t add a data plan to your phone while abroad, you can still jury-rig a crude version. Using the Wi-Fi in your hotel, plot out a few routes you plan to walk that day. Then take a screenshot of those maps. You can later find the photo, zoom in, and follow the path. It’s not ideal, but it’s a work-around.
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.
Guidebooks usually include maps, key words or phrases, and give you enough detail on certain sites that you won’t need to purchase the pamphlet at the venue. And download apps before you travel. Avoid downloading charges from your wireless carrier and get your apps before you leave.
Bring copies of your passport
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.
Leave a copy of your passport
For extra backup, leave a copy of your passport at home or with someone you trust. Consider making an electronic copy you can store in your email account as well.
Research events going on while you’re there
This will help you make sure that you’re not missing the best events going on in the city — fun things like festivals, ceremonies and natural events. Also be sure to research as a few national dishes to try. You don’t want to leave the country without experiencing what its known for.
Have some foreign currency ahead of time
Like I said, I’m loathe to actually exchange currency, since most bureaus charge either a flat fee or a percentage of the transaction (usually whichever amount is higher). Still, I have found it necessary to have at least some foreign cash on hand before I land. Though you can usually find an ATM at the airport, I can’t count the number of times that there has been only one, even in a major hub terminal, that it has been out of cash, or that there has been a problem reading my card. That can be nerve-racking, especially since many taxis and even public forms of transport like buses and shuttles will only accept cash. It pays to have a few euros, yen or pesos with you when you arrive.
It’s an essential thing to be thought about. It is different for different nations amnd should be enquired from their respective nation guidelines. Usually liquids and snacks are not allowed and luggage that exceed more than 23 kg are not allowed. You can get online information about this and even on your flight ticket while going.