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The seven things you must do before your next international trip

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Preparation is critical, and it is important to take the time out to carefully plan for your trip. This is best done by having a checklist that captures all the major things you need to do to ensure your trip is hitch free. 

We’ve all desired that international trip, haven’t we? But due to diverse reasons, many have not been able to achieve this. But who can blame them? In a world where people constantly worry about things like, what is an IVA, how can the Scottish trust deed get me out of debt, and where to find the best IVA companies it is not surprising to see many halting their plans to go on an international trip. In spite of this though, many still find a way to realize this dream. So if you’re one of the lucky ones who is planning to head on an international trip, then you’re in the right post. Traveling abroad or making international trips to foreign countries can be fun. People often travel for a variety of reasons. Sometimes international trips are taken for a vacation or holiday, this usually happens when people want to take a break away from work, de-stress, unwind, have a good time and generally have a change of environment.

In order to enjoy a stress free and fun filled international trip there are certain things you must put in place and certain requirements must be met. Preparation is critical, and it is important to take the time out to carefully plan for your trip. This is best done by having a checklist that captures all the major things you need to do to ensure your trip is hitch free. 

There are at least 7 things you must do before you go on your next international trip to the exotic place you have always dreamed about. These can be listed below namely as:

1. Purchase Travel Insurance: This is one of the major items on your checklist that you must undertake to address. In most cases, your health plan terms and conditions are not likely to make provisions for your coverage while travelling overseas. Therefore, in the light of this, it is prudent and sensible to purchase insurance that makes provision for emergency medical services and medical evacuation as the need may arise. In addition to this cancellation and trip interruption insurance can give you protection which you will find invaluable just in case your international travel arrangements have been made months in advance and may have required you to make a large down payment. This would serve to insulate you from unnecessary and unexpected loss.

2. Update Your Travel Documents: It is very important that your travel documents namely your visa and international passport are kept up to date. As a general rule of thumb, it is a general requirement in most nations that your international passport remain valid for six months after your date of return.  In certain cases, you may require an international driver’s license. You should endeavour to make a photocopy of the information (bio) page of your international passport and visa page(s) for your designated country of travel. This documentation is very important and should be kept safely away and separately from your passport.

3. Adhere Strictly To All Vaccination and Drug Prescription Requirements: It is important to inquire before you travel - proper information sources like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website - the necessary vaccination and health information requirements for your host country before you depart. The CDC website also gives adequate information on health risks associated with consuming food and water sold by the local populace, general health tips and non prescription items that are permissible. It is therefore recommended that you take any required injections at least six (6) weeks to your departure. Furthermore, it is prudent to carry out checks via the State Department’s country information page to ascertain prescription drugs listed as illegal in your destination country. You should make copies of your prescriptions, pack them separately from your drugs and note the generic name. It is important you make more than enough provision in order to ensure your drug supplies cover the duration of your trip. This is because it may be difficult to procure drugs per your prescription while abroad due to your host country’s procedures with regard to such matters. Your medicines should be in properly labeled prescription bottles along with a letter from your doctor if you need syringes for injectable medication. These should be declared as you go through security.

4. Security Information Advisories: You need to find out the current status of security information routinely issued by the government for U.S. citizens. This usually includes long term travel warnings or short term travel alerts, as a result of the high risk environment or threats travelers may be exposed to in such designated countries. It is important to note, that in most cases insurance policies concerning travel to destinations designated as perilous under security advisories, do not provide coverage.

5. Register Trip Itinerary Online: You are strongly advised to register online (which is free) with the Department of State your travel itinerary if you intend to visit remote areas. You should also indicate if your travel plans can be shared with third parties. This is because friends, relatives, co workers and family can contact the State Department to locate you if necessary. Your online records per your travel plans will enable the U.S. government be aware of your presence in the country and easily know where and how to contact you.

6. Pack Appropriate Luggage: Valuables and jewelry should only be taken on trips if absolutely necessary and should be properly secured while in transit and at hotels of residence. Such items of value must not be put in checked luggage but should be kept in a comfortable hand grip which can be carried about and checked at all times. Take along an extra pair of prescription glasses and label all your bags with pertinent information like your name, phone number and address both inside and outside your luggage. Always ensure your bags are securely locked. You should take into consideration the clothing dynamics of the country you intend to visit and prepare accordingly. Your clothing must adequately protect you from the weather and should conform as much as is possible to the conservative nature of your host nation. Also try to have a small handbook containing simple language phrases, customs, clothing, history and general information about the country you intend to visit. This helps aid simple communication and will greatly facilitate your stay.

7. Make Adequate Financial Provisions: You need to carefully select the cards you intend to use for financial transactions, and inform the issuing authorities before you depart, about the countries you intend to visit. Failure to do so may result in your transactions being denied as the financial activity in a foreign nation may be deemed suspicious. Your ATM card is your best option for withdrawing funds for use as travelers’ checks are no longer universally accepted. Also ensure you have all contact details of your bank(s) including both phone numbers and email addresses in case it may be necessary to contact them while abroad.

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