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What to Bring, What to Leave, and What You Need to Know When Traveling Internationally

Whether you’re going on an island-hopping cruise or a business trip, traveling internationally can be a great experience. You’ll meet new people and explore unique and exciting cultures you’d never get to see at home. However, traveling internationally also comes with more requirements and restrictions than domestic travels. Knowing the rules and potential pitfalls, and preparing for them ahead of time, can make your trip go much smoother.

Here are some tips for traveling out of the country:

• Make a checklist – The last thing you want to do in a foreign country is discover that you left a critical item like prescription medicines behind. Make a list of everything to bring, and double check it right before you leave the house. You can also make a list of everything you need to do before you leave, including seemingly simple things like locking the door. In the rush and excitement of leaving for a trip, it can be easy to forget small but important details, but taking  a few minutes to go down your list can help you avoid a major mishap.

• Bring extra clothes in your carry-on luggage – If you’re unfortunate enough to be the victim of lost luggage, having a few extra outfits can be a life-saver, or at least wallet-saver.

• Leave a key with a family member or friend – If you’re going to be gone for more than a week or two, you may want to have a friend or family member come by to check on your house and make sure everything is all right. Even if you don’t have them check on it, you should always leave a key with someone you trust so that they are able to help if there’s an emergency.

• Check the customs regulations – There are certain items, especially foods, which you may not be able to bring into a foreign country or back to the United States. Before you go, check the regulations for each country you’ll be visiting. If you’re taking a cruise, one of the crew members will likely be able to help you figure out what’s allowed.

• Bring copies of your passport and driver’s license – If by some misfortune you lose your identification, having a copy with you can make it faster and easier to get a replacement. You should also leave a copy of each at home with a friend or family member so they can help if needed.

If you’re going on a cruise, you’re fortunate in that much of the international red tape is taken care of for you, and you’ll have crew members to answer any questions you may have. However, it’s always advisable to keep yourself well informed as to local laws and customs. By taking these steps and preparing ahead of time, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy all the wonder and excitement that an international trip has to offer.

Karolina Shenton works at The Cruise Web, a travel agency that is dedicated to helping travelers find the best value for their cruise vacations.

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