Yes, it’s that time of the year when you finally have your first vacation to the Caribbean. Are you excited to take your first international trip? Well, there is a lot you need to look into before booking that flight.
To have a carefree time abroad, you have to ensure you cover all the bases. You can follow this checklist to guide you before taking your vacation or trip abroad.
- Update your passport and visa
Your passport and visa are the most important documents you should not miss when travelling abroad. You should ensure the documents are updated to avoid any issues with the authority on landing at your last destination. It is recommended that you renew your passport at least nine months before it expires in most countries or states.
Before you can book that flight, you should check your passport now and find out if you need to renew it. Visit your nearest passport facility and have your visa and passport updated before making that move.
- Check the health and travel advisories
You should also check the health and travel advisories when you are planning to travel abroad. Some countries will require that you have health and IMG travel insurance before booking an international flight.
Check out the State Department website if your country has issued any travel warnings to countries where long-term issues are creating a risky environment for travelers. Note that your travel insurance policy may not cover you when travelling to countries under travel warning from the state department.
- Find out how you will communicate with family
When you plan to travel overseas to get away from home, you should find out how you will be communicating with your family. Get in touch with family, friends, and relatives if you are going to stay abroad for long. It sounds good to call your family and let them know you arrived safely at your destination.
When go abroad, you can try free services like WhatsApp to communicate with anyone back at home. You should check that your cell phone plan is activated in your destination country. You can get a GSM phone that is sim-card approved to use in your destination country.
- Get vaccinated
Today, before you plan an international trip, you should ensure your get a Covid-19 jab. Other countries will also require that you get Yellow fever vaccination before you can register for your trip. The kind of vaccination you take will depend on which country you are travelling to. You can check all the health advisories per country from the official CDC website.
If you are on medication, you should not forget to carry with you enough drugs to cover your stay abroad. You should not run out of prescription medication when overseas. Also, if you are flying to remote regions, you should pack your non-prescription drugs like Imodium and aspirin, which may not be easy to find.
- Prepare your finances
It is important that before you travel abroad, you alert your bank and credit card provider where you will be. In most cases, your bank will freeze your accounts if they notice any foreign charges in your transactions with no notice. It may be quite annoying if you want to enjoy yourself abroad and you can’t pay your bills because all your accounts are frozen.
Additionally, you should be aware of the exchange rates in the country you visit and how this can affect your finances. Have some idea of how much you intend to spend abroad and how much basic commodities cost before you can travel.
It is also advisable to get travelers check from your bank if you are flying abroad. However, you should know that these checks are not widely accepted in most countries and may be exchanged at less favorable rates in different countries.
- Get an international driving permit
Your first international road trip is not going to be that enjoyable if you don’t plan effectively. If you have a U.S driver’s license, you should know that most countries abroad do not recognize it as valid. Therefore, you will need to obtain an International Driving Permit from AAA and other authorized companies before planning a road trip.
Also, you should get used to the local driving laws to avoid getting on the wrong side with traffic officers. You can contact foreign embassies for traffic rules and regulations in your destination country.
When you plan an international trip, you should ensure you are vaccinated and have valid health and travel insurance cover. Research the country you are visiting and learn how you will keep in touch with family and friends. Also, don’t forget to have all your travel documents updated to avoid deportation.