International Travel Tips
Before You Go
- Check your passport to assure it is not expired or expiring while traveling. Many countries require at least 6 months of validity left for entry so we suggest you renew early to avoid having to pay for expedited renewal services.
- If you are going to be traveling frequently overseas consider signing up for the Department of Homeland Security's Global Entry Program which is available at 20 airports in the United States and lets pre-approved passengers skip the immigration lines and re-enter the US at self-serve kiosks located at major airports.
- We suggest that you make photocopies of your airline itinerary, passport ID, driver’s license and any credit cards you plan to take. Leave a copy of each with a family member, your office and even email to yourself in case of emergency. Keep the other copies with you in a safe place. Should you lose your passport, these copies will be helpful to facilitate replacement.
- Notify your credit card companies and bank that you are going to be traveling internationally so charges or ATM withdrawals don't look suspicious.
- Take cash for taxi rides and incidentals.
- Check with your mobile phone provider before leaving the country. Otherwise, you may find your phone does not work abroad or will rack up large charges. You should temporarily switch to an international calling and data plan or rent a phone that works internationally. Different countries may require different solutions. Another option for international calling is to buy a local prepaid SIM card to plug into an existing mobile phone.
- Using Skype from your personal computer or Wi-Fi enabled smart-phone can be a low-cost solution for international calls. Most laptops come with a microphone, speakers and a camera built in for easy video chatting and many hotels have Wi-Fi capabilities.
- Check your health insurance to make sure it covers you for medical emergencies while traveling. Your travel consultant will inform you if immunizations or vaccinations are needed so you can see your doctor prior to travel. Packing a first-aid kit is always a good idea, too.
- Label all baggage inside and out with your name and a number where you can be reached. Placing your business card in the luggage tag holder is safer than using your home address.
Avoid Jet Lag
The most important measures an individual can take to avoid jet lag are:
- Allow plenty of time to sleep and rest at your new location in order to compensate for reduced sleep quality and make the adjustment period easier.
- Adopt local time and routines upon arrival. For a stay of only one or two days, however, consider trying to maintain your home schedule.
- Take walks outdoors on the first days after arrival to be exposed to morning or afternoon sunlight. This may help “reset” your “biological clock” to function in the new environment.
- Be a Tourist Without Looking Like One - Dress conservatively and don’t wear expensive-looking jewelry. A flashy or too casual wardrobe can mark you as a tourist.
- Be a Safe Packer - Travel light! You can move more quickly and may have a free hand so you are less likely to set your luggage down, leaving it unattended.
- How To Deter a Pickpocket - Conceal passports, cash, credit cards, etc., in several places. Avoid handbags, fanny packs and outside pockets that are easy targets. Be extra careful in crowded places.
- Don’t Miss the Sights - If you wear glasses, pack an extra pair. Place them and any medications in your carry-on bag.
- Avoid Trouble at Customs - Keep medicines in their original, labeled containers. Take copies of prescriptions and the generic names for drugs. If medication is unusual or contains narcotics, carry a letter from your doctor attesting to your need to take the drug.
- Be Money Wise - Credit, debit & ATM cards are preferred over traveler’s checks and usually offer better exchange rates and lower fees. They are also safer than carrying a lot of cash.
- Need Assistance? - If staying more than two weeks in one place, register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate through the State Department’s website.
- Do Your Homework - Learn a few phrases in the local language so you can navigate around or get help. Research the country ahead of time to have a better understanding of what to expect and where emergency help is available.
Make your international reservation process simple by having the following information ready for the consultant:
- Dates of travel
- Are you flexible on the departure city?
- Do you have any stopover cities?
- Do you want quotes on coach and/or business class seats?
- Do you have a preferred airline?
- Departure/arrival time preferences
- Is your schedule flexible in order to reduce fares?
- Are you driven by price or convenience?
- Will you be using frequent flyer miles to upgrade?