Travelers who experience anxiety when taking a trip abroad can ease some of their worries by following some simple tips. No matter where one travels, leaving the country adds an element that requires special preparation. Getting all of your ducks in a row will not only give you something to do with all that nervous pre-trip energy, it will help your trip go smoothly. The following checklist of items you need to bring when traveling abroad will also help.
Document requirements vary depending on where you are traveling, how long you are planning to stay, and what the purpose of the trip is. You may need special health visas as well, to ensure that you can have access to medical care and that your insurance will be honored. Make copies of everything. Place one copy in your suitcase, keep one copy on you, and give one copy, along with your itinerary and contact information, to a relative, friend, or neighbor.
Make sure your passport has more than six months to expiration, as required by some countries. Make sure you have passports and identification for your children as well. While some countries require only a photo ID and birth certificate to enter, the United States requires a passport for all traveling by air to re-enter.
International Driver’s Permit
Many people don’t think about needing a different driver’s license when driving outside of the country. If you plan on driving at all during your trip, you need this. Even if you have a driving license from the U.S., many countries still require an International Driving Permit as well as valid insurance. Check with the embassy in the country you are planning to visit to find out if you need this.
Emergency Contact Information
Hopefully you will never need this, but it is important to include your emergency contact information in your documents and keep a copy of this information on your person at all times. Keep a copy with your document copies. It is a good idea to find the location of U.S. Embassies, and keep this information, along with the location of police and hospitals in the area you are traveling to. Keep a copy on you, keep one in your luggage, and give one to your emergency contact.
Hotel Confirmation, Traveler’s Checks
Secure your traveler’s checks and create a record of the numbers. Again, make copies, one for your contact person and one to keep in your luggage. It is a good idea to exchange cash for the currency of the country you are heading to. Arriving at your destination without any cash is a mistake. You may need cash for a taxi and food. Just as a word about your cash: don’t flash it, and don’t keep it all in the same place.
Finally, get your maps, apps, and guides as suggested by 6 Tips to Ease Your Worries About International Travel. There are some great travel-assisting apps and directional aids that can enhance your trip. Plan your route using your itinerary. Hopefully, this will prevent you from getting lost and wasting valuable time.
Make sure you have your medications in bottles that are clearly labeled, and keep them with you. Also bring documentation from your healthcare provider stating why you take the medication. Take along an adapter for your hair dryer and other small electrical devices. Bring a door stop to place inside for added safety. You may want to bring a wind-up alarm clock, flashlight, and smoke detector. Remember to pack your camera. Bon Voyage!