Here are a few helpful hints to make sure your international vacation is the best it can be:
1) Call your credit card companies and notify them of your travel plans so they do not freeze your credit cards when uncommon, foreign charges come through. A quick phone call will keep your credit cards working.
2) Consider purchasing credit card blocking shields to keep your credit cards from being fraudulently scanned. We do not generally promote specific brands or items, but Identity Stronghold seems to produce products that will keep your credit cards safe from scanners.
3) Purchase a medical travel policy in case of unexpected illnesses or accidents in a foreign country. Insurance cards can be downloaded and printed out before your trip and kept in your wallet. IMG offers a Medical Concierge service that will help you locate a doctor no matter where you are in the world.
4) Find out what the electrical outlets are in the country you are traveling to and purchase a voltage adapter if you need to. Make a list of all the electrical devices you will be bringing with you, make sure they are all fully charged before leaving and that you have them all together in visible sight, ready to pack.
5) Purchase an international calling card to carry with you. Using a calling card is the least expensive way to call home. You can call home without one, but you will pay dearly. You can purchase these for a very reasonable price at member’s clubs like Sam’s and Costco.
6) Learn the local currency and exchange rates and practice on the plane. Most countries accept US Dollars, but will not necessarily give you the current exchange rate. It’s best to use your credit card whenever possible for purchases because your credit card will do the exchange rate for you. However, when it’s necessary to use cash, you will want to understand the currency.
7) Make copies of your passport and DL’s and give these to a trusted family member or friend in case you lose yours while on vacation. You can also scan them and keep them on a memory stick for added back up.
8) Stop any newspaper deliveries before you leave so you do not alert anyone that your house is unoccupied.
9) Ask a neighbor or friend to check on your home while you are away.
10) Pack lightly so you do not have as little as possible to keep track of. On any vacation, you want to feel “Foot loose and fancy free”, so keep your valuable jewelery at home. No need to bring anything to worry about!