Presented by Grand European Travel
As we go into the summer travel season, no doubt many of you have a vacation or two written on the calendar, circled 10 times in red ink. Everyone enjoys getting away during the warm months, and it’s the perfect time to travel internationally especially. Just think: Many French abandon their cities for the entire month of August, making it a perfect to explore Paris without crowds. For those of you prepping for a trip abroad, nothing can dampen the excitement like a last-minute snafu, so here is a list of common mistakes to avoid to help get you equipped properly!
Many problems that arise around international travel can be avoided by planning ahead. In no case is that truer than when it comes to your passport. If you’ve never had a passport before, there is a fairly long process to get one that should be started well in advance of your trip. But if you already have a passport in hand, you’ll want to take a close look at the expiration date. Obviously, you can’t travel with expired documents, but that’s not the only concern. Sometime, if your passport is within six months of its expiration date, you might have trouble entering some countries. The bottom line: Have an updated passport in your possession or use expedited processing to get one.
International travel can be a big financial investment. You don’t want to risk losing all that money by failing to buy travel insurance, even though it’s an additional outlay of cash. You never know what could happen before your trip that would force you to reschedule or cancel – health issues, a death in the family or other unexpected occurrences. Plus, you could have issues while traveling, such as lost luggage or another medical mishap. Firm believers in the philosophy “better safe than sorry” make good travelers.
Just about everyone has a tendency to over pack, but there’s little chance you will need 20 outfits, no longer how long you are staying. Instead, choose a handful of ensembles with a lot of items that layer well. Check the weather trends in the countries you will be visiting before you go. Remember, there will be laundry facilities and grocery stores just about everywhere you go, so you can wash your five outfits whenever you need to.
Yes, it can be intimidating to mix with the locals when you are visiting an international locale. But if you step outside of your comfort zone and make an attempt to connect, chances are you’ll find a positive reception and residents who are happy to share their enthusiasm for their home country. If you’re headed to a single location, try to learn a few words in the local language. Be friendly, and you’ll likely get the same in return, which makes for lasting memories.
Not Notifying Banks
Most banks will lock access to a credit card when they see the owner is in a different place than usual. This attempt to prevent credit fraud can wreak havoc on travelers who didn’t notify their banks ahead of time. Let your lending institutions know your travel plans in advance, and be sure to check out your options for using cash machines without steep fees. The ideal credit card will not charge a fee for international purchases, either.
Failing to Chow Down
One of the best parts about international travel is the ability to try authentic global cuisines. Don’t be afraid to explore the menu at a locally owned restaurant. Here’s a tip: Look for the eatery where the diners are all area residents. Or try a food truck or street vendor, who might be offering something you just couldn’t get anywhere else.
International travel is exciting and memorable no matter what time of year. Make your summer trip all the more meaningful by preparing in advance for these common problems.
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