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Your Summer International Travel Checklist Thumbnail

Your Summer International Travel Checklist

Summer is just around the corner; for many, that means it's time to embark on exciting international adventures. Whether you're planning to explore the historic streets of Europe, relax on tropical beaches in Southeast Asia, or immerse yourself in the vibrant cultures of South America, one thing is for sure: proper preparation is vital to a smooth and stress-free journey.

Here, we'll walk you through everything you need to consider before jetting off on your next international trip.

Inform Your Bank and Credit Card Companies

One of the first steps you should take before traveling internationally is to inform your bank and credit card companies about your upcoming trip. This helps prevent your transactions from being flagged as fraudulent when using your cards in a foreign country.

Provide your bank and credit card companies with your travel dates and destinations to ensure uninterrupted access to your funds. Additionally, ask about any foreign transaction fees or currency conversion charges that may apply to your accounts.

Arrange Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can help protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances that may arise during your trip, such as medical emergencies, trip cancelations, or lost luggage.

Before purchasing a policy, carefully review the coverage options to ensure they meet your needs. Consider factors such as medical coverage limits, evacuation services, and coverage for pre-existing conditions. Consider purchasing insurance when you book your trip to maximize coverage benefits.

Obtain Necessary Vaccinations and Medications

Depending on your destination, you may need specific vaccinations or medications to protect yourself against local diseases or health risks. Research your destination's vaccination requirements well before your departure date and schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider or a travel clinic to receive any necessary immunizations.

Additionally, ensure you have an ample supply of any prescription medications you'll need during your trip, along with copies of your prescriptions in case you need to refill them abroad.

Prepare Your Medical ID and Documents

In case of a medical emergency while traveling abroad, having access to your medical information can be crucial.

Create a medical ID card with vital details such as your blood type, allergies, pre-existing conditions, and emergency contact information. Carry this card with you at all times, along with copies of your health insurance card, passport, and any relevant medical documents. Some smartphones offer a medical ID option that can be set up to make sharing this information easier.1

Review Cell Phone Service Options

Before traveling internationally, it's important to consider your cell phone service options to stay connected while abroad. Contact your mobile carrier to inquire about international roaming plans, data packages, and fees for calls and texts.

Alternatively, you can purchase a local SIM card when you get to your destination for affordable data and calling rates. If you plan to use your phone to navigate or access the internet while traveling, consider downloading offline maps or using Wi-Fi hotspots to avoid excessive data charges.

Secure Your Passport and Travel Documents

Your passport is the most important document you'll need when traveling internationally, so it's essential to ensure its valid and up to date well before your departure date. Check the expiration date and renew your passport if necessary, as many countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months after your departure date.

Additionally, make copies of your passport, visa, and other travel documents and store them separately from the originals in case of loss or theft.2

Traveling internationally can be an enriching and unforgettable experience but requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. By following this comprehensive checklist, you'll be ready to travel abroad. So, pack your bags, double-check your travel documents, and prepare to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!

Jeff Spitzmiller is the CEO of Ohana Wealth & Life Planning based in Cincinnati, OH.   Ohana specializes in life and financial planning for professionals in the healthcare and university fields.   The firm is an independent financial advisor and a fee-only fiduciary.  Jeff and the firm also enjoy volunteering and giving back to the local community.  You can reach Jeff at jeff@ohanaplanning.com.

  1. https://acadianambulance.com/medical-id-smartphone/
  2. https://www.progressive.com/lifelanes/adventure/travel-document-checklist/

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