You’re booked, packed, and ready to go. But are you? Before heading out on an overseas trip here are a few tips and things to do before you head out. Taking care of these 7 things will make your overseas adventure seamless.
Tip 1: Tell your Bank
In an age where ID theft and fraud is prevalent, your bank and credit card companies are trying to ensure that there is no suspicious activity on your accounts. Suddenly there is a new charge from a Parisian cafe they are looking out for you and will notice this new activity and a hold or freeze your account! This can leave you stuck and without access to your money. To prevent this from happening, call or in some cases go online and tell your credit card and bank companies that you are planning on traveling. This way they won’t deny you access to your hard earned money.
Tip 2: Have Local Currency
Cold hard cash will always win. Having local currency can help you catch a cab or even grab a coffee when you arrive. It is easier to navigate through a new city when you aren’t trying to figure out the chip and pin system for the automated machines. This way you can get to where you are going and start your fun. To get currency, you can order some from you bank before you leave or stop by the currency exchange at the airport. It's not best to have all your vacation funds in cash, but having $100 is a good start.
Tip 3: Passport Copies
I don’t even want to think about a stolen passport, but it happens. Having a color copy of your passport can go a long way when you have to try and get a new passport issued. Make 2 color copies, one to keep in your suitcase and the other to leave with someone at home. That way you have 2 options of assistance if you need it.
Here is a resource to keep if you do need help. Lost Passport
Another tip is that I take a photo on my phone, I know I am sure this is a bad idea if we think about all our data that can be stolen. It puts my mind at ease when I am trying to fill out the declaration forms on the plane or if I need it for some other reason. Which takes me to the next tip.
Tip 4: Know the Address
When you travel abroad, often when you are on the plane, they will give you a form to fill out for your arrival at customs. The form will ask you for the address of the destination. I keep a copy of this on my phone in the notes or from a picture of the itinerary. This way I can easily fill it out. And, having the address written down as helped in a taxi where we don’t speak the same language. I can show the address to cut down on any confusion. Bonus: take a business card from your hotel when you leave. This way you can show that to anyone helping you navigate mass transit, taxis or even Ubers. If you are thinking about using mass transit, which you should, here are some of our favorite stops. Jaw Dropping Transit Stops
Tip 5: Print Itineraries
Being lucky enough to snag an afternoon tea at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, I had a reservation in my email. But, I didn’t think about not being able to pull it up without wifi which almost made us have to cancel. Print out your reservations or any itineraries so you don’t have to rely on any data packages or internet services that may not be very reliable. I print everything out and have a simple pocket folder that I keep all my documents in. I did make it to the tea since our driver had us run back into the hotel and use the wifi so I could take screenshots of my reservation. Hey there’s a tip, do that too!
Tip 6: Check your Data
If you are going to need internet and data, check with your carrier to find out what options there are for where you are going. We used a $10 a day plan for when we knew we were going to need maps when we are driving. But this went bad for my dad when it accidentally got turned on during a cruise, and he was charged $10 every 24 hours down the coast of Mexico. Now we have an updated international plan on our phones that saves us a lot of money when we travel.
Tip 7: US Embassy
Okay, so this one is a little depressing, but in today’s world, you never know what is going to happen. I don’t think this should stop anyone from traveling, but taking some precautions doesn’t hurt. Write down the address of the closest US embassy from where you are traveling. This way in the event of an emergency or a lost passport you can get there. There is also a service where you can register as a traveler so you can get information about any situations that are occurring if you need to. US State Department
So you have checked off all of these last minute things off your list and you are ready to go. Enjoy with a bit more peace of mind that you have handled everything. We here at To Travel and Teach love the details of planning a trip, check out our travel agency for help planning your next adventure.
And to all of our teaching friends, use your exciting about trip planning with a vacation budgeting activity. It is the best to inspire our next generation of travelers while catching some of your own excitement!