We all may be aware of some helpful hints when it comes to traveling globally, but are you familiar with the tips and tricks of traveling internationally? Chances are, you’re not.
Before They Depart:
· Be Sure the Traveler Knows About the Destination’s Laws and Customs—Plus, advise them of any possible risks. Also, if feasible, provide them with a good guidebook. The country’s official website can be a great source for current information.
· Confirm the Validity of the Traveler’s Passport—Their passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the date of their return flight. Some countries will not let them enter if it isn’t. Ensure that they carry another form of photo ID and a copy of their passport.
· Verify if They Need a Visa—Contact the destination country’s embassy, or visit their website.
· Check to See if They Will Need Vaccinations—Verify if travelers will need vaccinations and request that they see their doctor at least 6 weeks before departure.
· Confirm Medication(s)—If they take prescription drugs, make sure they take the prescription with them in case they need a replacement or a refill. Have them pack their medication in their carry-on luggage. Double-check that their medications are legal in the destination country by contacting the appropriate embassy/consult.
· Make Sure They Have Adequate Funds—Have them take at least two forms of payment, i.e., traveler’s checks and a credit card. Advise them to record the serial numbers of the traveler’s checks.
· Have Them Secure Adequate Travel Insurance—Ensure the policy provides coverage for medical treatment and return home (inclusive of interruptions, i.e., volcanic, etc.). Make sure they are covered for any dangerous activities, i.e., scuba diving, skiing. If they extend their stay, remind them to extend the insurance coverage, too.
· Driving in a Foreign Country and Auto Insurance—If the traveler is driving in a foreign country, make sure their driver’s license is current and valid for the country they are visiting. Confirm they have proper insurance and breakdown coverage if they take or rent a car.
· Make Certain that Family and Friends are Advised of Travel Plans—It is very important that people are able to make contact with the traveler in an emergency. The traveler should leave their flight itinerary and details of where they can be contacted during their time out of the country. Certify that the traveler has all relevant contact numbers with them.
· Copies of Important Documents—Advise the traveler to provide copies of their passport (including pages with any relevant visas), traveler’s checks and credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, travel insurance details, any other important travel documents, and emergency contact numbers for their country of origin and destination(s). Also, advise that they leave one copy with a family member or a reliable friend (not traveling with them) and take one copy with them. Be sure they pack these copies separately from their passport.
Just Prior To Departure, Make Sure the Traveler is Advised of the Following:
- Respect Local Laws and Customs—As an example, those who drink and drive in the UAE can be put in prison.
- Carry Only as Much Money as They Will Need Each Day—They should place extra funds, tickets and documents in the hotel safe, and keep money and important papers in separate places.
- Eat and Drink Judiciously—They ought to ascertain if the local tap water is safe to drink. If not, advise they drink only bottled water, plus avoid having ice in their drinks. Additionally, suggest they only eat food that has been freshly cooked to avoid contaminated food.
- Keep in Contact With Home—If family and friends know the traveler is safe and secure, they are less likely to panic if there is an emergency in the country they are visiting.
- Know the Rules of the Road—On the spot fines are common in a number of foreign countries (no exceptions for foreigners).
- Always Protect from Mosquitoes—In many parts of the world, it is important to be protected from mosquitoes, i.e., use insect repellents, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and sleep under a mosquito net.
- Take Necessary Security Precautions—Travelers should carry a minimum amount of cash each day and they should not bring valuables when sightseeing. Advise them to avoid unlit streets at night.
- Don’t Associate with Illegal Drugs—Passengers must never carry any items through customs for other people or leave their luggage unattended. Several foreign countries have the death penalty for involvement with illegal drugs.
If Things Go Horribly Wrong for the Traveler:
If the Traveler is Arrested or Taken into Custody: They should immediately contact their home country embassy/consult.
Most Embassy/Consular Officials Will:
· Issue emergency passports.
· Visit the traveler if they have been put in prison.
· Put the traveler in touch with local lawyers, interpreters and doctors.
· Contact relatives or friends if they need emergency money or tickets.
· Notify next of kin of an accident or a death, and advise on proper procedures to be followed.
Most Embassy and Consular Officials Will Not:
· Give legal advice.
· Pay hotel, medical, legal or any other bills.
· Replace lost airline tickets.
· Secure release from prison.
· Intervene in court cases.
· Get better treatment in a hospital or prison.