If you’re getting ready for a vacation abroad, there are a few things that you’ll want to do before you go that will help you out and make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.
Have Travel Documents
The most important thing is to make sure that all of your travel documents are in order. Passports issued by the US Government are valid for 10 years, so you’ll want to make sure that it hasn’t expired.
You’ll also want to check to see if you need a travel visa for the country you want to visit. Some nations require them and others don’t, so you’ll want to check the US State Department website first.
Decide Cell Phone Plan
Secondly, you’ll want to make sure that your cell phone will work once you get there. With some carriers or plans, you’ll need to call and make sure that your phone has the proper SIM card and coverage.
Buy Power Adapters
The next thing you’ll want to make sure is that you have power adapters for all of your chargers and other electrical plugs so they’ll work on your journey. Many countries have differently-shaped outlets that have different voltages, so an American plug won’t work.
Book Travel Insurance
Next, you’ll want to book travel insurance. You never know what can go wrong, especially when you’re overseas and far from home. Insurance can help protect you financially if disaster should strike.
Alert Financial Institutions
Another important thing to do is to call your bank or fill out a form on their website that tells them you’ll be going out of the country. Most financial institutions allow you to use your card anywhere in the world but their fraud prevention departments may cause your card to be declined if they don’t know about your travel plans.
Speaking of money, you may want to get a small amount of cash exchanged for the currency of the country you’re visiting before you go. You may run into a cash-only store or have your card declined accidentally by your financial institution, even if you have informed them of your plans.
Learn Key Phrases
If you’re going to a non-English-speaking country, you probably won’t have time to learn their language to a conversational level. However, it’s still a good idea to learn a few key phrases that will help you out, even if you’re staying at a resort or an area where you’re still likely to find English speakers.
These phrases include things like “Where is the bathroom?”, “Is there anyone here who speaks English?”, “Please”, “Thank you”, and similar things that you might need to say during your trip.
Tell Someone Your Travel Plans
Finally, you’ll want to have someone close to your home who knows your travel plans and can get help for you in an emergency. You’ll want to call them every few days to check in and let them know that you’re safe.
Although this is not an exhaustive list, these are some of the most important things to do while prepping for a vacation abroad. Good luck, have fun, and safe travels!