Are you currently planning on leaving the United States on an international trip? And furthermore, are you planning on doing so for the first time in your life?
If so, you should know that while you have a lot to look forward to, there are also a lot of steps that you will need to take before you leave on your trip as well, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Here are the top five steps that every traveler needs to take before leaving the United States:
1 – Plan Well Ahead Of Time
Fundamentally speaking, it’s always wise to prepare for a trip well ahead of time (as in several weeks or months before you leave), and this is especially true for international travel. The reason this is so important is because you’ll save on a lot of money. Airline tickets will almost always be cheaper if you book them several months ahead of time.
In addition, you also want to be very strategic about when you choose to travel as well. The months of July, August, December, and January are known as ‘peak season’ and this is when traveling is bound to be the most expensive.
2 – Get Travel Insurance
Easily one of the most important financial decisions you can make before traveling outside of the United States will be to cover yourself for any medical expenses you may incur with travel insurance that have a medical coverage plan. You see, your health insurance plan that you currently enjoy here in the United States will most likely not work outside of the country, forcing you to turn to travel insurance with the proper coverage or otherwise paying out of pocket, which can be quite expensive.
And while you may convince yourself that this is not necessary, the truth is that if you happen to get injured or seriously sick, you’re going to wind up in a foreign hospital, and then you’ll be really wishing you didn’t have to pay out of pocket.
3 – Convert Money
Regardless of where you travel to, even if it’s within the United States, it’s wise to carry cash on your person. And when you’re traveling internationally, this will especially be important for when you’re traveling anywhere that does not take USD or even credit or debit cards.
The best way to convert money will be to use a foreign exchange service online such as Remitly, which will allow you to save a lot of money when it comes to fees and a lower exchange rate. In contrast to online remittance services such as Remitly, you can expect to pay far more for converting money such as through bank wire transfers.
4 – Confirm Your Credit Cards Will Work
Credit cards can be used to pay for almost anything outside of the United States, especially in larger sized cities. But at the same time, this doesn’t mean that your credit card company is going to allow overseas transactions either.
That’s why it’s entirely up to you to ensure that your credit cards will work overseas, and furthermore, it’s also your responsibility to check to see if there will be any foreign transactions that will be incurred on your account even if foreign transactions are accepted. For example, a lot of credit cards will have a 1-5% charge for each overseas financial transaction, which can really add up and hurt you in the long run.
5 – Learn Local Phrases
Traveling into another country will always be easier if you make the effort to learn basic phrases in the language of that country. No, you don’t have to learn an entire language (although you could if you wanted to and could commit to it), but otherwise, just learning a few basic words and phrases such as how to say “where is the restroom” or “hello” or “thank you” will surprisingly help you out a long way.
Steps To Take Before Leaving The United States
Before you leave on your trip out of the United States, you simply can’t afford to forget the above steps. And yes, there are many other steps that you will need to take as well, such as applying for any visas that are required and making sure that your passport will be valid, so don’t end your research on how to prepare for international travel here.
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