Traveling Internationally? 5 Things to Do Before You Go

by Bert Maxwell /
Bert Maxwell's picture
Jul 19, 2017 / 0 comments

Are you planning an international trip? How exciting! It will be wonderful, and change your life. But you knew that… You’ve also got a lot to do to prepare before you head off to explore the world.

Here are 5 things you need to do before you travel internationally

Traveling Internationally? 5 Things to Do Before You Go

1.    Passports

Be sure to get your passports, if you don’t already have them. If you have your passports, be sure to check for expiration dates. Please note that for kids, the passports are good for five years at a time. Leave plenty of time to renew or get your passports – it might take a while.

2.    Visas

Depending on where you are traveling, you may need a visa. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with visa terminology – the Schengen Zone, renewable visas, countries requiring advance visas, etc. For US citizens, you can check the Department of State's website, or call the consulates of the countries you’ll be visiting.

3.    Insurance

Check with your health insurance to see what is covered, and what isn’t. As well, it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance, to help cover expenses such as medical expenses, cancellation, personal accident, luggage, etc. It’s worth the peace of mind to plan ahead.

4.    Money

While people rarely use traveler’s checks anymore, you do need to think about money, and where you’re going. ATM machines can be ubiquitous, or they can be extremely scarce. Do your research! Notify your bank that you will be traveling, so that they can watch for unexpected expenses on your account. Do the same for any credit cards you will be using – if you don’t tell them your travel plans, they will flag your account and freeze your ability to use your cards. In a word: disaster. By notifying your bank and credit cards of your travel plans, you will be able to access your money. Be sure to get the rates for withdrawing at an ATM, and how much you can withdraw each day. You can also purchase foreign currency at your bank (or order some). Check the exchange rates – it might be cheaper than exchanging money at an international airport.

5.    Culture

I can’t stress enough the importance of learning about another culture before you visit. From researching customs that can offend to learning basic words in a different language, preparation will win you friends and lessen any offenses you may inadvertently cause. Learn what’s important to do (and not do), what kinds of clothing may be required, how to be respectful, and the minimum words in the local language (please, thank you, help, bathroom, etc.). These basics will take you far - and earn you the goodwill of locals, by showing that you care enough to be an interested and engaged traveler, not just a tourist.


Read more:

100 International Travel Tips to Put More “Bon” in Your Voyage

Do you have any tips to add?