Planning to travel abroad? Lucky you!! With your flights and hotels booked and your list of must-see attractions growing ever longer, make sure you also do the prep work of understanding current safety guidelines, travel regulations, health requirements and the like. Rules can change on a dime, so make sure your travels aren’t disrupted because you weren’t up on the latest info. Here are four important things to look into and take care of before you head to the airport.
4 Tips for Safe & Easy International Travel
When traveling abroad, money matters. While the euro is currently accepted in 19 of the 28 members of the European Union, if you’re traveling to a country that doesn’t accept the euro, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with your destination country’s currency. Use this currency converter to help you understand the current exchange rate in advance so you can budget accordingly. Also make sure to notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel so they don’t shut down your account thinking your overseas purchases are fraudulent. Additionally, make sure you have a plan for unexpected expenses — surprises always seem to happen while traveling, so it’s best to be prepared.
Be a Smart Traveler
Before embarking on your highly anticipated vacation, be aware of the risks that come with international travel, and understand any current travel alerts that may be in effect for the area to which you’re headed. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service for U.S. citizens who are traveling or living abroad. By enrolling your trip, you’ll receive information from the Embassy about any safety conditions or concerns in your destination country, and it will also enable the U.S. Embassy to get in touch with you in the event any emergency situations should arrive while you’re traveling.
Customs, Passports and Shots
Traveling into and out of foreign countries comes with particular sets of rules for what you can and cannot take into or out of the country you’re visiting. Make sure you’re up on the latest in customs and import restrictions. Additionally, some areas of the world require you to get vaccinations prior to your travels — understand the vaccinations you need and ensure you receive them. Nothing kills the fun of an African safari like a case of Yellow Fever! Lastly, each country has different requirements for passports and visas. Make sure you’re in compliance so you have a simple departure and re-entry upon your return. The U.S. Passports & International Travel website is a one-stop shop to keep you abreast of all you need to know.
No one likes to think of the worst case scenario, however crises do happen and it’s best to be prepared should anything happen during your travels. Read What Can You Do in a Crisis Abroad, and create a strategy ahead of time so that you can relax in the comfort of knowing you’re prepared. Additionally, know where to get help in an emergency, and you’ll be good to go.
Most importantly, enjoy your adventure. Preparedness will ensure you’re trip will be easy, enjoyable and filled with fun, memory-making moments. Safe travels!
Find more useful information in our “Travel Tips” section.