You finally have the time for a vacation. Next step is decide where to go. If you're going overseas, you need some tips for international travel.
Traveling within the U.S. is always fun but what about other countries? If you decide to go across borders, here is some information you need to know before stepping on foreign land. Use these tips for international travel to have the best trip ever.
One of the best tips for international travel is to be sure your passport is ready to go. If you already have a passport, then no worries. If you don’t, the place to get one is your local post office (not all post offices provide passport services). As to the requirements in applying for one, it depends on the post office and which state you reside in. For me, I brought in the application, my birth certificate, my ID, and my debit card as I had to pay a fee of around $100. The post office I went to made the passport photo themselves and I had to pay them for that, of course. However, not all post offices will take your picture. In this case, you will have to bring your own passport photo. You can get a photo from Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, etc.
A perk of having a U.S. passport is that you can visit most countries without having to apply for a tourist visa. The usual length of stay with just your passport is 90 days. Very few countries allow 180 days. However, if you have to have a visa to enter a country, you need to look at what type. There are certain visas that you can buy at the country’s airport once you land. The other is where you have to go to the country’s embassy and apply for one, which can be a grueling task and can suck the fun out of traveling.
The majority of the flights you find for international travel will have at least one layover. Layovers will be different in other countries. One time I was flying from Philadelphia to Frankfurt with an hour and a half layover in London. I thought I had plenty of time to kill, but I nearly missed my flight. Apparently, you will have to go through security and border control again at your layover. With London, it was both border control and security. In Keflavik, Iceland, it was just border control. Before booking your ticket, check what you will have to do at your layover. From experience, I recommend not booking a flight with an hour and a half layover in London. You’ll definitely need more time.
I’m not sure about other countries, but in Europe you can get away from currency exchange by just using your debit card. Most ATMs and stores that accept cards will take Visa or Mastercard. However, a lot of places (mostly restaurants) in Europe only accept cash. To get cash, it is easier to withdraw it from an ATM. I have withdrawn money from Deutsche Bank and it is always a $3 fee, no matter the amount. Also, before you leave, contact your bank and inform them where you will be in your travels so they don’t cancel your card because of an unexpected purchase in France.
Remember these tips and you will be fine. Happy travels!