Summer is nearly here and we are starting to think about and plan our summer adventures. Are you fortunate enough to be traveling abroad this summer?
International travel is good for the mind and body. It broadens our perspective and allows us the opportunity to enjoy new places and cultures as well as meet new people.
Traveling abroad can also have its hazards. Planning ahead, though, can minimize the hazards and help you enjoy your international vacation worry free.
Here are 12 things to consider in planning for international travel whether for business or pleasure.
- Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visas, if required. Don’t forget to check the expiration date—some countries will not permit entry if your passport expires in less than 6 months from your arrival date. If you need a new passport, apply immediately. Last-minute passports can be costly–if you can get one in time. Also, before you go, fill in or update the emergency information page of your passport.
- Read the Consular Information Sheets (and Public Announcements or Travel Warnings, if applicable) for the countries you plan to visit, accessible at http://www.travel.state.gov.
- Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling. Remember, the U.S. Constitution does not follow you. While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. Don’t be an “ugly American.” Be a polite visitor and respect the laws and customs of the country you visit.
- Make two copies of your passport identification page. This will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy at home with friends or relatives. Carry the other with you in a separate place from your passport.
- Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
- Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas. Do not accept packages from strangers.
- Prior to your departure, you should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program through the State Department’s travel website, https://step.state.gov/step/ Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts may not be released without your express authorization. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary and the numbers or copies of your passport or other citizenship documents with a friend or relative in the United States.
- To avoid being a target of crime, try not to wear conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money or unnecessary credit cards.
- In order to avoid violating local laws, deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money. It’s a good idea to exchange currency at a local bank before you go, so you can have some cash on hand immediately upon your arrival.
- If you get into trouble, contact the nearest U.S. embassy. To locate an embassy visit: www.usembassy.gov/.
- Check your insurance policies. Your auto insurance rarely covers you outside the United States. Plan ahead to obtain auto coverage through your car rental company. Buying ahead of time will usually save you money.
- Be aware that while your health insurance is likely to cover emergency care anywhere in the US, most health insurance companies do not cover routine or emergency care abroad. Roper Insurance can help you, though, with a short-term international health insurance policy. They’re more affordable than you think and the peace of mind will be priceless. Call us today at 303-721-1145 or get an online quote now here.