Overseas Travel Tips: Learn How to Prepare for Your International Trip to Avoid Unpleasant Surprises
If you ever traveled overseas, you know international travel is not the same as national travel. There is a lot more to think about in preparing for one of these trips: form passports, to luggage, travel insurance and language, it's a completely new ballgame.
Since my roots are in Europe, and I still have family there, I often travel overseas, and I've had a few mishaps in my journeys. If overseas voyage is in your future, read on to prepare yourself for a great traveling experience.
As soon as you decide to travel internationally, you need to get a passport. In the US is usually takes about 4 weeks to get a new passport, or if you pay for expedited delivery you could get it a little sooner.
If you already have a passport, check the expiration date immediately, so you can renew it on time if you need to. I am speaking from experience here: our daughter had a passport, but we failed to check the expiration date, and it took us (both my husband and I) 2 full days to solve the problem.
Apply for Travel Visas
Check to see if you need to get a travel visa. Many times it's possible to get a visa on arrival to your destination, at the airport. But other times you need to apply and receive your travel visa before you leave.
As an example, our family is planning a trip to Australia this summer, and we all need travel visas.
Age is also important when applying for a visa. If you are over a certain age, you may need a medical release, X-rays, and travel insurance. These take time to acquire, so start early.
A very good place for Travel insurance, is http://www.accessamerica.com/
Learn How to Pack Efficiently
Make a List With What You Need
This is very important: make this list early on, so you can add as the time gets closer. You want to take everything you will absolutely need, but you don't want o pack dead weight.
Here is how I go about my list: I start with my head and go down each portion of my body, and write down what I need for each section. This way, I am pretty much assured I'll remember waaht I need. Of course, there are miscelaneous items I can's associate with body parts, but it's a good method.
Here is a list of basic things you can add to, or subtract:
- hair accessories (this includes, but is not limited to shampoo & conditioner, brush, clips, hair spray, etc.)
- dental hygiene (toothbrush, toothpaste, flossing, etc.)
- teeshirts, blouses, shirts, etc.
- pants, skirts, sweats, etc.
- shoes, sandals, boots, etc (depending when and where you go)
- perfume, lotions, etc. (if possible, get trial sized of your favorites)
Healthy Snack for Your Trip
How To Pack Everything For Your Vacation Into a Carry-on
Carry On Luggage Packing Tips
Your carry on luggage plays a very important part of your trip, so make sure you pack it smart.
You may not think it necessary, but pack a change of clothes in your carry on luggage: many times luggage gets lost, and it's sure nice to have a clean change of clothes to change into when you get to your destination. I speak from experience again, as my luggage got lost/delayed in about 30% of my trips.
Other things to pack in your carry on are:
- medicine you need to take during your travel time
- moistened towelettes: these will come in handy if something spills, for a quick way to freshen up, or to disinfect your hands periodically while travelling
- a book to read: on longer trips, reading will help you pass the time faster
- Sudoku, crossword puzzles, etc.
- a trial sized hand lotion
- a small snack: it's always good to have a little something to munch on, in case you get delayed, or just feel like snacking
- breath fresheners: mints, gum, etc. Always nice to have
Of course, there are things you shouldn't pack in your carry on luggage, or you risk having to leave them behind. Here are a few examples:
- sharp objects with a blade longer than 4"
- beverages from home larger than 3oz.
- flammable items
- heavy tools
- sports bats
With a little bit of planning, you can be sure of smooth and enjoyable international travel. If you've traveled abroad, please add your suggestions in the comments below. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask.