Packing Essentials for an International Trip

Packing Essentials for an International Trip
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The average international trip for American travelers now costs $6,080, according to Squaremouth, with the least expensive country to visit Mexico at $3,310 and the most expensive being Norway at $9,754. No matter what the destination, Toronto, Cabo San Lucas, Oslo or Tokyo, if you travel out of the country it’s probably going to cost you quite a bit of cash, so when it comes to packing, you’ll want to be sure and do it right for the best experience possible.

Your Passport and Multiple Copies

While you think it would be obvious, there’s always someone who does things at the very last minute, and when it comes to your passport that can be a very bad idea. One of the first things you should do as part of planning an international trip is to make sure you have a passport that will be valid from at least six months of your arrival date, which is what most countries require. Check the expiration date ASAP, and if necessary, do what you need to do to renew it now.

You’ll also want to pack multiple copies of your valid passport in case it gets lost. Carry the physical copy with your other travel documents; place copies in various places in your luggage and/or email yourself a copy that you can easily access when you’re traveling in case the original goes missing.

Credit Card and a Debit Card Without Foreign Transactions Fees

While it’ may not seem like a lot, if you have to pay 2 or 3 percent of the total every time to buy a meal, check out of a hotel or pick up a souvenir, it’s going to add up quickly. Be sure that you have at least one debit card and credit card that doesn’t charge fees for international purchases.

An International Driving Permit

Plan to rent a car while you’re abroad? Many people don’t realize that some countries require foreigners to have an international driving permit which translates your driver’s license into the local language. Do some research to find out if you need one before you go. If you do, you can get one through AAA.

A Translator App

Going to a country where the locals speak a different language? That trip might bring a whole lot of frustrations without downloading a translator app. While many people who frequently work with tourists speak at least some English, there will always be times when you can use it for at least basic conversation, especially when traveling through more remote areas.

Adaptors and Converters

What type of electronic gadgets do you plan to bring? Keep in mind that you may not be able to power them up like you do at home, so this is something else you’ll need to plan for in advance. Most American-made devices work at 110 volts, but the vast majority of the world uses 220 to 240 volts. Fortunately, there are many dual-voltage appliances that you can use that run on either 110- or 220-volt currents like curling irons and hair dryers, you just have to make sure the switch is on the proper voltage for the country you’re in. But you’ll probably still need adapter plugs that will fit into the outlets of the places you plan to visit. An adapter will let you plug your appliance into a different outlet, but it won’t change the electrical voltage. If that’s an issue, you’ll need a converter too. Both adaptors and converters can easily be found online on sites like Amazon.com and in the travel or luggage sections of many department stores.

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.


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