The Mini-Guide for Planning an International Vacation
It is never too early to start planning your next international vacation. If you are not an experienced traveler, you may be wondering what you need to consider when venturing abroad. While the destination, flights, and accommodation are all important, there are a few other areas to focus on.
Staying safe overseas should be a priority. If the location you have chosen has a different culture, language, and laws, you need to protect yourself by following the guidelines. In this mini-guide, we offer our top tips for planning an international vacation.
Life insurance will protect your loved ones if the worst does happen. Do your research before purchasing a policy as plans can vary significantly between providers. Make sure you have coverage in your chosen country, and that it will start before your departure date.
Some reputable insurance companies such as USAA offer additional financial protection in case of disability, and you can purchase extra coverage for your children.
Depending on where you are going, vaccines might be on your to-do list. Your dream vacation spot might come with a range of health risks that aren’t present where you live. You should always check with your doctor before traveling abroad, noting some vaccines take six weeks to build immunity.
If you regularly take medication, you should organize your refills before traveling. There may be rules related to how these are transported, so it is better to be prepared.
Keep up to date with any travel advisory warnings when planning an overseas vacation. Warnings can be implemented without notice, and the color-coded guide will help you make the right decision.
Stage 1 advises exercising normal precautions, whereas stage 4 advises to not travel to this area. It is recommended you sign up for STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program), so you can be contacted if an emergency does occur while you are away.
If you are planning to travel to a country with a foreign language, it is a good idea to learn the basics. There is a range of online language apps available, or you may be able to access language courses through your local community college. Knowing a few key phrases will make the experience easier, and let you ask for help if you need it.
In addition to language barriers, it is important to learn the local customs and laws. For example, some countries disallow photos to be taken of certain monuments, and others have very specific dress codes.
While you are planning your overseas vacation, check that your passport is up to date. It should not expire within six months of travel, as your trip could be refused by the international destination. If you do need to renew it, allow at least two months for processing. It is a good idea to have a photocopy of your passport with you when you travel in case it gets lost or stolen.
Print copies of any tickets and accommodation bookings, as not all companies will accept a digital version. You should also send a copy of your itinerary to a loved one at home, just in case an incident does occur.
Be Safe While Traveling Abroad
If you are planning your next overseas adventure, there are a few key points to remember. Consider signing up for life insurance for your peace of mind that your family will be protected. Check your passport to ensure it is not set to expire, and print copies of your bookings. Don’t forget to get any recommended shots, and check the international restrictions and rules.
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