by Kelly Barnett,
Traveling overseas can be stressful, no matter how often you undertake such journeys. Whether for business or for pleasure, planning your trip is vital. In fact, when you’re off on vacation to a country you have never been to, planning is half the fun! However, putting the following on your ‘to do’ list to prepare for eventualities is wise and can save you a lot of stress if something goes wrong while you are away.
Tips for Overseas Travel
- Take photocopies of your passport and keep these separate from the original. A lost or stolen passport makes life difficult but having clear copies of your passport can help make a very stressful issue a little easier. It is also wise to leave a copy of your passport information with a family member or friend.
- Take photocopies of your travel documents and, again, keep these separate to the originals.
- If you are moving from place to place, leave a copy of your itinerary with a family member or friend. This will make it easier for your family to contact you in case of an emergency. Of course, you may have a mobile phone with you but services may not be as good as at home.
- Make a note of the address of your national embassy in your destination country. Having a contact number in case of any emergency, such as a lost or stolen passport will make any problem a little bit easier.
- Make sure you have basic information about your destination country. For example, traveling in the Middle East requires a standard of dress that Americans may not necessarily be used to. Be sensitive to local culture and customs.
- Ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your trip. Medical insurance should cover emergency evacuation. If it does not, you should consider supplementing your insurance.
- If you are taking medication with you, check with your medical practitioner to ensure that you will not be taking anything that may require documentation in another country. A letter from your doctor outlining what medication you are carrying and why may be very useful.
- Keep at least one credit card, some travelers’ checks or cash separately.
For Americans, the US Government has the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service will ensure that the US Government can contact you in the event of an emergency. In the event of any legal, financial or medical problem, they will be able to assist you. Should you need this service while you are away from home, ensure that you have your passport information in hand when you contact them.
Traveling is fun, particularly when you are on vacation and exploring a foreign country but, taking these simple steps will ensure that you are well prepared for any adventure.
The US Government offers helpful advice for travelers.