10 Travel Tips For International Travel
There is nothing more invigorating than traveling to a new place, experiencing new foods, cultures, seeing new sights and more. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, there are a few things you can do to make your journey easier and more enjoyable.
Here are 10 international travel tips:
Hotel business cards. One of the first things you should do when arriving at a hotel overseas is take a business card from the front desk. If you ever get lost, you have the name and address of the hotel in the local language. Although many populations around the world speak English, having something to show local and taxi drivers is an extra bit of insurance.
The six-month passport rule. This is an important tip. The expiration date on your passport can be a bit deceiving. The U.S. lets you use your passport up to the date inside the cover. However, several countries will deny travelers entry if the passport expires in less than six months. Why is this? In case you get stuck overseas longer than planned, that country wants to ensure that you have a valid passport to eventually travel back to the United States. The best way to ensure smooth travel and to avoid any problems, is to always make sure you renew your passport about nine months prior to the expiration date. You can always ask a Travel Team Agent at 1-800-788-0829 for more information about this.
Getting cash. When you need to get cash, the best way is usually an ATM. Keep in mind that many U.S. banks charge fees for using an ATM that is out of network. You could take a large amount out at once, but it is not smart to carry a large amount of local currency around, or have a lot of cash left over at the end of your trip. Look into accounts thru places such as Charles Schwab and Fidelity. Both offer checking accounts that often have no minimum balance requirements and reimburse you for all ATM fees.
Credit cards. Did you know the best exchange rates can be found using your credit card? Bear in mind that many credit cards will add on a foreign transaction fee. It’s a pointless fee that no traveler should ever pay. Look into cards that do not add on such a fee like The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Platinum American Express. Important TIP: Never have a hotel or restaurant convert a charge into dollars first. It’s a bad deal.
Fraud alerts. Notify your bank and credit card company’s fraud department of what countries you will be visiting and on what dates. This way, they won’t think your card is stolen and shut it off just when you need it the most.
Medicine. It is a good idea to carry Advil, NyQuil, Imodium A-D, Tums, and a handful of other key medications with you when you travel. If you’re heading to third-world countries, stocking up on the right drugs is even more important. You should also fill your prescriptions in advance and bring it with them just in case.
Travel alerts. Print out the contact information and address of the local embassy. It’s a good idea to check out The State Department’s travel warnings and alerts for anywhere you are traveling. If you have questions, ask a Travel Team Agent at 1-800-788-0829 for more information.
Data roaming. Set up your cell phone to avoid international data roaming. Many business travelers have an international calling and data plan. But infrequent travelers don’t. The biggest costs can come from transmitting data overseas. Set up your plan to turn off data roaming, or look into a plan that includes using your phone overseas.
Google Maps. If you don’t add a data plan to your phone while abroad, you can still use the Wi-Fi in your hotel to plot out a few routes you plan to walk that day. Then take a screenshot of those maps. You can later find the photo, zoom in, and follow the path. If you set up your data plan to include using data overseas, you can use Google Maps.
Unwanted local currency. Figure out how much cash you will need on your last night in a foreign location and set that aside. The next morning when you check out, you can take that cash and apply it to your hotel bill and then pay the remaining balance with a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card.
Ready to Plan your next dream vacation? Call a Travel Team Agent at 1-800-788-0829