Trip Preparation for Travel Abroad: 5 Tips for a Great Journey
Preparing for international travel can be confusing. Besides determining what to pack, transportation details, ensuring your bag will meet weight limits and other logistical burdens, you also have to determine how to proceed once you actually arrive at your destination.
Whether you are taking a vacation or traveling abroad permanently, there are five basic steps to consider beforehand in order to ensure you make your trip the best that it can be.
How to Prepare for International Travel:
- Organize Your Documentation- When preparing for international travel, your passport is crucial. Make sure it has not expired and you have obtained any visas necessary for your destination country. Additionally, other forms of identification are helpful, including a copy of your birth certificate, a government license, and a student or military ID.
- Learn about the Culture- Before you arrive, assess what the typical lifestyle of locals consist of, the norm and faux pas, cuisine, as well as large cultural events that you won’t want to miss. Knowing what to expect will help you make the most of your time abroad.
- Learn to Speak the Language- Even the tiniest bit will go a long way! You might even be able to meet locals, creating a much more memorable experience.
- Research Insurance Options- It is key to assess your needs and determine what you need your plan to include. Will you have maternity, emergency evacuation, or extreme sports coverage? Do some research and find the best international travel insurance plan for you.
- Keep Healthy- Check out what the overall reputation of the healthcare system in your host country is and scout out a few hospitals in the cities you will be staying. Before you leave it’s also a good idea to review the World Health Organization’s (WHO) suggested immunizations for your destination country.
In preparing for international travel, a little bit of research goes a long way. Now that you know five basic steps on how to prepare for international travel, get started and enjoy your trip!
Traveling Abroad – Here Is Your Packing List
Traveling internationally can be daunting if you don’t know how to pack for international travel. Experiencing a new country can be exciting, but if you are not properly prepared, visiting a new culture is not as enjoyable as it could be. There are a few different categories that you want to make sure you are prepared for while packing for a trip abroad: clothes, medications, and safety.
This might seem like a category you can ignore and just throw a few shirts and socks into a bag then go. However, when you pack for international travel, it should be more strategic than that. A few things that should be taken into consideration are:
Weather– Temperature and weather conditions can vary greatly around the world. Find out what is going on in your host country and pack accordingly. Also, what does the weather feel like throughout the day where you will be? For example, many deserts are hot during the day but the temperature drops significantly during the night. In this case, both warm and cold weather clothes would need to be packed.
Culture– When traveling internationally it is important to research what those in the culture you will be traveling to are accustomed to wearing and seeing on the streets. It is courteous and safe to make sure what you will be wearing will not offend those you will be traveling around.
Itinerary– Traveling does not always include just sightseeing and walking around during the day. Make sure you leave room in your bag for a nice outfit or two in case you decide on a relaxing night out. Traveling for business? Make sure to include a comfortable outfit to wear if you find free time to visit a few local sites.
Pack enough prescription medication to last not only the days you have planned but also a few extra days in the event that travel plans are delayed. Make sure all medications are in their original packaging with your name on the prescription label. Since certain over the counter medications you use might not be available where you are visiting, it is a good idea to bring what you will need or use regularly with you.
Depending on where you are traveling to, this category might make or break a trip depending on how you pack. Before you leave, make sure you check the local conditions of where you will be staying and plan accordingly. If the area you will be visiting has had an outbreak of malaria, pack long sleeved clothes, a bed net, and any necessary bug spray; if there has been a series of sandstorms, bring protective facial gear.
When you pack for international travel, it is important to remember that it is not as easy as throwing a few items into a bag. It also involves researching the location you will be visiting and finding out what you will need during your stay. A few other items to look into before you leave are the travel warnings for your host country and purchasing international travel insurance. Preparing for a journey before you go will increase your chance of having a smooth trip ahead.
To complete necessary daily tasks, lists are a great way to organize thoughts and ensure that what needs to be done is accomplished. When it comes to traveling- it’s no different. Although exciting, traveling can also be rushed, inevitably causing necessary items to be forgotten about or left behind. Having a travel list can assist with making sure that you will have everything you need for your journey. Although each trip is different and the travel list will vary based upon destination, length of travel and trip purpose, we have compiled a few basics that you will want to make sure you include in your travel list when venturing abroad.
Essentially every mode of public transportation during travel will require a form of identification. If you are traveling internationally make sure that you have your passport and that it will not be expiring in the near future.
Research what the visa requirements for your situation within your host country are and allow yourself plenty of time to obtain one if needed.
If you need a visa, you will more than likely be required to purchase international travel insurance as well. Find out what benefits your plan will need to include to meet your visa insurance requirements. If you don’t require a visa for your trip, it’s still important to make sure you and your family will be covered in the event that the unexpected occurs. Confirm if your current insurance plan will cover you internationally, if not, find an international health insurance plan that will.
Updated Travel Itinerary
24 hours prior to traveling, compile your travel confirmations and print a copy for your quick reference when on the go. Suggested documents include flight itineraries, hotel reservations, car rental confirmations, bus/train schedules, scheduled tour confirmations and other documents which include details of your travel.
Before your journey, create a list of emergency numbers that may be useful in an urgent situation. This may include the contact information of your embassy, the local police/hospital and friends or family who are located within your host country.
Contact your bank and credit card company before your trip to make them aware of where you will be going and for how long. Many companies will freeze your account if there are purchases from outside your home country if they have not been notified prior to these transactions. While this is great for security purposes, it can cause a huge headache if you do not have a backup payment method. Prevent this from happening by making a quick call ahead of time.
If planning a large trip, like relocating to a new country, it is helpful to create a travel list and break it down according to how long you have before your departure. Not only will this make the list more manageable by spreading it out over time, but it will also give you a deadline for each item and help keep you on track with checking items off your list.