Traveling abroad can be a stressful experience if it’s new to you, but working with a professional travel agent who specializes in this type of travel can save you headaches, money, and even assure your safety in places where you don’t speak the language or know the area. Following these tips will help you have a safe travel experience when traveling abroad and enjoy yourself without the stress that comes with a new experience in a new country.
Prepare for Your Trip Abroad
After your trip abroad is planned, the next step is to make sure you are prepared. If you forget a necessary item or don’t have the right documents, you might not be able to get past the airport, costing yourself a lot of money and sanity. (These essential carry-on items will help you get started with the right things on the plane.) Some documents you’ll need are:
- Passports for everyone in the family (some countries require that your passport will be current for six months after your return to the U.S. so look into that before you go)
- Visa, if required by the country
- Prescription documentation and medical documents if you have specific health problems (this is just in case of emergency)
- Name and address
- Emergency contact information
- Blood type
- Medical history
- Current medications and dosages
- Drug allergies
- Any prior hospitalizations
- List of immunizations and dates
- The name of your hotel in writing (a business card or flyer from the hotel is most helpful) in case you need directions
- Travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance from your travel agent
- Personal injury and medical insurance that covers traveling abroad
- Currency of the country where you are traveling (but exchange most of it overseas for lower exchange rates)
- Major credit cards and ATM cards
- Traveler’s checks
- A map of the cities you are visiting
- Make extra copies just in case!
Phone Usage Abroad
Traveling abroad can often be a phone nightmare if you don’t prepare for it upfront. So many people who don’t know any better go overseas and end up not being able to use their phone or paying hundreds of dollars in roaming charges without realizing it. Not being able to contact your family back home is unacceptable to most travelers, so make sure you get ahead of the phone situation before heading overseas.
- Talk to your phone company about overseas rates or getting a phone specifically for traveling abroad
- Ask for instructions on using public phones (and what type of coins or tokens you’ll need when you use it)
- Check with your hotel to determine if they belong to Teleplan before dialing long distance and wasting the money
Tipping is stressful even in a country in which you live, so when you travel abroad, you might not have any idea where to start. These tipping tips will help you stick with etiquette without offending anyone who has helped you.
- Don’t really think about it. If they’ve performed a service, and you appreciate it, tip them.
- Ask your travel agent or check online to see where tipping is customary, because many countries are actually against it.
- Check if tips are included in the cost of any of your services.
- Make sure you have coins and small bills so you are prepared to tip when desired.
Packing for Traveling Abroad
Packing for overseas travel is not much different from traveling domestically, but some points are very important for the long international journey.
- Pack light.
- Coordinate around one single color of clothes so you can bring fewer outfit options.
- Dress for the weather (if you are going somewhere where the weather changes frequently, plan accordingly).
- Use all luggage space (packing cubes are great for this)
- Clearly label your baggage with name, address, and tour group to avoid lost luggage.
- Leave fragile, valuable, and perishable items in your carry-on luggage.
- Pack some of your traveling partner’s clothes in your bag and some of yours in theirs in case one of you loses luggage.
General International Travel Tips
Traveling internationally has some general tips that are similar to domestic travel. Arrange for the care of your home, ask neighbors to keep an eye on your home for safety, and maybe even consider leaving a key with a trusted neighbor in case of emergency. Make sure to confirm your airline reservations prior to leaving, arrive early for your flight (a minimum of two hours prior to takeoff), and leave an itinerary with friends and family so you can easily be reached or in case of emergency.
Pearl Travel: Travel Agents for Traveling Abroad
At Pearl Travel, we have a few specialities: cruises, family vacations, and traveling abroad. Because of this, we really know our stuff. We know the best hotels to stay, the safest places to visit, and the best destinations for you depending on your specific travel needs. Working with a travel agent can help make sure you have all your bases covered for traveling abroad, and it can save you a lot of money and time in the process.
Pearl Travel is pleased to offer unparalleled personal service via our dedicated team of travel advisors! We are able to share an amazing wealth of collective experience and expertise. The use of a personal travel advisor will be sure to enhance your travel experience – we specialize in all forms of travel from all inclusive resorts that are laid out for ease to custom travel that allows for the most unique of adventures. Contact Pearl Travel today or learn more.