Are you ready to go on one of the most memorable trips of your life? The amount of preparation you do before you get on the plane will greatly influence how you experience your experience. This is regardless of whether you go abroad to study, intern, work or relax on an exotic island.
Invest a little time in preparation and planning now so that you can make the most of your time abroad. Here are five things to do when traveling to another country on vacation:
- You need to make sure you have a valid passport and visa
It is generally required that your passport remain valid for six months beyond your return date. Therefore, if you want to renew your passport, you should do so no later than nine months before an expiration date.
Find out if you need to renew your passport now by visiting the Department of State’s website. If you do, you can pick it up at your nearest passport facility.
- Find out about health warnings and travel advisories
The State Department’s website provides information on U.S. government travel alerts and travel warnings.
This information also includes those countries where long-term conditions have created a risky environment or those with short-term conditions that threaten travelers. The majority of travel insurance policies exclude coverage for travel to countries that are subject to travel warnings.
- Make sure you have your vaccinations and fill your prescriptions
Find out about health information and vaccination requirements for your destination by contacting the CDC. You can also include vaccines against diseases like yellow fever, cholera, and the Zika virus here.
Get any necessary shots six weeks before your trip for maximum protection. Also, consider consulting a travel medicine expert if you are traveling to a country with a high level of disease transmission.
- Visit the State Department to register your trip
Consider registering with the U.S. online if you plan to travel outside industrialized countries or to remote locations. First, enter your itinerary with the Department of State. Then, when a disaster occurs in the country, the government knows where to locate you and how to contact you.
- Make sure you have travel insurance
You may be excluded from your health insurance policy while you are abroad. Please make sure you have medical evacuation and emergency medical insurance depending on where you’re going. Additionally, travel interruption and cancellation insurance can protect you in the event of an unexpected cancellation or down payment for your trip.