Travel and living

The Ultimate Checklist for International Travelers

The prospects of going for an international trip are always very nice. It is a chance to leave your country and explore what other countries have to offer. The food, culture, shopping and also the idea of meeting and interacting with new people are some of the things which make international traveling to be so appealing.

However, before you get on that plane and fly out of the country, there is certain preparation you must make to facilitate a smooth trip. There are quite a number of things you will be required to do, and here is a look at some of the most important ones which might ruin your trip should you choose to ignore any of them.

Whether or not you need a visa

Depending on your nationality, you may or may not need to apply for a visa beforehand. If you are a citizen of the United States, then you are extremely lucky because you can apply for a visa on arrival in many countries, but if you are from other countries, you may need to make visa application weeks or even months before you travel. In some occasions, your country may be visa-exempted by other countries but you will still need to seek authorization to get into the country, using methods such as electronic travel authorization.

For example, if you are headed to Canada and you are from a visa-exempt country, all you will have to do is fill in and submit the Canada ETA form, which will take just a few minutes to get approved. You can fill it before you leave or when you are on the plane so that you have it by the time you land.

Check if you need any vaccination

Travel vaccination is a huge factor when going for an international trip. You need to keep safe from potential diseases or infection you may be prone to when you travel. Most importantly, there are some countries which will require proof for certain vaccines before they can allow you entry. It is important to learn the vaccination requirements and get the necessary jabs in good time, and also get any proof that may be needed.

For example, if you are traveling to any East African country, the entry will be denied if you can’t show proof for the yellow fever vaccine. Such requirements will vary from one country to another and you should never ignore them because they can make you find yourself on the next flight back to your country of departure.

Have a travel insurance

It is pathetic that some people still argue about the importance of a travel insurance, despite the fact that they are affordable and come with a basket-load of benefits. So many things can go wrong you travel and you may end up spending money you had not intended to spend. If you are unlucky, you may not even have enough money to have a fulfilling trip when you run into many misfortunes.

A travel insurance is a document you need to cushion your finances when things don’t go as planned. For example, flight cancellation can make you lose your connecting flights and this will always come with additional expenses. You can fall sick and need proper medical care and this can be a very tricky situation when you are in a foreign land whose healthcare systems you know nothing about. Or you may be compelled to cut short your trip and head home on the next available flight. Such situations can be offsetting financially, but you can adequately take care of them with the help of a travel insurance.

Call your banks about your credit cards

With heightened cybercrimes, banks and financial institutions have increased their monitoring of credit card activities and they will not hesitate to block your card if they suspect any suspicious activities. Using your credit card in another country other than the country it was issued is enough to constitute a suspicious activity and can make your card get blocked from carrying out transactions. Due to this, you should always call your bank or credit card company and tell them about your travel plans, as well as the countries you will be traveling to so that they don’t block your card when you use it abroad. It can be a total misery if your card is blocked abroad and you have to go through all the stringent security checks to have access to your money again.

Think about where to get the local currency

Your home currency will not be very useful abroad and you will ways have to change your money to the local currency before you can use it. Most people prefer converting their money at the airport, but this can sometimes be very expensive. The best is to convert the currency in the bureaus outside the airport or at the commercial banks because they will always have better rates than their counterparts at the airports.

Apply for travel-friendly credit cards

Not all credit cards will be friendly for your international trips and you may end up losing a lot of money for foreign transaction fees. The foreign transactions fees can sometimes be unnecessarily expensive and sometimes the best way to avoid losing money through the cards is to simply have your money in cash and make cash payments. If you feel you must have the cards and use them abroad, choose those that are travel-friendly in the sense that they have reasonable foreign transaction fees.

Know how you will move from the airport

If you will use the services of a travel agent for planning your trip, then it is likely that your first hotel will already be arranged and you will also have a pickup from the airport. If this is not the case, you should find out in good time the transportation method you will use from the airport to your hotel. Using a taxi may be tempting, but in most cases, taxis from the airport are normally expensive compared to public transportation. Simply do a research and know what the best option will be before arrival.

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