So you’re finally able to make that big trip you’ve been planning. You’ve got your passport, a toothbrush, and a flannel for your face. You’ve stuffed the suitcase to the brim with everything you might need and then some, you’ve already pre-booked your flight AND your car to the airport. You’re about as well-planned as anyone can be, so what might you be missing? Here are four great tips for extended international travel that just might save you from a last-minute crisis.
Get a Travel Credit Card
If you plan to travel internationally, especially if you plan to travel between countries with different currencies, you need to be very cautious about international exchange fees. When transferring from one currency to another, say US Dollars to the Euro, your bank charges a fee on every single transaction that requires an exchange. If you are making multiple purchases a day then these fees will add up very quickly. Thankfully, you can talk to your bank and apply for a travel credit card which will allow you to buy whatever you want in any currency without paying a single transaction fee. You can then pay off that credit card using your American account through your banking app and totally circumvent paying any exchange fees at all.
Use Wi-fi Calling
Nothing can ruin a day of travel like realizing you were using international minutes the whole time. Thankfully in the modern age this can be avoided entirely by simply using Wi-Fi hotspots to use apps to send your messages instead of paying hefty international fees. Calling or texting from one country to another can cost quite a fortune, but using something like Skype, Whatsapp, or Facebook Messenger is absolutely free and virtually identical. So turn off your data and turn on your Wi-Fi and be sure to save as much money as you can
Get Updated Vaccinations
You may think you’re already safe, but travelling to different countries also means accounting for illnesses you don’t have to worry about in America. Just because you are up to date at home doesn’t mean your protected from diseases in other countries. Look out for your health and talk to your doctor before traveling, they’ll help you figure out which vaccinations you may need to get.
Bring a Charger Adapter
Many people don’t realize that different countries also run on different electrical grids. The chargers you have at home will likely not work in Europe or Asia, and if you plan to travel to multiple different countries you may need multiple different chargers. The best solution is to buy a universal adapter that can plug any device into any wall in the world. You will only need a couple, but be sure to check that your electronics have the proper voltage to charge before taking them with you.
But perhaps the most important and often overlooked tip of all – have fun! Be safe and be prepared, and always be sure to live in the moment and enjoy yourself.