This is Part 2 of the Complete Guide to International Travel.
Read The Complete Guide Part 1. Let’s get to the week of departure.
4 Important things to do before departure.
It’s the week before you depart, you’re already fantasizing about the beaches you’ll be laying on, the women you’ll meet, and the food you’ll eat. As you should. But before you get there, you want to make sure you these four things are finished.
- Call the bank of any credit/debit card you will be using and let them know you will be traveling. This is so they do not flag your card and shut it down when you randomly try to get cash out of a Bangkok ATM.
- Take photos of your passport, health insurance & vaccine cards. Make a short list of emergency contacts. Email all of this to yourself. In the event of losing your phone or important physical documents, you want an easily accessible digital copy. All you need is email access to cover yourself.
- Pull at least $200 cash to carry. You can convert it to the local currency at the airport or an exchange. Cash is still widely accepted all over and you may need it for taxis, a quick bite at a restaurant, hotel tipping etc.
- Water you plants and clean your place. Leave a few windows cracked open. Give spare keys to someone you trust. After all the travel you’ll want to return to a fresh, and welcoming home.
5 Essential Items to pack in your Carry-on bag
- An extra T-shirt. For those long trips it is nice to switch up the fit and feel fresh after sitting in the same shirt for several hours.
- Small Dopp Kit. Fill this with tooth brush, toothpaste, deodorant, skin moisturizer, condoms, comb/brush, and over the counter medicine (ibuprofen, vitamin-C tablets, etc). Spare eyeglasses or contact lenses should also go in if you wear them.
- Phone Charger. You can usually access USB charging in airports and on planes.
- Black Pens and small notebook. You may have to fill out customs forms while on the flight. You may want to journal your thoughts or sketch to pass time.
- Sunglasses. A man must have sunglasses.
Important concepts to remember when you visit another country.
- Leave the American ideas in America. Customer service in restaurants and bars might be slower than you’re used to. Businesses might close earlier than you expect. Customs are different. For example, a glass of water at a restaurant is free in the U.S but in many countries you pay for water. There will be other differences too. Don’t take it personal or get offended.
- You are a guest. Just because you’re a foreigner does not mean you are exempt from local laws. Don’t get involved in questionable activity. Constitutional rights in the U.S are meaningless outside of the U.S. Understand the rules and be easy.
- Don’t expect everyone to speak English (unless you’re in obvious countries). Try to learn the basics of the local language. Hello, thank you, excuse me, please, yes, no, etc. Even the basics will help you and make the trip so much better.
- Have a good time and relax! Don’t worry about taking a picture of everything and posting on social media. Be in the moment and enjoy yourself.