6 Tips to Prepare You for International Travel

There’s nothing quite like hopping on an airplane and jet setting your way across the world. Who knows what awaits you once those doors open? Customs agents and another bag check most likely, but after that?

What places will you visit first? What interesting people will you meet? What amazing foods are you going to try? There are so many options it’s almost overwhelming.

You just have to get through the slog to the airport and then you’re basically home free!

Before you hop on that plane, we have some important tips for you that will make your travel preparation much easier and more carefree. Have a look below and make sure to use them as a checklist before you venture on!

Use Your Screenshots

Every smartphone these days has a screenshot feature. Usually, it’s some combination of holding down your power button and one of the volume buttons to perform the action. Why are you going to be using your screenshot function?

You should be storing all important information. Addresses, times of events, where you’re staying, directions, important numbers, and more. Yes, all of this information may be easily saved somewhere on your phone, but it’s much easier to pull up a picture than it is to search through your email. Especially if you have an impatient taxi driver or customs agent looking at you.

Handle the Bureaucracy

As a U.S. passport holder, you’re allowed to enter the majority of the countries in the world visa-free. Plus, most places let you stay in one place for up to 90 days meaning you have plenty of time to explore.

However, international immigration laws are changing. For example, you’ll need to have a visa to travel to many parts of Europe from 2021 onward.

Some countries also may ask for extra information, including address of your hotel or apartment and proof of finances (a credit card usually does the trick). Make sure you check out your destination country on the U.S. State Department’s website well in advance.

Bring a Charger

Of course you’re going to make sure and bring your phone charger and appropriate plug, but what about when you’re walking around town, too busy to find an outlet? With all the pictures and videos you’ll be taking, your phone may run out of battery faster than you anticipated.

Make sure and bring an external charger with you. Many can fit in your pocket or purse easily, meaning you can charge on the go and not miss a beat while you’re exploring the world.

Back it Up

Great advice for your photos and the dance floor! You don’t want to travel, take plenty of once-in-a-lifetime photos only to lose them later on. Make sure you have some kind of photo backup app installed on your phone.

Many phones come with one pre-installed. Apple has their iCloud, while other phones come with Google Photos or Microsoft’s OneDrive.

Make sure you have it connected to your laptop or PC and that photos are backing up automatically. Perform a test before your head out just to make sure.

Think About Your Phone Plan

If you have a major U.S. carrier, like Verizon or AT&T, then you have probably asked them about your wireless plan while traveling overseas. Traveling for a week or so is no issue and those plans should work perfectly. Staying for any longer should have you reevaluate your decision.

Sometimes, it’s much cheaper to go with a local SIM card and inserting that into your phone. Or, you can simply download one of the many free messenger apps like WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, or Viber. These just need a WIFI connection in order to function and work for texts, voice calls, and video calls.

Make a Passport Copy

Losing your phone is scary, but losing your passport when you’re in a foreign country is doubly and even triply so. How are you supposed to check into your flights? How in the world are you going to get home?

The easiest way to ensure being able to travel is by carrying a passport copy. With this, you’ll be able to head to the nearest US embassy or consulate and have them give you a temporary one. Without a copy, it becomes a much more difficult process.