Traveling across borders can be an incredibly freeing experience. Whether you’re jetting half way across the globe or simply visiting a neighboring country, it’s a way to get out of your bubble and experience a different culture and all that comes with it. International travel isn’t without its complications though, which is why we’ve put together a brief list of things you’d do well to remember when planning such a trip.
The amount of time it takes to secure or renew a passport varies depending on which country’s passport and a few other factors. But always remember to look into this the very moment you start contemplating an international trip, because it can take well over a month in some cases. While there are sometimes some shortcuts you can take by spending a little bit of extra money, there will be a point at which you simply can’t get your passport ready in time to travel, and nothing spoils a trip quite like that! One more important note on this subject: some countries won’t let visitors in unless passports are valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry. So even if your passport is valid, you’ll want to look into the specifics of your travel plan to make sure it’s going to get the job done.
Currency exchange is going to be different depending on which countries are involved with your travel plan. Sometimes your native currency will go a long way in a foreign land, and sometimes it won’t. But whatever the case may be you’ll need to prepare in advance to spend money outside of your own country. That might mean exchanging cash for the money of your destination country, or simply using a card to withdraw cash once you’re there. Even in the case of the withdrawal however you’ll want to clear your travel plan with your bank ahead of time. This can all be fairly simple in the end, but you don’t want to reach a destination only to be in a position in which you don’t have local currency or you’re tricking your bank into thinking your cards have been stolen.
This is a broader point, but you should always research what sort of events might be going on when you travel to a foreign destination. It won’t always be a big deal, but a major event can change a destination, in everything from flight and hotel costs to tourism activities. In some cases of course you might specifically be hoping to take part in a given event. If that’s not the case though, be sure to check the calendar so as to avoid any unwanted disruptions.
We need look no further than the United States to see how drastically politics can affect tourism, as well as the atmosphere for foreign visitors. When Donald Trump became America’s 45th president odds were released on some of the wilder things he might do in office, and the idea that he might successfully build a wall along the entire Mexican border was actually treated as a real possibility. Today, it’s still part of a hard anti-immigration agenda that has seemingly resulted in a downtick in American tourism. This is just one example, but it’s a clear one of why you might want to look into the politics of a destination before concretely planning to travel there. Annoying as it can be, politics can change a place’s atmosphere.
Setting up your phone for international travel can definitely be a pain, but these days it’s something we could all stand to brush up on. We use our phones so much, not just for calling but for navigating, looking things up, etc., that they’re almost vital tools when in foreign countries. Here again the actual steps you take will vary based on your particular situation, but basically you’ll want to contact your service provide, see what you’re covered for when outside of your own country, and ask how to most affordably set up the service you’ll need. Traveling without taking these steps is a good way to end up paying huge data costs.