So you've decided to travel to a foreign country. Perhaps for business. Perhaps for pleasure. Maybe both. How can you ensure an anxiety-free trip? A trip that won't leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth the moment you get there? Plan ahead, of course.
Here are 7 tips to help make your trip one that's anxiety-free and memorable for all the right reasons:
Check to ensure your passport is still valid. I know that sounds obvious. But also check with your destination country or countries to determine what their requirements are. Do they need you to have a valid passport for longer than your stay? Some countries require that your passport be valid 6 months beyond your date of entry.
Depending on where you're from, you'll need a Visa to visit a foreign country. The time it takes to get such a Visa must be taken into account. Also, make sure you know the type of Visa required.
There may also be a tourist card fee upon arrival. As well, a departure tax. Before you leave for your trip, determine what currency it must be paid in or what credit cards, if any, are accepted.
Make sure you have currency that is accepted in your destination country. Also, bring along other currencies if you'll have connecting flights in other countries. Don't forget to carry some of your own currency so you can enjoy a coffee and a snack while waiting in your own domestic airport(s).
4. Travel Documents
Keep all your documents in one place prior to traveling. You don't want to be scrounging around the house looking for what you need. Remember the documents you'll need:
- valid passport
- Visa(s), if required
- medical insurance numbers/papers
- flight confirmation numbers
- accommodation info/confirmation
- boarding passes
- appropriate currencies
When you're ready to travel, keep your documents together and with you for easy access. DO NOT place in your checked-in baggage.
Yes, we all need clothes. But make sure you pack what you'll need for each of your destinations. Including coming home. Nothing worse than freezing your toosh off because you forgot to pack your parka for the trip home.
Consider any theme parties you may be attending while at your destination. Take advantage of seasonal holiday shopping in advance if you can. Like Halloween, Christmas, New Years, etc.
I'll be heading to the Dominican Republic for a conference in early November. The annual theme party this year is Carnival. So I'll be roaming through the aisles at thrift stores, dollar stores and any other place that might sell costumes and accessories appropriate for the event.
Determine in advance how much luggage you'll need. Know the weight and size limits. Keep in mind items you might bring back with you. For me, books are always purchases I make when attending conferences. Check the airline to find out the cost for extra baggage. It is generally much less expensive to pay for an additional bag than to pay weight overage charges on a checked bag.
When you are organized and you plan ahead, your travels, your stay and what the destination country has to offer is so much more enjoyable. Safe and happy travels!
Are you planning a foreign trip? If so, where will you be traveling?