For those of you who haven’t heard, the United States has recently removed all entry requirements. This means you no longer have to have a negative COVID test in order to get back in the country. This is huge for those of you who have been waiting for the perfect time to jet overseas. Whether you are starting the trip planning process or, if you already have a vacation on the calendar; here are some of our favorite tips for the international traveler.
CHECK IN WITH YOUR DOCTOR
Before booking that flight, it is a good idea to check in with your health care provider to discuss if any vaccines are necessary for the destination you choose. While scheduling extra appointments is never fun, it is always best to keep you and your family safe while adventuring.
MAKE COPIES OF ALL YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
We recommend you make at least two copies of your passport photo page and other important documents you may need while traveling abroad. Take one of the copies with you and leave the other in a safe place at home. That way if your original and copy go missing on vacation, someone you trust will have access to a copy back home to send you.
UNDERSTAND THE PASSPORT RULES
Speaking of passports, we encourage you to be aware of the passport rules for the country you are traveling to. For example, some countries require that you have six months remaining on your passport from the day you depart. Always check these requirements right away so you can have plenty of time to renew your passport if necessary.
NOTIFY YOUR BANK
Nothing would be worse than going to buy that once in a lifetime souvenir or sit down to enjoy a plate of authentic delicacies only to have your funds locked down. While banks mean well and try to protect your assets, they always seem to do so at the most inopportune moments. By giving your bank a call and informing them of your travel date and destinations – you can alleviate the headache of all of this ahead of time. You also want to verify with your bank and see if your credit cards have any forgein transaction fees. Not knowing this can provide sticker shock when you get your credit card bill the following month. And, who wants to be stressed after a nice, relaxing vacation?
CARRY LOCAL CASH
Even though we just talked about credit cards, it is also suggested to carry the local currency with you when traveling abroad. Not all establishments accept credit cards; this is even more common if you are visiting more rural or “off the beaten path” locations.
BE AWARE OF THE EXCHANGE RATE BEFORE TRAVEL
Before arriving at your destination take time to familiarize yourself with the currency conversion or exchange rate. Regardless of what you are buying (souvenirs, street food etc…), it’s a good idea to have an understanding of the local currency so you won’t get ripped off.
KEEP YOUR VALUABLES SAFE
While traveling, keep money, credit cards and other important documents on your person in a safe place. Wearing a money belt or an over the neck pouch, you decrease the potential for pickpockets.
BECOME FAMILIAR WITH YOUR PHONE PLAN
What is one thing we all have in common? Yep, we live on our phones; and we will probably be using them more when on vacation (hello selfies!). Don’t wait until you arrive at your destination to figure out your phone and data plan arrangement. Be ahead of the game by researching local SIM cards, or activating a global phone/data plan with your cell phone provider.
Each of these options are infinitely cheaper than the roaming charges you might accidentally incur. Be careful of that, and when in doubt, remember to put your phone on airplane mode, and use Wi-Fi!
ALLOW YOURSELF TIME TO BEAT JET LAG
Here is an international traveling tip for you to consider: allow yourself time to rest and recharge after your arrival before jumping into exploring headfirst. While we know you are excited (and sometimes on a time constraint) your body will thank you for allowing it time to relax. Being well rested during travel is also the best way to help ward off any sickness you may pick up if your immune system is low. Trust us, you will have a much more enjoyable vacation if you take a rest day (or two) before the real fun starts!
PURCHASE TICKETS TO ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE
If you are like us, you already know what you want to see and when you want to see it. Isn’t that half the fun of vacation planning? While planning your perfect itinerary is fun and helps keep you organized, it won’t do a lot of good if you get to where you’re going only to find out tickets are sold out for those insta worthy attractions. Most of the time, you are able to purchase these tickets online ahead of time before you even leave home. As long as you know the date and time when you want to visit, you will save yourself from disappointment knowing you already have entrance to the places you want to see most.
CHANNEL YOUR INNER LOCAL
We all know the famous and popular “must do’s” of international destinations; but, have you ever thought of exploring those cute and tranquil areas that the locals frequent? Don’t get us wrong, we want to see the Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal as much as anyone, but we also want to allow for time to fully embrace and become familiar with the everyday life and culture of different countries. We have even found some of the best food and nicest people when you go off course.
There are so many things to check off your list before heading overseas. While these are some of our favorite tips, there is so much more to know about before you can sit back and relax on an international vacation. Have no fear! Here at Adventures by Jamie we have a whole team of international travel specialists who are always up to date and knowledgeable about the ins and outs of all things overseas travel. When in doubt, reach out (okay…we didn’t mean to rhyme). What do you say? Let’s get you across the pond and making memories to last a lifetime. After all…there is no time like the present.
Ciao, Adios, Arrivederci, Au Revoir, Annyeong, Auf Wiedersehen,
The Adventures by Jamie Team