I’m back! I hate that it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but the last few weeks have been quite crazy. My husband and I just got back a few days ago from leading a missions team to Central America! We were really looking forward to this trip and anxious to get our hands back on-the-field! (It’s been 3 years since we came back to the States from living in Thailand!) Our trip was a success and I am looking forward to sharing some of our photos and experiences with you!
Today I thought I would write a post about some of my tips when traveling internationally! I hope you find this helpful in your journeys whether domestic or abroad!
1. Let your bank know that you are traveling so they don’t report unknown/unlikely transactions as fraud. Also beware of international ATM fees. It may be best to hit up the ATM prior to leaving.
2. When purchasing your flight/hotel, click through the Ebates site first. If you are not familiar with Ebates (a cash back site), you can read my overview about it here. A few travel websites that are listed on Ebates include Expedia, Priceline, Booking.com and more!
3. Download a money conversion app on your phone. It will definitely come in handy! A translator app is another beneficial thing to have downloaded too!
4. Confirm if your destination has a country entrance fee, or if you need a visa. For our trip to Nicaragua, there was a $10 entrance fee as you went through immigration. Do the research and be prepared ahead of time!
5. Check your passport expiration date – some countries will not let you travel if it expires within 6 months!
6. Look up your airline’s baggage fees and decide whether it’s worth checking in a bag or not. When we were looking at airlines for our flight, we opted out of one particular airline because not only do they charge a substantial amount for each checked bag, they even charged for carry-ons! Check before you book.
7. Any medications should be with you in your carry-on. If possible, the meds should be in their original packaging as well.
8. Packing items to consider when traveling abroad include: voltage converters for your electronics, headphones for the airplane, an external battery pack, sunscreen, bug spray, a camera (of course), and a travel journal.
9. Allow enough time at the airport! Besides having enough time in the airports Stateside, when you arrive into a new country, make sure to allow time to get through security, immigration, and customs. The lines are always very long. Also on your way home, the first airport that you land in within the U.S. (ours was Houston, TX), you have to go through immigration, retrieve your checked bags at the baggage carousel and then recheck them through to your final destination (ours was Chicago). I was glad our layover was 3 hours.
10. This may not fit everyone’s situation, but if you are going on a mission trip or something along those lines, consider shopping at a second hand store and leaving some clothes there. I picked up a bunch of items from Plato’s Closet, wore them while I was there, and left the items in Nicaragua for the girls my age to have. Again, this may not work for every situation, but it is an easy and great way to be able to help people in another country in a small, but effective way! Plus, your bags will be much lighter on the way back!
I hope these tips have been helpful to you! Now I’m off to finish unpacking! 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by today! xo.