Tens of thousands of US citizens travel or are resident overseas. For most this is an incident-free experience but the best laid plans can be upset by a number of problems. Some are impossible to forsee or avoid so, by planning ahead and arming yourself with the right information, you can reduce the risks you might encounter overseas.
Top Ten Tips for Traveling Abroad:
- Check the latest travel advice and advisories for the countries you are traveling.
- Take out travel insurance. You need a comprehensive policy that covers any activities you plan to undertake, from scuba diving to motorbike riding, medical treatment and any pre-existing medical conditions. Even minor medical treatment can be very expensive overseas – particularly if a medical evacuation is required.
- Keep in contact with family and friends. Give a detailed copy of your itinerary, including accommodation details and your travel insurance policy, to a relative or friend.
- Make sure you look after your passport while you are travelling. It is a valuable document and is necessary for any international travel. It’s a good idea to take a photocopy of your passport with you and leave a copy at home with a family member or trusted friend in case of loss.
- Check your passport validity before you depart: many countries require a passport to be valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure from that country.
- Check visa and immunization requirements prior to visit and make sure you have at least one clear page in your passport for immigration stamps.
- Check with the CDC Center of Disease Control for updated travel health precautions and any immunizations that may be needed to travel.
- Take a mixture of money. Cash & credit cards. Before you leave home, decide how you will get emergency funds if you need them.
- Obey local laws. The penalties for breaking the law are the same for a tourist as for a local. Being a US Citizen does not equal a “get out of jail free” card.
- Know where your homelands nearest Embassy will be where you are traveling to.