Visiting an overseas country is the dream of many people. A tour to a foreign country is not similar to domestic tourism. International trips demand that you start your preparations early. There are numerous formalities involved that require a lot of time. They are not simple and might turn out to be hectic for some people. However, to have a successful trip you have no option but to heed. Everybody wishes to have a breathtaking experience when touring another country. But you should not forget that it all boils down to how you plan for it before the departure date.
Below are some of the smart tips you need when planning for that eagerly awaited tour:
Research a Little About the Customs
Remember that you are going to meet people whose way of life is entirely different from yours. They have values that they hold dearly. Get to know their dress code so that you do not end up drawing a lot of attention for dressing skimpily. There are still limits when interacting with the members of the opposite sex that you have just met. For example, in some countries, they do not expect you to go hugging and kissing people in the public. Just know what to do or not to do.
Learn the Key Phrases of the Foreign Language
You need to learn the common phrases in the foreign language. It reaches a time where you interact with people who only understand the local language. The common phrases could include directions to the washroom or a simple “Thank You”. You can learn such words online. Some applications such as DUO LINGO are designed to help you learn the basics of other languages. Understanding another language can help greatly when you want to seek assistance from the residents who do not understand English.
Know the Passport and Visa Requirements
In the US, you are allowed to use the passport until the date that is indicated inside the passport. However, in some countries, they require you to have a passport that has more than six-month validity. In support of this regulation, they cite uncertainties that might extend your stay. If something unfortunate happens when you are a foreigner in an overseas country, and you passport has reached it the expiry date, you are considered to be there illegally. You might even be denied entry into some countries if your passport will expire in less than six months. To avoid disappointments at the airport, you need to renew it days before. To know the requirements of the foreign countries, check the Department of State Website.
Most travelers commit a lot of mistakes by carrying unnecessary things before their travel. You should only bring clothes that that match the state of the weather, and terrain, and those that meet the regulations of the airline.
Get Copies of All your Travel Documents
In your preparations to tour a foreign country, getting photocopies of the travel documents is key. These include the flight tickets, passport, and the visa. Just before you leave, hand in some copies to close relatives letting them know that you are traveling. You never know, if anything happens, they may be used to trace your whereabouts. Also, carry some copies with you. You should only ensure that you are walking with only the photocopies of your visa and passports. Leave the originals somewhere safe. Who knows, you might escape a robbery by walking with the copies. The copies could even come in handy when you get lost. You just produce them, and you will be directed to the relevant authorities.
Get Proper Medication
To find out the health threats that you are likely to face during the tour, you need to conduct some research. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travel page and The World Health Organization (WHO) website have the most common health issues in almost any country. They give recommendations for vaccination on virtually any diseases. They also give you precautions that you need to heed. Be sure to consult your physician for any prescriptions that you may need to carry on your trip. Get vaccinated against any communicable diseases/infections.
Pay Your Bills
Even if you are away from home, you need to pay the utility bills, credit card monthly payments, mortgage loan payments, and any other obligations that you have. A good strategy to use is to set an automatic payment. In such a plan, all the debts are deducted directly from your income every month. You do not want to go on a holiday only for the bills to go overdue. Paying on time is beneficial to you as you maintain a good credit score. If your credit rating is hurt, then you may suffer trying to get a loan for anything. Your credit card limit might even be lowered. Avoid penalties from your creditors for late payments.
Acquire Both Travel and Health Insurance
Taking an overseas flight has a lot of dangers. Approach a trusted insurance company for a travel insurance policy. This means that if any problems arise during the travel, and you are hurt or even lose a life, you get compensated. There might be emergencies during the light. You need to stay covered. Again, in a foreign country, you are susceptible to infections. If you fall ill, then you do not have to go through the trouble medical bill clearance. Ensure that the policy even covers your medical evacuation because not all cover it. But you need to understand that a special premium is expensive. Nonetheless, it is worth it. Before buying any policy, it is essential to know what they cover. Only settle for what offers maximum security.
Find Out Any Travel Alerts
You need to check with the State Department for any travel warning and alerts during your preparation. Cancel any trips if there is something that raises suspicion. Trouble in another country is something you would not like to experience. You need to understand that as an alien in a foreign nation, if there is anarchy you will face a lot of problems. This is because you do not understand much about the country and may not know where to run to for safety. Also, get the contact and address information of country’s embassy. You should also register yourself with them. They will help you in case there any security threats, and you are stuck.
Notify your Credit Card Company of Your Travel
Imagine a scenario whereby you have landed with all you goodies in a foreign airport. Then, you head to the nearest ATM to try and withdraw cash. Then you receive a notification from your credit card issuer that they have frozen your account as they have suspected an issue with the card. Your card might also bring an error notification. You will be stuck there not knowing the next action. Well, that is a security measure meant to protect customers with misuse of cards after theft of their details. Since the rules are there to stay, you need to avoid such inconveniences.
Let your credit card issuer know that you will be in a different location for the certain duration if you do not want your account suspended at a crucial moment. In addition to informing your company of your plans to travel, you could also have some foreign currency before you land. That will come to your rescue if the ATM around run out of cash.
Research on Electrical Standards
In your preparation, you need to make sure that you get the accessories compatible with the volts and cycle of the country. Get a plug as well as a converter for all your electronics. It is not uncommon to visit a foreign country only to realize that you cannot use your devices. Understand that electrical requirement and standards in countries are different. Be prepared to adjust if that is the case.
Get a Credit Card with No Additional Transaction Fees
Most banks and credit cards issuers detect the use of their cards in an out of network ATM. Therefore, they will charge extra for every transaction that you do. Usually, they charge 1-3% for international transactions. You could save yourself from the additional charges by acquiring a card whose foreign transaction fees are waived. If you do not have the special card, there is a trick to cut the fees. Withdraw a lot of cash once you land at the airport to avoid being charged for several transactions. However, you should mind your safety. Walking or traveling with a lot of money in a strange country exposes you to a lot of threats. The last thing you want to think about is getting robbed of your money together with your cards. Safety is paramount. If you are not comfortable with this method, then, consider getting a cheaper card in advance.
Be Ready to Walk With Cash
When visiting overseas nation, you need to understand that not every foreign country allows the use of credit card as a mode of transaction. On most occasions, you will be required to pay in cash for any services and goods you buy. For instance, most public forms of transport i.e. buses and shuttle or even taxis accept cash only. As already pointed out, you should avoid walking with a lot of cash in your pockets due security concerns.
Know the Currency Conversion Rates
Since most of the overseas countries are used to cash transactions, you will need to get the local currency. There are currency exchange bureaus at the airports. Currencies are incredibly dynamic, and they change with time. Some apps have cropped up to help you know the rates. You can easily monitor the rates and transact when the rates are friendly. You need to have such an app if you plan to have an international journey. Currencies exchange bureaus are also known to have very high rates. To stay safe, consider getting a credit card with foreign fees waived. Such a card will enable you to withdraw from the local ATMs without incurring extra charges.
Buy Accommodation and Tickets in Advance
You do not want to get into a foreign country and experience challenges looking for a place to stay. If it’s possible to book online, you ought to do it. That will save you the trouble of walking the streets of a foreign city with your belongings and exhausted from the long travel. If there are tickets for places you plan to visit, get them earlier. You will avoid making lines waiting to pay for them.
A successful international travel is the result of proper planning. The preparations you make right from getting the travel documents ready, booking the flight to accomplishing all crucial requirements before the trip determines how the whole experience turns out. Apply the tips above when preparing for your next overseas trip and you won’t go wrong.