What Not To Forget When You Travel Abroad
Traveling abroad is an exciting, invigorating and meaningful experience. Making sure a few preliminary details are in order can ensure a safe and smooth trip. Spending a few moments organizing your thoughts before packing your bags is time well spent and can make sure you are ready for fun, business, pleasure or the unexpected.
Preparing for the unexpected is a good exercise to get out of the way. International travelers should register with the Department of State. The State Department maintains a free travel registation service. Registering at this site allows the state department to contact any traveler who has an unexpected emergency in the states while traveling abroad. All registered information remains confidential unless an emergency arises.
The next thing to do is to make sure all your identification is in order, up-to-date, properly executed safely stored and ready for use. Make sure your passport is signed and emergency contact information updated. Check the expiration dates on credit cards.
It is a good idea to notify close friends, persons checking your residence and immediate family of your exact travel plans. Print up and distribute copies of your itinerary with contact numbers for each port of call.
Preparing for the unexpected prevents a crisis. Check your medical insurance to validate overseas coverage. If no coverage exists, consider procuring overseas medical insurance.
Preparing for your trip abroad is more rewarding when you are familiar with what is ahead. The state department has another helpful site at where travelers can have access to valuable information about destinations, customs, weather, laws and more. Before you depart, compile a contact list including the U.S. Embassies and Consulates located in your ports of call. These operations are available 24/7 and can provide a variety of emergency assistance.
Now that your logistical bases are covered, spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with your actual travel plans. Check with your airline to learn more about your baggage and carry-on restrictions. You may want to consider earplugs and socks for long international flights that can be chilly and loud.
Putting some thought in to your carry-bag is always a good idea. Pack back-up clothing for one night, your valuables, electrical chargers, cell phones and accessories and laptop and accessories.
International travelers are advised to be especially careful about slips that could lead to identity theft. Many travelers use body hugging money belts for carrying money and identification.
Now comes all that pressure of packing those bags. It is a good idea not to leave packing until the last minute. Create a packing area. Assemble items to be taken abroad in this dedicated area. Make your checklist and start pecking away. Be sure to include:
-Address book with contact numbers
-Camera and accessories
-Travel alarm clock
-Waterproof money, identification carrier
-Plastic bags for laundry
Notify your credit card company and banking institutions of your travel plans. Make sure they know how to contact you and that you can contact them.
Contact your cell phone carrier and make sure you have international access to incoming and outgoing services. If not, make provisions and distribute new contact info.
Well, now you are set and what a trip you should have. Take some reading materials, maps and up-to-date tour guides just in case any spare time arises. Make the most of every minute because every international trip has potential for a lifetime of memories. Bon voyage!