Smart Reviews

Tips for Your First Trip Abroad

It’s your first time traveling abroad and you are a little nervous. This is understandable and also unnecessary. These simple tips can help to make your trip go as smoothly as possible, and soon you will forget all anxiousness and concern!

Passports - it is important to not only have a copy of your passport with you as you travel but just as vital to leave a copy at home with a trusted friend or family member. Another smart idea is to record your passport number and have it always available. This will help you to save time in the event that it is lost or stolen. And if either of those two things happens, contact the local embassy immediately! They can help you to obtain a replacement document and prevent any confusion if your passport is sold with nefarious intent. Reputable hotels will require a copy of your passport and some will require you to leave it at the reception desk and if you do hold on to your passport be sure to keep it in a safe location such as your hotel safe.

Phones - depending on the length of your stay you may want to consider activating your global service or renting a phone in the country you will be visiting. With today’s widespread access to Wifi, smart phones can be quite functional with text, email, and Whatsapp even when you are in airplane mode. If you do not opt for international service from your regular carrier be sure to keep your phone off or in the non-cellular mode to avoid costly roaming charges.

Personal appliances - in addition to adapter requirements it is important to read up on the voltage limitations in the places you plan to visit. Even with an adapter certain appliances, like hair dryers and straighteners, cannot be used due to incompatible voltage levels.  Do a little research before you pack and avoid lugging around useless equipment.

Financial fees and access to money - make sure you let your bank know that you will be traveling to avoid having your account frozen due to erroneous fraud alerts. Also, inquire the international fees if for debit and credit card transactions as well as any associated with withdrawing local currency from ATMs. Be sure to have some cash available for each country you plan to visit and avoid currency exchange services at the airport as they are often more expensive.

Health and wellness - find out what coverage, if any, your current insurance company provides overseas and look into purchasing travelers’ health insurance if your policy does not provide any coverage. Double check with your doctor to see if any shots or vaccinations are necessary for the area to which you are traveling and don’t forget to check the weather! Be sure that you pack the appropriate clothes for the weather, especially if the location is known for having erratic storms or other weather related issues, and bear in mind that there may be different patterns throughout the same country.