A good traveling experience requires excellent planning, and this is true if you are visiting a foreign country. It is prudent to invest some time upfront to ensure you have covered all your bases. Here are a few ideas to help you prepare when traveling to a new country.
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Check Your Passport and Apply for Any Needed Visas
Although you’re not required to memorize the expiry date of your passport, you need to check it, and also ensure you know where you have kept your passport, before making your international travel plans. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the day you enter a new country. You may get away with this in some nations, but you need to check with the US State Department for all details. Your best resource would be the State Department’s website, where the details will be organized by country. If your passport’s expiry is approaching soon, renew it before your next foreign trip.
Though it’s not a universal requirement, you require a tourist visa to visit many countries around the globe, and the application process differs depending on the country. You can also check this information from the State Department’s website. Remember, applying for a visa can be both time-consuming and costly, so you better deal with it as soon as possible.
Check for Travel Warnings and Health Advisories
Check with the State Department’s travel advisories and see if the US government has issued travel alerts for countries with short-term problems or travel warnings for countries with known long-term problems that pose a risk for travelers to your destination. Remember, most travel insurance packages don’t cover travel to countries that are under travel warnings.
The continuing impact of Covid-19 is still upsetting many countries around the world in strange ways. Before heading for your trip, check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest information and updates on Covid-19 vaccinations and testing that may be required for your destination.
Find Out How to Communicate With Home
Even if your trip is meant to get away from all the noise, it is crucial to know how to get in touch with family and colleagues back at home. Also, it’s an excellent idea to call your parents and tell them you made it to the other side of the world.
The good news is with modern technology, communication is now easier than ever. Check out free services you can use with an internet connection, such as WhatsApp and Skype, anywhere around the world. Various cell phone plans can be activated abroad, although many will not work in a different country. If you don’t fancy the idea of carrying a phonecard, check the SIM card capability of your phone. GSM phones are SIM card-enabled, which means you can switch SIM cards in every country as long as the network is unlocked.
Ensure You Can Access Your Money Overseas
Long gone are the days when you needed to bring travelers’ checks or cash to travel to another country. With the presence of the internet, it is now easier to access and manage your money while traveling globally.
Find out if your bank requires you to set up a travel alert while abroad so they know when you are traveling. Also, find out about international fees, and if they have partner banks in the country you’re visiting to help you save on foreign ATM transaction fees, which can be quite costly. You can as well open a free checking account with Ally or Charles Schwab Banks, which have no foreign transaction fees, and reimburse your ATM fees even while spending abroad. And if you are a forex trader, you need to remain in the loop about the international forex market hours so you can continue trading even while abroad.
Whether it’s travel insurance, health security, or baggage protection, ensure that you are covered while you are abroad. As part of an organized program, they usually give you the choice to purchase an insurance package; so if you don’t have your international coverage, these are excellent options. You can find reputable and reliable travel insurance options at GoAbroad.com.
Always do your due diligence before traveling to a foreign country. The more you know about the customs and traditions of the destination country, the more you’ll have fun and benefit from your trip. So, prepare your passport and visas, look out for travel advisories, get insured, and ensure you can access your money while overseas, and you will enjoy your stay.