February 11th, 2015
Do you have an upcoming trip planned for an international destination? Whether you’re traveling for business or for pleasure, international travel requires a few extra considerations that domestic travel does not. Before your next international travel, make sure you read our tips for traveling abroad!
International Travel: Tips for Traveling Abroad
Look for Travel Alerts and Warnings
The State Department will issue a travel alert or warning if there is an issue in a country that would make it an unsafe destination for travelers. This includes natural disasters, spread of disease, civil unrest, and terrorist activity, among other concerns. Travel alerts are issued for short-term concerns while a warning is issued for a long-term concern that would make it highly inadvisable for you to travel to this destination.
Of course you’ll need a passport to travel abroad and get back into the U.S. Depending on the nature of your visit, you might also need a visa. If you’re a tourist, the U.S. has agreements with many countries that allow you to travel without a visa, but some will require you to obtain a tourist visa in the U.S. before entering the country. There is usually a fee associated with this. Trips for business or education usually require special visas that require paperwork to be completed well in advance of the trip. If you’re planning a trip, look up this information as soon as possible. This guide from the State Department allows you to determine if you need a visa for your destination.
You may be required to receive vaccinations before traveling to certain countries. The CDC offers a guide to determine if this applies to you. You should also check if your health insurance covers you while you’re abroad. If not, you might want to get a short-term policy through a private company so you’re still covered during your travels. Social Security and Medicare do not provide international coverage. If you take prescription medications, make sure to pack enough to last for your whole trip. Ask your pharmacist to recommend you a generic equivalent if you need to get more while abroad.
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Posted in Travel Tips