If you’re getting ready to take the plunge into the exciting world of international travel, congratulations! Traveling abroad isn’t only fun, it comes with a slew of proven health benefits. You can’t beat getting to see the world and getting healthier in the process.
Don’t get ahead of yourself, though. Traveling can help reduce stress, but not if you get where you’re going only to find out you forgot something crucial.
There are some things you need to sort out before embarking on your first big journey. To make the process easier, here’s the ultimate overseas travel checklist!
Get Your Passport
First things first, you need a passport. You won’t be getting far without one. This should also be taken care of as far in advance as possible.
It can seem like a hassle to get a passport in order. You’ve got to get documents together, go get your picture taken, shell out some cash, and then wait impatiently for it to arrive. But it doesn’t have to be a draining experience.
For starters, try checking out this article about passport photos to make sure you’re not paying too much for yours. Also, as previously stated, do this months ahead of time if you can. A passport can take a while to get processed, and unexpected delays could add even more time, so save yourself the stress by doing it early.
See if You Need a Visa
Some countries require that you get a visa in order to visit. If you’re unfamiliar, a visa is a document issued by a country that gives you permission to visit for a predetermined amount of time.
For most countries in Europe, the UK, Latin America, and even Asia, you won’t need a visa. That said, it’s still better to be safe than sorry. You’ll get turned away if you don’t have a visa, which is a terrible way to end a trip prematurely.
If you’re not sure how to apply for a visa, don’t worry about it. The process is pretty simple. Most countries have a department that deals specifically with that and a website for that department.
Search the name of your destination and “visa” and you should find your way to the proper channels. Actually applying is usually a pretty similar fair, not dissimilar from a passport application but without the cost.
Also, if you are traveling to a country where you need a visa, make sure you don’t stay beyond the allotted period of time. Staying in a country with an expired visa can potentially have legal ramifications, so it’s best not to risk it.
Book in Advance
When it comes to international travel, playing it by ear is not the way to go. If you’re playing your lunch plans by ear, you’ll probably be alright, but accommodations should be taken care of far in advance.
Booking in advance ensures that you have somewhere to stay and that it’s the best option. You don’t want to be rushing around at the last minute. By doing it early, you can compare prices and make sure everything meets your standards.
Worse yet, imagine getting somewhere and then not being able to find somewhere to stay. That’s a nightmare scenario, but it’s one that can be avoided. A little planning goes a long way.
Oh, and this goes for your flights too. International travel is a little more complex than hopping on a city bus. Booking your flights well in advance will give you plenty of time to familiarize yourself with your itinerary and guarantee you end up where you’re supposed to.
Make Arrangements With Your Bank
No one would blame you if you want to avoid carrying around a bunch of cash and dealing with currency exchanges. It’s cool to collect currency from around the world, but not nearly as cool as the convenience of a card.
In order to make sure you don’t run into any problems accessing your funds, talk to your bank and make travel arrangements. Typically, you’ll have the option to set a travel alert for a specific period of time. This will make sure your account doesn’t get flagged and frozen for suspicious activity.
If you need to extend it at any time, it’s a simple matter of calling the bank, but don’t forget this step. Being in a foreign country with no money doesn’t sound like the best time.
Get an International Data Plan
The modern world has given us the miracle of smartphones, so why not use it abroad? After all, being able to easily navigate and communicate with your travel partners is a huge plus.
Most phone companies have international data plans you can buy. Some are a daily fee, some charge per the amount of data used. The plan you get will differ depending upon your service provider and specific needs, but there will be something that fits your situation.
Smartphones can do a whole lot more than navigate too. These days, there are translation apps that can make communicating much easier. Not only that, but you can check into local restaurants, landmarks, and other points of interest with a quick search.
Disconnecting from the internet has its own appeal, but having a tiny supercomputer at your side will make your trip better.
Your Ultimate Overseas Travel Checklist
If you follow the plan laid out by this overseas travel checklist, everything will be right as rain. Just remember to be thorough, do your planning in advance, and double check everything.
But this list just covers preparation. There are so many more tips you need to know in order to make your journey a joy. Keep reading for more awesome tips you won’t want to miss.