Top 5 Tips for International Travel


Traveling abroad is an exciting way to recharge and refresh yourself while learning and gaining experience about the larger world. It gives you a chance to see who you are outside your regular environment, and to leave the day to day cares of your job and home life for a while, to pursue adventure.

With a wide world that offers a large range of international travel experiences, there aren’t a lot of suggestions that hold true no matter where you go, but there are a few top tips that don’t change no matter what your itinerary says. Let’s review a few of the most important ones to help you get ready for your next trip.

Make a Copy of Your Passport

A photocopy or digital scan of your passport isn’t going to be able to get you back into the United States if your documents are lost and stolen, but it also doesn’t have to. If you scan a high quality version of your passport and then keep it in a secure but retrievable location like personal cloud storage, it helps you provide fast proof to a U.S. consulate abroad that you are a citizen and that you left the country with the right documents.

That makes confirming your identity and getting you an emergency replacement much easier to do. Losing a passport isn’t a common experience, but if you’re embarking on an Ensenada cruise with multiple opportunities for sight-seeing on shore, you will want to make sure you have a contingency plan just in case something goes missing for someone in your group.

Understand Customs Restrictions

One of the biggest benefits of a sightseeing vacation is the opportunity to go shopping for souvenirs of your journey. That’s also where a lot of travelers hit snags, because customs restrictions are not the same in every country. That means multi-stop travelers could wind up inadvertently attempting to bring forbidden goods into one of the nations they visit.

This happens often when something is allowed in the United States and the country it was bought in, but not the others you travel through on the way. It can also happen to unwary travelers who inadvertently buy souvenirs they can’t bring back. A little research helps you be prepared to make smart purchases so you can avoid the issue.

Plan for Cellular Access

There are two popular ways to make sure you can use your phone abroad. The first is to contact your provider and arrange for international travel service in your destination locations. This can be pricey with some providers, but it’s also designed to be affordable with others. You can also unlock your device, which allows you to buy an in-country SIM card when you arrive and install it, receiving service from a local provider in-country.

Remember the Best Medicine Is Prevention

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides travelers with location-specific recommendations about how to best prevent illness abroad, including which vaccines might be necessary for safe travel through a region. Read up on every place you will be going, then make an appointment with your doctor to get the vaccinations and other prevention tools you need to have a good time while staying healthy. It’s an essential step for practically any trip abroad.

Join the Global Entry Program

Qualified individuals from countries that participate in this program can get pre-cleared for airport security, streamlining their trip through key checkpoints at airports in the countries that participate. While it’s not an advantage you can use in every nation, the participating countries include the U.K., Brazil, and many other nations that serve as international travel hubs.

Travelers must have no criminal convictions on record and meet other security requirements to get cleared for fast passage through airport security through this program, so make sure you check out the restrictions and the steps to join if you are interested. It can save you a lot of time in the airport, which is especially important if you’re going to be running for a connecting flight.