Traveling abroad does not need to be difficult. Following these International Travel Tips will ensure that if you run into problems they will be minor.
Passports: Before you pack your suitcase make sure that you have signed your passport, visa and filled in the emergency contact information. Your emergency contact person will be the person authorities contact should you be separated from your passport.
Register: Taking the time to register with the State Department before you depart provides extra insurance should you loose your passport or become stranded. This service is also used if there is a family emergency in your home country. This service is available online. You can also check for any overseas travel warnings on the State Departments web site.
Copies: Leave copies of all your travel documents along with your itinerary with your contact person. Should you loose your passport or have any problems these copies will help set things in order. Include your passport, visa, proof of inoculation, driver's license, and any other documents that you will have with you.
Vaccinations: Long before you plan to depart check with CDC and the State Departments required immunization list for the country or countries you will be visiting. Some immunizations require 2 injections weeks apart. Doing your research months before you plan to leave will eliminate any last minute changes in your travel plans. Include with your travel documents copies of these required inoculations.
Obey the Laws: Every country has their own laws. While visiting you are subject to the laws of the country you are visiting. The State Department has legal information regarding laws and conditions on their web site. Ignorance of any law will not be accepted as an excuse.
Insurance: Your medical insurance may not be accepted in some countries. Check with your medical insurance provider prior to your departure. If you find that your insurance company does not cover services abroad consider obtaining a limited supplemental policy. Being prepared might save you a lot of frustration later.
Luggage: Seasoned travelers will tell you to take two pieces of luggage; one carry-on-bag and one suitcase. Wheeled luggage is preferred as there will be long walks through airports. By rolling your clothing prior to placing it in your luggage you will save space. Once you have decided what you will be taking, experts say to divide that in half. Socks can be placed in shoes. Clothing can be washed by hand at your motel or in a local laundromat. Your carry-on bag should contain one change of clothes and nightwear in case you are separated from your luggage. Marking your luggage in a distinct manner with bright ribbons or a large sticker will help you find it once you arrive at your destination.
Following these few international travel tips will help reduce the stress and frustrations you might run into while traveling. Your embassy or consulate will help you during any emergency. Most are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Keep their number and web site address with you just in case.
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