Just traveling anywhere presents a certain amount of challenges to make sure that all goes well, but international travel introduces even more variables into the mix that require advance planning to successfully navigate. Of course, traveling in other countries can constitute some of the most memorable times of our life so the rewards are often worth the extra work needed in preparation. Here are some international travel tips that can help you have the best family vacations:
Find out as much as you can about what paperwork will be required of you to enter and leave the country where you are going. What passports and/or visas will be needed? Will you be required to have a copy of your birth certificate?
* Find out if any vaccinations will be needed before you travel to that country. Also if you use medications, are they considered legal there?
* If a foreign language is used, try to get at least somewhat familiar with the basics of the local language just in case it may come in handy.
* If you plan on driving while in the foreign country, find out if you will need an additional driver’s license to do so. There are international driver’s permits (international drivers license) that are accepted in 150 countries that may be what you need. It is illegal to drive without a valid license and insurance in many countries. You should check with the Embassy of the country where you plan to reside, to find out more about driver’s license requirements.
Many countries do not recognize a U.S. driver’s license. Some, however, will accept an international driver’s permit. It is nevertheless a good idea to qualify for a local driver’s license as soon as possible, since international driver’s permits are not always valid for the length of a stay abroad, and often are only valid if presented in conjunction with a valid U.S. or local license. To renew a U.S. driver’s license, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in your home state. And be sure that you have adequate auto insurance that applies in that country before driving there too.
* If you plan on using your computer while traveling, check in advance for any necessary equipment such as voltage converters or electrical plugs that will be required in order to plug in and safely use your computer equipment while you are away. Also, how will you connect to the internet while outside the country?
* Will you be covered for any medical emergency that may arise while traveling in that country? Many health insurance policies do not extend beyond the borders of the US, so additional trip insurance may be required to be adequately covered.