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Overseas Travel


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Overseas Travel Checklist


  • Know about your destination
  • Up to date safety information
  • Organized travel arrangements
  • Visas and valid passport
  • Know where embassies are
  • Have travel insurance
  • Copies all of documents
  • Spare cash or credit card
  • Pack well and lightly
  • Sense of adventure!

Overseas travel will expand your horizons, introduce new adventures and be a highlight of your life experience. Travelling abroad requires a little more planning than domestic travel because you have to take various issues into consideration. Whether it’s your first time abroad or you’re a travel veteran it’s important to plan and prepare for a safe, successful overseas trip. Whether you are going to visit someone or having your partner visit you, make sure you know all the rules and legal requirements of your destination country before the trip is planned.


Where Are You Going?

Hit up your local library, reputable internet sites and travel veterans for information about where you’re heading. Arming yourself with cultural, geographical and weather information will make your trip safer and more enjoyable. Not only will you pack the right gear, see all the important sites and have a better time you’ll be better prepared for anything that comes your way. Lonely Planet is a handy site.

What’s Happening There?

While you have your head excitedly stuck in travel guides and tourist brochures your dream destination could be suffering local violence, terror attacks or natural disasters.

From time to time, certain countries become unsafe for travel whether it be for political reasons, health warning or terrorism threats. Most governments issue safety warnings to keep citizens well aware of the dangers of traveling to some high risk areas. 

How Are You Getting There?

Every country has different entry requirements depending on your nation of citizenship. The one thing you’ll need for sure is a valid passport with at least 6 months before expiry. A lot of countries require a visa for entry, some of which require pre-trip preparation. Check the following sites, travel agents, your government and the embassy of your destination country to make sure you meet entry requirements.


Will They Let You In?

Every country has different entry requirements depending on your nation of citizenship. The one thing you’ll need for sure is a valid passport with at least 6 months before expiry. A lot of countries require a visa for entry, some of which require pre-trip preparation. Check the following sites, travel agents, your government and the embassy of your destination country to make sure you meet entry requirements.


Do You Have A Valid Passport?

A valid passport is essential for travelling abroad because it is required to enter and leave a country. Check the rules for the country you are visiting because some countries require your passport to be valid for the duration of your visit as well as for three to six months after your entry into their country.

Take a look at the links below to find more country-specific information about passports.


Do You Have The Right Visa?

Before you head out of the country to visit your sweetheart or invite them to visit you, check to see you have all the right travel documentation. Having a passport isn’t enough because sometimes the destination country may require you to have a visa before allowing you to enter the country. You can obtain a visa from the consulate of the destination in your country and since you will be visiting, you will need a tourist visa.

For more information, take a look at some of these websites:


Who Knows You're Going?

Leave copies of your itinerary, passport, visas, insurance policies, plane tickets and accommodation with friends and family members. Stay in constant touch with home while you’re away through email and phone calls. Not only is this a safe and sensible move, you’ll be able to share all the cool details of your trip and have backups in case you lose any information.

You may also be able to register with your government or embassy so that your whereabouts is known in the event of a large-scale problem.

Are You Carrying Enough Money?

When travelling, carrying large amounts of cash with you is never advisable. Instead carry traveler’s checks and/or credit and debit cards. If you are carrying plastic money (cards), make sure your card can be used at ATM locations internationally. There may be a fee for this but usually cards with the MasterCard, Visa, Cirrus or Maestro logos on them are accepted worldwide.

What Are The Health Requirements?

Some countries pose more health risks than others and therefore the health and vaccination requirements vary in each country. Find out the relevant rules and get all the necessary vaccination before you head out for your visit. Apart from your vaccination, you might also want to get travel health insurance, just in case you fall sick while you are on holiday. Some of these websites have useful health information for travelers:

What If Something Goes Wrong?

There is always the possibility of something going wrong while you’re overseas. The most important bit of advice is to keep your guard up and be well aware of things that could possibly go wrong. If you’re well prepared there is very little that could turn into a disaster. Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance that will cover all the activities that you’re likely to do (check skiing, golf, diving, etc) as well as all your possessions. Know where your country’s embassies are in your destination country and keep important phone numbers and addresses, such as emergency services and embassies, with you at all times. Importantly, don’t freak out about the little stuff. A stolen camera or mild case of tummy sickness shouldn’t spoil your trip.

What Do You Need To Take?

Take appropriate clothing, footwear and other gear for your trip. If you’re mountain climbing leave the stilettos at home but you’ll be equally uncomfortable wearing hiking boots in a nice Parisian restaurant. Know what the weather will be like, know what you’ll be doing and pack well but lightly.

Take spare passport sized photos and keep photocopies of your documents in a separate part of your luggage to the originals. Also save scanned copies of your documents and important address and phone numbers in your email inbox so they can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

Stash an emergency credit card and some cash in US$ somewhere separate from your main money compartment. Come theft, disaster or accident if you’ve got good travel insurance, cash or plastic and an accessible copy of your documents and emergency numbers you will be fine.