What you need to know before traveling abroad

The idea of traveling abroad to foreign lands and seeing countries both exotic and beautiful is certainly an exciting prospect. You plan your trip carefully, pack all necessary clothing items and accessories and hop aboard a plane, ship or train to get to your destination. However, there are a few things you need to know before you travel to any country you have never been to before.

Do Your Research

What you need to know before traveling abroadBefore heading out on the road, research your destination country. You should learn everything and anything you can about that country like local customs, entry requirements, travel advisories and even what emergency numbers are available to you. You should learn about what areas to avoid in cities, what gestures to avoid in certain countries and how to protect yourself from criminals. You can complete your research online at any number of reputable websites, or ask your travel agent for any information they may be able to provide.

Make Copies of Important Documents

It is important for you to make at least three copies of important documents like your passport, tickets, driver’s license, credit cards and travel itinerary. You should make copies of both sides of the document, which can make it that much easier to recover if anything gets stolen. Keep each set of documents at different locations in a safe place, and email yourself a copy of each document so if the need arises, you are able to print them out.

Get Contact Information for Embassies and Consulates

When traveling abroad it is a good idea to have emergency numbers and the address for your country’s embassy or consulate in foreign countries. If your country has a military base in your destination country, then it is a good idea to discover where that is in case of need. If possible, you should register with your consulate online (some countries like the USA and Australia allow for this) so that if a natural disaster or military conflict arises they can assist you. If you are traveling to a country known for political or military unrest, it is wise to contact or visit your country’s consulate and let them know where you are staying, and what your phone number is.

Don’t Look Like a Tourist

Whenever traveling, never make yourself look like a tourist. This means, don’t wear brand new expensive clothes, don’t carry around new backpacks and cameras, and don’t wear fanny packs or keep a close eye on them. If possible don’t bring electronics with you, and in any other way, don’t let yourself stand out from the crowd.

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