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5 Ways to Prepare for Overseas Travel

There are few things in life quite as exciting as traveling overseas. You’re leaving the comforts and conveniences of home behind for the great unknown, but that’s exactly where the adventure starts. You’ll see things in person you’ve only ever experienced through photos, and learn more about foreign cultures than you ever could through magazines and documentaries. But best of all, you’ll learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. But this kind of trip can’t be a spur of the moment thing. Despite the fact that you’ve got to get a passport, which could take several months to process, there are a lot of other factors to consider. If you’re going to do things safely and set yourself up for a fantastic time, you’ve got to plan effectively. Here are five ways to prepare for overseas travel.

First of all, make sure you get the medical side handled. There’s more to this than just finding out you’ve got a clean bill of health. There are disease concerns in other parts of the world that aren’t an issue here in the United States, and most of them are nasty. Get started with this process as much as six months in advance, as some of the immunizations you’ll receive need to be spread out. Talk to your doctor about specifics, but expect to get vaccinated against Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, Yellow Fever, Polio, Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus and Measles/Mumps/Rubella at the very least.

You’ll also need to look out for your personal mail and paperwork while you’re away. Set your mail to forward to a family member or trusted friend, so it doesn’t pile up at the front door. And make sure you’ve got a backup for all of the crucial documents you’ll carry along with you. Overseas travel can entail dealing with authorities at all sorts of checkpoints and travel stops, and you may end up losing something crucial. You’ll need a copy eventually, so keep an eye on this to-do list before you leave.

Communication with home while you’re overseas can be tricky, so look into all the options before you leave. You should be able to access the internet through Wi-Fi hotspots, but if you’re headed to a remote location this can be seriously complicated. Cell phone use is prevalent, but calling home this way will get expensive in a hurry. Instead, look into online options like Skype and Google Voice. Set regular appointments with friends and family, and research the cell requirements of every country you plan to visit.

You might also want to consider investing in travel insurance. You obviously don’t want to think about the doom and gloom that could befall you, but getting sick or injured abroad is just as common as it is here at home, if not more so. Travel insurance will make sure you have quality healthcare regardless of where you go, and will give you the peace of mind you need to jump into your overseas adventure with both feet.

Finally, don’t forget about the differences in banking. You can certainly use your credit and debit cards abroad, but there will be a whole new level of fees. If you’re going to be overseas for a long time, it might be worth it to pick up cards that don’t carry these international fees. You might have to give up that cute Holiday Birds image imprinted on your favorite credit card. But the savings in fees will help you extend your trip, and enjoy yourself far more while you’re out and about.

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