January 16, 2020

Travel || Best Advice for Traveling Abroad

Travel - Collaborative post

Travelling abroad can be so exciting, but it's well worth making plans and being super organised to make sure things go to plan. With flight prices and holidays being our biggest yearly purchase, it's important to get it right. There are over 330 million Americans, and as of 2019, the U.S. government reports that nearly 146.8 million have a current passport. If you just made a good profit after putting your home on the market among the Jacksonville houses for sale and want to use some of that money to travel internationally for the first time - or, perhaps you simply haven't traveled overseas for a while, there are a few things you should probably know to increase the odds of a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Always Allow More Time Than You Think You'll Need to Get to That Airport Gate

There are more hurdles to go through at the airport now than ever, which means a greater potential to miss your flight which can turn those exciting travel plans into a nightmare. Always allow more time to get to your gate than you think you'll need in case of traffic, long lines through security and potentially additional searches too. If you're early, you'll be able to sit down at the gate and relax which is far better than the alternative, especially when flying internationally.

Make Sure Your Passport is Valid and Make Copies 

While the expiration date on your passport may not be for several months before your trip, that's somewhat deceiving because there are many countries that require you to have at least six months left on your passports to allow entry. If you didn't just get your passport, be sure to check yours and renew it if necessary. 

While you'll obviously have to bring your original passport with you, be sure to take multiple copies as well. Leave one copy with someone you trust at home, and put another in your luggage. It's also a good idea to have an electronic copy stored on your phone or laptop that can be easily accessed on the road. If your passport ends up lost or stolen, it will be much easier to get it replaced.

Notify Your Bank and Credit Card Companies

Before you leave, be sure to contact your bank to inform them of your travel plans so that your debit card won't be declined when you try to get cash out from an ATM. As not every place will accept credit cards, especially small mom-and-pop shops and eateries, and perhaps buses, trains and pay parking lots, you will need some cash. It almost always makes more financial sense to get it from an ATM once you arrive rather than exchanging currency at home which can be rather costly due to the high fees.

Many credit card companies will deny transactions if they're suddenly occurring in Dublin when you live in San Francisco, for example, so you'll want to contact them by phone or by setting up an online travel notification as well. 

Essentials for Your Electronics

Be sure that you have the appropriate electrical plug adaptors as different countries may have different size plugs. While you might be able to find them at the airport after you arrive, it's far easier to buy them before you leave. You may need a voltage converter too, especially if you hope to use your own hair dryer or straightener. In most countries, the electrical voltage is 220/240V, which means American devices won't be compatible as they were made for 110/120V. If you have a travel power converter, it will convert the electrical voltage from the outlet to 110/120V so that you can use them safely.

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