Congratulations! You are going to see the world! But the hours, days, and weeks before you leave can be filled with anxiety and stress. There is so much to do! Rest assured,  I know exactly how you feel and will do everything I can to make sure you are prepared and relaxed leading up to your trip. It is all about being prepared. Think of this as your ultimate guide for travel outside the U.S.

Traveling outside the U.S. can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Your trip can give you a chance to experience new cultures, see new sights, and try new things. It can also be a great way to learn about the world, and maybe even something about yourself.

Cultural Differences

One of the most exciting things about vacationing outside the US is getting to experience different cultures. This can include everything from the food and music to the customs and traditions. It is important to be respectful of the local culture and to learn a few basic phrases in the local language.

Say What?

Unless you are traveling to a country where English is the primary language, you will need to be prepared to communicate in a different language. This can be challenging, but it is also a lot of fun. There are a number of ways to learn a new language, such as taking classes, using apps, or simply practicing with locals.

Mmmm… Food

Vacationing outside the US is a great opportunity to try new foods. Many countries have unique cuisines that are well worth sampling. However, it is important to be careful about what you eat and drink, especially if you have any dietary restrictions.

Did you see that?!

There are many amazing sights and attractions to see outside the US. From ancient ruins to modern skyscrapers, there is something for everyone. It is important to do some research before you go so that you know what you want to see.

Slow it down …

The pace of life in many countries outside the US is much slower than in the US. This can be a bit of an adjustment, but it is also a great way to relax and de-stress.

The bottom line is this. Taking a trip outside the United States can be a lot of fun and life-enriching. Not to mention delicious. I know it can be stressful, but if you are prepared before you go, you could have the time of your life.

Your Ultimate Guide for Travel Outside the US.

  • Get a Passport

    Woman holding a passport

    If you don’t already have a passport, you’ll need to apply for one. The process can take several weeks, so it’s important to start early. You can apply for a passport online or at a passport acceptance facility.

  • Get Appropriate Vaccinations and Immunizations

    German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach receives a Covid booster vaccine

    Some countries require that visitors have specific vaccinations before entering. You can find information about vaccination requirements on the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • Check on Visas

    The American national flag flies atop the embassy of the United States in honor of Queen Elizabeth II

    Depending on your destination, you may need to obtain a visa before you travel. Visa requirements can vary widely, so it’s important to check the requirements for each country you’ll be visiting. You can find information about visa requirements on the websites of the embassies and consulates of the countries you’ll be visiting. You can research your destination HERE.

  • Enroll in STEP

    In this photo illustration, a phone displays an emergency alert message that reads "Presidential Alert.

    The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, is a free program that allows the US government to contact you in an emergency while you’re traveling abroad. You can enroll in STEP online or by calling the US Department of State.

  • Notify Your Mobile Service

    A booth attendant plays a video game on a smartphone

    Make sure you notify your cell service you are out of the country and have the option of purchasing an unlimited international plan. Typically, the cost is $10 per day. If you have an Apple device, you can send messages and FaceTime over a Wi-Fi connection, but that won’t be available if you need to follow directions outside of Wi-Fi service. If you are going the Wi-Fi route, make sure you keep your phone in airplane mode so you don’t receive messages that would incur that $10 charge.

  • Print Everything

    A doctor retrieves a prescription from a computer printer

    Sure, you might feel comfortable with having everything saved on your phone. And that’s a great idea. But if your phone battery dies, if you don’t have access to your cloud, or, God forbid, if you lose your phone, you are out of luck. Print your flight itinerary, your reservation itinerary, and even copies of your Passport and credit cards in case any of those are lost or stolen.

  • Trust a Friend

    Bert and Ernie on the Sesame Street float during the 95th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

    Give copies of all of your documents to a trusted friend – including travel documents. This will help them to track your whereabouts in case of an emergency.

  • Pack Light

    Pristine Floyde searches for a friend's suitcase in a baggage holding area

    I have a terrible habit of thinking I need all new clothes for any trip I take. No one you are going to see has seen any of your old clothes, so they’re new to them! Also, your current wardrobe probably already matches, so it will be easier to choose a few items that you can mix and match to create new outfits, allowing you to pack fewer clothes.

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