If it is your first trip abroad, you need to be prepared for any eventuality – Tips for Traveling Internationally.
Although it is impossible to be ready for everything, you should make sure that you are prepared for the essentials.
Tips for Traveling Internationally
Here are the essential areas to focus on before going on your first trip abroad:
Check Your Health Insurance
You need to consider your health by checking with your insurance carrier as well as your doctor.
Make sure that you have the right vaccinations before leaving and renew your prescriptions.
Moreover, you should ask your medical insurance provider whether your policy would apply in overseas countries.
If your insurance does not apply in other countries, you should consider adding extra coverage by paying for supplemental insurance.
Carry Copies of Your Passport
You need to carry your passport as well as several copies of the document.
That way, if your passport is stolen, you will still be able to go back home and prove your citizenship.
You do not want to be stuck in a foreign country without a passport because leaving will be a nightmare.
If you think that carrying around several copies of the same document is impractical, you should keep an electronic copy of your passport in your email.
That way, if your passport gets lost you can easily print out a copy. Applying for a Visa Waiver
Convert Your Money
Before you visit a particular country, you should look into its monetary conversion.
Finding out that a foreign currency equals only a few cents in your currency is not a good surprise.
The best way to prepare for conversion issues is by doing the math beforehand to figure out how much you will end up with in the local currency.
Ensure That Your Credit Card Will Work
Which country are you visiting? Make sure that your credit card can be used in that country.
Most European countries are now using the chip-and-PIN technology, which is a lot safer.
Moreover, fewer businesses are accepting the outdated cards that use magnetic strips.
Have Local Cash
Because you can never be too sure which places accept credit cards, you should always carry some local bills.
Cash is especially important when using trains and buses; otherwise, you might have to walk.
A guidebook usually includes keywords, maps, phrases, and plenty of detail on certain locations.
A guidebook will save you some money, as you will not need to purchase a pamphlet at certain locations or download any apps before you travel.
You can download apps while at home to avoid incurring extra charges from your wireless carrier.
Instead of visiting a country without any plans, you should research the events that will be taking place while you are there.
This way, you can avoid missing the best events: natural events and festivals.
You should also consider researching local dishes before you try anything; you do not want to eat something that you are allergic to while there.
Bring a Charger Adapter
Different countries have varying sizes of plugs and different voltages.
For this reason, you should consider bringing a charger adapter to avoid issues.
You do not want to have your phone turned off while in a foreign country.
Although eating abroad is fun, experimenting with different foods can be difficult.
Until you find the perfect restaurant with food that is delicious, you should eat something that you actually like.
Bringing snacks with you is the perfect solution.
Are you looking to have fun in abroad?
You should schedule a hop on hop off tour bus to learn the ins and outs of a city while not having to worry about getting lost or exhausted from walking all day.
Travel Issues and How to Avoid Them
Traveling should be fun and enjoyable but too often, situations arise and put a damper on your trip.
Top travel issues that you can avoid altogether with careful planning and advanced preparation.
Planning carefully and preparing in advance are the key factors in traveling without the stress or the hassle.
There may be some things you have no control of but that doesn’t mean they are not going to happen.
In fact, most of the things that do happen when people travel can be actually be prevented.
Some, however, you just have to make the best effort to avoid.
Hopefully you will never have to experience any of these travel issues like these while traveling, but it’s best to be prepared in advance should this happen.
Something as simple as jet lag or stomach issues can put a real damper on your vacation.
If you’re not prepared for travel issues before leaving, your trip may not be as enjoyable as you would like.
Flight Delays and Cancellations
Flight delays and cancellations are hardly preventable since these occur primarily because of the aircraft’s mechanical issues or weather conditions.
You can, however, minimize a delay or cancellation by choosing direct flights instead of those with stopovers to get to a destination.
You won’t miss a connecting flight if the layover between your flights is longer even if there are delays.
Check in with your airline if you are bumped off your flight as a result of overbooking.
Airlines typically compensate with their passengers when such incidents happen by giving them lodging and/or food compensation.
If, however, the flight was cancelled as a result of a mechanical or weather issue, you don’t receive any compensation.
Keep updated with your flight schedules to avoid this.
While the jet lag experienced by frequent international travelers is truly dreadful, you can do some things which would lessen your jet lag’s extent.
Jet lag is a common Travel Issues problem for international travelers, even more if they’re flying across the pond!
There are things you can do to avoid or help those who have problems with jet lag.
When booking your flight, make sure you give yourself enough time to sleep it off.
Try moving around more during your flight and set your watch to the time where you are landing.
The week before you leave, if you are traveling east, move your bedtime up a half hour each night, if traveling west, move your bedtime back a half hour each night.
This allows plenty of time for you to adjust to different time zones.
When you book your flight, for instance, ensure that you have time for sufficient sleep by moving around during the flight.
Set your watch to the time zone of the place where you will land.
Give your body a time to adjust before leaving for your destination.
Move bedtime up by 30 minutes every night if you are heading east and move it back by the same number of minutes if you are traveling west.
Do this a week before your actual departure to give yourself sufficient time in adjusting to different time zones.
Scams and Crimes
Travelers can avoid both scams and crimes by being alert and vigilant in foreign environments.
Remember that where travelers congregate, scammers will soon follow.
Be especially wary of those pretending to be police offers and accosting you for bogus violations.
Scammers presume most travelers are not aware of how police uniforms of other countries look like.
If scammers coerce you to part with your money, criminal force you to give up your cash.
Pick pockets and muggers are common encounters which you can avoid by not looking like you are ripe for being victimized.
Never look like you are lost.
That is easy to do when you have a camera dangling from your neck and looking up from a foreign language dictionary or trying to figure out a big map.
Unless you know people in the country you are traveling to – like former classmates, relatives, friends, etc. — go to your consulate or embassy and ask for advice on what areas to avoid.
If you are fortunate to know locals you can trust, ask their advice on safe attractions, restaurants, and other sites which you may want to visit.
You can also ask to accompany you.
Lost or Stolen Wallet – Passport
The worst travel issue is loss or theft of items such as wallets and passports.
This is probably the worst Travel Issues of all things that can happen when traveling!
Make copies of important documents before leaving.
Copy both sides so you’ll have access to account numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, put your passport away in a safe place and make sure you always carry a copy with you.
Email copies to yourself too, you can always hop online and get a copy if need be.
To avoid having a shortage of cash, leave cash with a trusted friend or relative.
Common sense is key here, never carry your wallet in your back pocket or flash your cash in public.
To be extra save, leave money with friends, they can wire it to you in case something does happen.
Purses are also easily snatched in some countries, always wear a bag that straps to your body and keep all your valuables in an inside pocket.
For seniors, the loss or breakage of contact lenses or eyeglasses and/or hearing aids is, undoubtedly, frustrating since their visual and auditory functions will definitely hamper their enjoyment of the trip.
What you can do is make several copies of all the important documents that you will need while traveling prior to your departure.
Copy account numbers, telephone numbers, expiration dates, etc. on index cards and tuck them away in an envelope where your passport (and your pet passports) should also be once you have arrived at your hotel or lodging.
This envelope should be placed in a secure place where it can be readily retrieved when needed.
Always carry copies of important documents with you when you go out of your hotel or lodging.
Emailing those copies to your own email address guarantees that you can retrieve them online should there be a need for them and all other options have been ineffective.
Avoid cash shortage and leave some with the concierge and/or security of the hotel’s vault.
Don’t keep all of your money in just one place.
Leave half in your bag and half with you.
Wear clothing with several pockets if possible and distribute your money in them.
If, by misfortune, you encounter a slick pickpocket or a fast snatcher, you won’t lose all your money since it is in several places.
Write down the serial numbers of your traveler’s checks, their dates of issuance, and the issuing agency’s location for faster facilitation of their replacements.
Always bring a spare pair of eyeglasses and/or contact lenses when traveling.
Most people hardly ever give consideration for eyeglasses and/or contact lenses when going on a trip, yet either lost or damaged can bring your sightseeing to a grinding halt and ruin your travel.
Keep a copy of your prescription with you at all times.
Additionally, keep another copy online.
Have the phone number of your eye doctor in case you will need a recent prescription to buy a new pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses.
There are great deals on eyeglasses in some countries that have lower costs of living such as Thailand where you can get frames for your eyeglasses at cheaper prices.
Or you can get prescription sunglasses to use as backup.
Have a lens cloth and tiny screwdriver in a case to do basic repairs – tightening screws, for instance – on your eyeglasses if they tend to get loose; when this happens, it is likely that your eyeglasses can just become unscrewed and get broken or damaged.
For users of contact lenses, bring a spare pair in an unopened case.
Getting sick while on a trip is not unheard of. If your trip is overseas, ensure that you have been vaccinated.
Aside from a first aid kit, keep common medications in one container that can be easily accessed.
These medications include those for motion sickness, diarrhea, indigestion, cold and flu, fever, cough, stomach upset, etc.
If you use syringes or needles for insulin injections, keep your medical certificate with — from your doctor — indicating these are for your medical use.
This is my worst Travel Issues: Motion sickness can ruin a wonderful vacation so take Dramamine or another over the counter medication to help settle your stomach before you hop on a plane. How to ease Travel Sickness
When you’re on the plane, make sure you sit directly over the wing and turn on the A/C over your seat.
If a road trip is a part of your adventure, avoid sitting in the back seat of the vehicle if you are a passenger.
Eat light meals, avoid caffeine and always stay cool.
Stomach flu, also known as viral gastroenteritis, is contagious.
When you travel it’s so easy to catch a stomach virus, from tap water to touching money or even funky foods.
Always carry hand sanitizer and/or wash your hands regularly.
As soon as you feel it coming, go see a doctor, when you travel, sometimes over the counter medications can just make it worse.
Don’t skip meals, no matter how sick you feel, eat dry toast or crackers.
Stay hydrated, return electrolytes to your body by drinking fluids containing electrolytes.
Check the weather before traveling!
If it is hot and sunny, be sure to pack (and wear) protective clothing such as a sun hat or scarf.
Don’t underestimate your resistance to the sun, in some foreign countries you’ll be surprised how fast you can burn with just standing out in the sun for a few minutes.
Always wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and apply sun lotion repeatedly if in the sun for a prolonged period of time.
Pack a good aloe Vera lotion just in case you do get sunburn.
Why Get Travel Insurance?
The reason for having travel insurance with medical coverage cannot be emphasized enough.
These top five issues may all be covered with a comprehensive travel insurance policy.
Having such cover will give you peace of mind and security in cases of theft, loss, and flight delays and cancellations as well as immediate medical treatment in case of serious illness, injury or accident.
Some people may tell you that having travel insurance is not necessary.
On the contrary, travel insurance ensures security for so many things involved in the course of your travel including, but not limited to, repatriation in case war breaks out in the country you are in, theft or loss of your personal items, and medical attention for an injury or accident, among other circumstances.
The bottom line… preparation is key!
Research your destination country first and plan ahead!