Important Tips When Traveling Abroad

By | March 13, 2014

Register with STEP
The U.S. government’s initiative to maintain American safety abroad is called “The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program” or STEP . American’s imply register for the free service with STEP to receive travel alerts and warnings for a specific country.

travel tipsEmail a copy of your itinerary
By emailing a copy of a detailed itinerary to your parents prior to your trip abroad, it will keep them informed of your whereabouts in case something happens out of your control. There’s no reason to call and check in on a daily basis, but you can post messages to your social media accounts or send out a quick e-mail to let your friends and family know that you’re safe and in a good state of mind.

Do not keep your money in one place
It’s best not to have your money and credit cards in the same location. It might be a wise idea to put some cash in a luggage zip pocket, some in your wallet, and in another safe location as some people you meet may appear friendly and trusting but you just met them Better to be safe then sorry later on. Likewise, put any credit cards in another separate purse pocket or bag from your pocket cash. Hopefully you’re bringing just one or two maximum.

Make a copy of your passport
If you misplace your passport or other official documents during the time you’re overseas, you will most likely need a new one and it might take as much as 6 weeks. Use technology to its fullest and download a scanning app and make copies of your important documents and store it in secure cloud service. Fill out all fields of information just in case of emergency, d make photocopies of your passport page, and take some spare passport photo copies. Why do this? If your passport is lost or stolen, the replacement process will be that much easier.

Obtain Travelers Insurance
You don’t know when an accident is going to happen or where but they just do. So, since homeowner insurance does not insure you while overseas. Check out some traveler’s insurance quotes to choose the best coverage for you.

Avoid insulting a culture
Just about every nation has its own distinct customs and traditions. However, it is strongly recommended that before you go abroad to look into the various serious blunders Americans do overseas. What may seem common to you, it might be very offensive to people of that country. Some examples are:
Prior to departing your home state, it is best to know the local customs and laws of the country you are going to.

Bring a charger adapter
The United States voltage and plugs are different from a large part of the world. So if you want to use your electronic devices, be certain you can charge it. This Travel Adaptor website has useful country-by-country info on which one to get.

Call & Inform Credit Card Providers That You Will Be Overseas
Prior to your travel date, call your credit card provider and let the know you will be going abroad to help prevent your account from being frozen. At the same time, be sure you know your payment due date so it is not missed and how much credit is available on your card just in case you need it for an emergency.

Don’t take shortcuts in areas you don’t know
After a week or so of settling in to your new city you start to feel at ease with the surroundings, DON’T look for a shortcut merely to reduce your walk or bicycle ride. There are some neighborhoods you don’t want to go through even if you know how to take care of yourself. Stay on the path that your host recommends to avoid trouble. Even Google maps don’t know which streets to avoid.

Don’t look like a tourist
Blend in. Otherwise, it could make you an easy target for thieves. Americans tend to be too casual in their attire. You should dress somewhat like the locals to fit into society. Yeah, kind of like Jason Bourne.

Must Have Phone Numbers
While it’s true your parent’s number is likely to be memorized with ease, listed below are additional crucial contacts to keep in your phone while in the country you are visiting:
– Closest American consulate or embassy. You can find a list here.
– Nearest hospital or medical facility
– Local police and fire stations
– Local taxi service
– Any other numbers you may need in a pinch!

Pack Your Medications
Make sure you’ve packed your prescription medications, especially extra supplies if at all possible. Get all necessary travel shots, and check that the prescription drugs you are bringing are not illegal in your destination country.

Invest In a Roaming Free plan
Connecting with those you care about may very well be the key element of staying safe, and a international data plan tends to make staying in touch a lot easier and less expensive than in the past. Compare plans from AT& T, Verizon and T-Mobile’s Simple Choice and get around enormous cell phone bills when coming back home or while overseas.

Well before making your flight reservation, it is vital that you investigate not only the amenities and prices at of the place you are going to stay (hotel, hostel or apartment), but also seriously consider their areas. You don’t to be somewhere that has a train rumbling by at 12 midnight shaking the building, loud drunks at a nearby bar, or at night it becomes a popular place for crime. One way to determine if the apartment, hotel, or shared housing is located in a safe area is through scanning reviews from other students and travelers on trusted sites that include TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, Expedia, or forums such as College Confidential, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s Travel or City-data.

What Not To Bring on Your Trip
Things that should not be taken abroad include: valuable jewelry, extra credit cards (just bring one), grocery cards, identification cards like Social Security, unexpendable family items.