Are you planning on taking a trip abroad but a bit worried about some of the potential problems that could arise? If you’ve spent any amount of time reading some of the international travel blogs, you probably already know about a few of the nightmare scenarios that people have encountered as soon as they leave the safe haven of home. It doesn’t have to be that way, you must enjoy your hassle-free international travel around the world.
In fact, many take multi-national vacations every year and return home without having encountered a whit of trouble, inconvenience, or lost baggage, a common fear of internet chat room discussions about long-range vacations. Think ahead and review this checklist before considering an international trip anytime sooner.
Checklist You Should Consider For a Hassle-Free International Travel:
If you want to minimize your headaches during the weeks you’ll be spending on the shores of a tropical paradise or in the cities and towns of a foreign land, follow a few tried-and-true tips from travel-related blogs, websites, books, and documentaries. Here’s a list you must consider:
Money and Exchange Rates
Do your homework about money before the big departure day. It’s usually wise to pay ahead of time for things like hotels, tour fees, transportation, and other major expenses. If you’re headed to a country with an unstable exchange rate, think about trying to pay for everything upfront so you will be subject to minimum rate fluctuations. If the rate is relatively stable in the place you’ll be staying, learn the conversion rates and know where to convert your home currency into local funds. Some airports have small bank kiosks for this specific purpose.
Pay It Forward
How will you pay for your journey? Do you have enough in savings to cover the whole thing? If not, now is the time to make a workable, realistic plan. For instance, many people take out personal loans from private lenders to pay for some or all of their travel-related expenses. The concept of paying it forward is to finance your dream trip long before you pack your bags.
Itineraries and Agendas
Make a detailed list of what you plan to do while away. Be as specific as possible. Research museums and other attractions near your destination lodging. This is not a must-do list, far from it. Instead, use this itinerary as a sort of backup plan in case you find yourself at a loss for something to do on a particular day.
Travel with as few valuables and as little cash as possible. Use traveler’s checks if you can. Most places, even remote outposts, accept them nowadays. Do careful advance planning and find out which credit cards are the best for where you’ll be staying. Also, have a Plan B for receiving funds by wire in case you find yourself stranded or in an emergency situation while away. Use a trusted, reliable family member as your at-home contact person who can send you money if the need arises.
Know your hotel, is a common admonition in travel chat rooms. Don’t assume that because the place has a famous name it will be acceptable. Check reviews and do your best to chat with people who have stayed in the place. Find out if it’s located in a safe part of town. If your accommodations are cut-rate or appear just a bit too low-priced, double-check on the quality and safety factors.
One subject that people often fail to learn about is local law. Never assume that what is legal at home is legal everywhere else. For instance, U.S. drug laws tend to be much laxer than in the majority of foreign nations, especially in Asia and the Middle East. Read up on special legal circumstances and know what you can and can’t do while vacationing. Something as simple as staying out late at night can get you in deep legal trouble where curfews are in effect. Likewise, many countries have very strict regulations about alcohol use, possession, and sales.
Wander into an unlisted bar in a dry country and you could end up in jail for the night, or for much longer. Have contact phone numbers for your country’s embassy. Research alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drug laws. Visit online discussion groups and find out if there are areas or neighborhoods you should avoid. Even some of the world’s most luxurious resort cities include zones where tourists should never go, no matter what time of the day or night.
Before you go, find out about shots and medical clearances you might need. This can be particularly important if you intend to visit out-of-the-way places, under-developed countries, or areas where there have recently been outbreaks of contagious illnesses. Additionally, even if you only aim to be away for a couple of weeks, arrange to have a medical checkup before departing. Check with your health insurance carrier and find out about coverage on foreign soil.
If you were to become ill while traveling, do you know the names of nearby hospitals that will accept your insurance? These are the kinds of topics you need to explore asap, months before boarding the plane. Of course, there’s no guarantee that your voyage will come off without a single inconvenience, but if you take the time to prepare, there’s a high probability that your R&R time will be not only hassle-free but fun, memorable, educational, and the stuff that dreams are made of.