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Travel is one of our great luxuries. Exploring new places and enjoying new experiences is always an adventure.
Once all the activities and itineraries are planned, there are a few things you can do to help make your travel adventures go as smoothly as possible. Read on for our best international travel tips, and also download our free Travel Checklist.
1. Make a copy of the front and back of any credit cards you plan to take with you
Copying the front and back of the card captures all of the important information you may need if your cards are lost or stolen. Keep the copies in a safe place at home, or leave them with a trusted person who will not be traveling with you. That person can help you contact your bank back home, if needed.
2. Tell your credit card providers that you’re leaving the country
Credit card companies may block your accounts if they see “suspicious activity” from foreign transactions. You don’t want that to happen when you’re trying to pay for your hotel room, or purchase a great souvenir. To prevent this, it’s as easy as calling them up and telling them which dates you’ll be traveling, and which countries you’ll be visiting.
3. Carry a color copy of your passport photo page
Once you get where you’re going, you likely won’t need your passport with you at all times. Lock it safely away in the hotel safe (as long as you feel that it is safe) and carry a color copy with you. Then you won’t risk losing your passport, or having it stolen during your outings. Just don’t forget to get it out of the safe when you check out.
When you are carrying the original, pack the copy in a separate place. That way, if one gets lost or damaged, there is a chance that you may still have the other.
4. Put your contact info and travel itinerary inside your luggage
Lost luggage ruins any trip in a hurry. If your tags get ripped off your bags, it can take them much longer to get to you. If they ever do.
Help airport personnel (and yourself) out by making it as easy as possible to get your bags back to you. Put a sheet of paper inside your luggage, right on top, that includes:
- Your Name
- Contact Information
- Flight Numbers
- Travel Origin and Destination
5. Make best use of your carry-on bag
While you may want to include comfort items like e-readers and noise canceling headphones, don’t forget to pack the necessities in your carry-on as well. You should pack:
- Change of clothes for one day (or at least under garments) If your luggage does get lost, you will be very glad to have these.
- Paper copies of all travel itineraries and documents. Don’t count on digital alone.
- Medications in original packaging. Always carry your prescriptions with you. Make sure they’re allowed in the countries you’ll be visiting.
- Car/house keys. Lost luggage becomes an even bigger headache if you also lose your keys with it.
- Sanitizing wipes. You can buy individually wrapped hand wipes. These are great for wiping down arm rests and tray tables. You’ll also want to use them before eating, when there isn’t a convenient place to wash your hands.
- Ear plugs. On long trips, the noise of the plane can get exhausting, and headphones can be irritating after several hours. Plain old ear plugs can be a sanity saver. These may also come in handy later, if you have trouble sleeping in your hotels.
Check out our article on Travel Packing Tips for more practical advice about what to pack.
Be sure to download our Travel Checklist, too. It’s a handy reference with all our best travel tips in one place. Use it as a guide for preparing and packing for all your trips.
Get it free for a limited time.
GET YOUR TRAVEL CHECKLIST
6. Bring outlet adapters
If you’ll want to use any electrical devices during your trip, you will need to have appropriate outlet adapters. The shape of plugs differs from country to country, so you may need to bring more than one if you’ll be visiting multiple countries. You can find these in the electronics section of a store, and at some airport shops.
Other countries also use different voltages. Check items like hair dryers and electric razors for alternate settings, so they can handle the power supply.
7. Do a little dance
You’ve arrived in paradise, and are just getting relaxed on the beach when you start to wonder, “Did I lock the front door?”
Save yourself this anxiety by making these mundane moments memorable. As you’re leaving the house, and locking the door, do a little dance. That way you will definitely remember that you did it, and won’t have to waste any vacation time worrying about it.
I admit, I stole this last tip from a friend, but it’s fun and it works. What are your best travel tips? Please share them in the comments.
And don’t forget to download your free copy of our Travel Checklist to get these tips and more all in one handy guide.