Expert Tips to Make International Travel Easier
Traveling overseas is exciting, but it can also be stressful. You need an up-to-date passport, the right documentation, and the know-how to get around.
But when you know a few tricks, international travel becomes much more of a breeze.
Here are a few expert tips to make international travel easier.
The Hidden Passport Rule
Did you know that you might get denied entry into a country if your passport will expire within six months? Not all countries abide by this hidden rule, but you don’t want to get stuck at any border when you have hotel reservations in that country. It does make sense in a way because if you get stuck in a country, you want to know you can get back to your homeland.
So, since you want to ensure you have the birth certificate needed for a passport, you’re going to want to plan this far in advance.
Make sure your passport is up-to-date and won’t expire any time soon.
How to Get Cash
Cash can be tricky when the currency isn’t the same as your home bank, which is always the case when you cross an ocean. So, what happens if you go to an ATM?
Many banks charge excessive fees for any out-of-network ATM use, but they can also charge currency conversion rates too. Check with your bank to see if they have ATMs where you’re going. If not, find out what the rates are. To minimize fees, you’ll want to balance getting enough cash for your trip without having too much of the local currency left over. Make sure to notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel, and check exchange rates before going abroad.
Avoiding Credit Card Fees
Many credit cards charge foreign transaction fees, and these can be as high as 3 percent. This is a sneaky way for banks to get more money, and it can really put a damper on your vacation budget. Call your bank to find out whether such fees exist. If they do, it may be worthwhile to
open a different credit card to keep on hand for your travels.
And while you’re at it, make sure to tell the credit card companies that you’ll be out of the country during your travel dates. This will help you avoid having any purchases flagged as fraud.
Bring Your Medicine
You probably already know to bring prescription medications with you on any vacation, but there are a few personal care items you may want to pack too. Ibuprofen, Imodium, Tums, and Sudafed are good examples of medicines that might come in handy when you’re on your trip. There aren’t always healthy food options available while traveling, so you might not always be feeling your best. Additionally, some prescription drugs, including narcotics and some U.S. over-the-counter medications, are illegal in other countries, so make sure to do your research beforehand.
In the old days, we used to get travel cell phones to take with us during international travel. Thankfully, things are easier today. You could still get a specific international phone, but in most cases, you can simply add international data service to your existing cell phone plan. It’s also helpful to turn off data roaming when you’re traveling, especially near borders. If the nearest tower is in another country and roaming is on, you may get charged extra fees.
There are a lot of things to know when you’re traveling overseas. And somewhat surprisingly, a foreign language falls towards the bottom of the list. If you want your trip to run smoothly, follow the tips on this list and enjoy your time in a foreign land!