Tips for Traveling Abroad
Within a few days, my colleagues and I will head “down under” to experience the bustling cities of Sydney and Melbourne. As the time draws near, I am putting the finishing touches on our travel arrangements. We have many activities packed into 10 days of travel.
While traveling abroad is exciting, there are several important elements to have in place to ensure that your international trip is a complete success.
Below are three essential tips for traveling abroad to make your journeys abroad blissful.
- Securing visas
The most important element for traveling abroad is obtaining the correct travel documents and visas. As an American, traveling abroad is is fairly easy. There are minimal restrictions on countries that we can enter without a visa. If a visa is needed, some countries like Egypt, Thailand, and Hong Kong offer “visas upon arrival”. This means that a brief application and fee will secure an entry visa for the said country. However, this is not the case for others in your group and have passports from other countries. In order for some travelers to enter many countries, a travel visa is required. A travel visa must be applied for in advance, with a current passport, purpose, letter of intent, secured accommodation, a round trip ticket in advance, and bank statements. You should always check the residency restrictions before traveling to understand the possible limitations before you.
- Airports & Airlines
Airports and airlines completely zap the energy out of me. Since the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States, worldwide efforts were made to make traveling by air safer. With this, lines are extended, patience among workers and travelers are short, and please leave the water on the other side of security for most airports. Additionally, luggage fees and amounts vary per airline, so please check prior to booking. Luggage fees and over weight limit fees often begin with $50, thus can add a hefty tag to your international travel. Most noted, pack your precious cargo such as prescription medicines, travel documents, and small toiletries with care. If carrying toiletries in your carry on bag, ensure they are 3oz or less and placed within a small plastic bag. Some airports like London’s Heathrow is notorious for making sure each item is wrapped separately. If possible, always check in prior to the arrival. Without checking in and a late arrival, a forfeiture could ruin your entire experience.
- Hotel Extras
Hotels are falling in line with their cousins, the airlines. Now it seems, more than ever, hotel extras are digging deep into the pockets of international travelers. Additional costs for the internet, taxes, tourism fees, and surcharges can easily add an additional $100 dollars. As noted with my upcoming trips to Sydney and Melbourne, there are fees for public internet, in room internet, parking, early check-in, late-check out, breakage deposit, Spring Break deposit, general deposit, crib, roll away bed, towels, sheets, and house keeping.
Traveling abroad creates priceless memories and experiences. In order to thoroughly enjoy your stay, planning ahead is essential. By remembering necessary visas, airlines rules, and possible hotel extras, your trips abroad will be nothing short of outstanding.