16 Things Never to Forget When Traveling Overseas
When you pack these international travel essentials, you may still look like a tourist—but you certainly won't act like one.
American appliances run on 110 volts, whereas European appliances are on 220. If you want to use your hair dryer, flat iron or electric shaver overseas, then you'll need to use a converter. "It is important to make certain your electric device converts to the correct voltage to avoid frying your device," says Erica Papley, group leader and business development specialist, All Aboard Travel. Your other option is to purchase dual-voltage appliances ahead of your trip—just make sure to adjust that switch before you plug them in; otherwise, you'll fry the appliance and/or blow a fuse!
Sunglasses and an extra pair of glasses
When you're on a sightseeing-heavy trip, you want to make sure you can see all the sights clearly—and that means bringing a high-quality pair of sunglasses, especially if you'll be spending time on water or snow. ''If you wear contact lenses or glasses, it's also worth taking spares in case you lose or break them," says Annie Foot, Africa travel expert for travel company Scott Dunn. "Also, bring a copy of your prescription, particularly if you have a complex prescription." SportRx is a company built by active opticians who ride their bikes, run their races, and bomb down ski slopes; it specializes in custom prescription sunglasses for active individuals.
Remember to check the current visa requirements of any countries you're traveling to well ahead of time. "Even if you've been there before, there's no guarantee that the visa rules are the same as the last time you visited," says The Swedish Nomad travel blogger Alex Waltner. "If you're unlucky, this could mean that you'll be rejected entry to the country." If you're a U.S. citizen looking to travel abroad, begin by researching visa requirements here. Before you book anything, it's also wise to check here for any travel advisories for your intended destination. Brush up on these 12 golden rules for stress-free air travel.
Depending on where you are headed, you may come into contact with diseases that are rare or nonexistent in the United States—such as malaria, yellow fever, cholera, and typhoid. As such, vaccines may be required (or, at the very least, recommended) before traveling to certain countries. Getting vaccinated will not only help keep you safe while traveling but will also help ensure you don't bring any diseases back home to your loved ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains updated information on vaccination advice—keep in mind that some vaccinations require multiple rounds, so you may need to start several months ahead of your travels.
When traveling, it's always important to be on the lookout for pickpockets because they are incredibly skilled at their craft. But petty thieves aren't limited to picking pockets anymore: Hackers are essentially fancy pickpockets who can wirelessly gain access to your credit card data through radio frequency identification (RFID). An RFID-blocking wallet or purse is designed to prevent this problem. Stephanie Miller, founder of The Scenic Suitcase travel blog, recommends the SanSiDo RFID blocking leather passport cover and wallet combo, "which not only keeps my personal information and credit cards safe from compromise but also keeps me organized with multiple slip pockets."
Copies of important documents
Always bring copies of your passport with you, both a physical photocopy and a digital image stored on your phone. "In case you lose your original, or it's stolen, you want to have at least two copies of it stored in separate areas for safety and security purposes," says David Bakke, travel expert for Money Crashers. "Also, be sure to bring a list of the customer service numbers of the credit cards you're bringing with you. That way, if there's an issue, you can call immediately to have a stolen card or a fraudulent charge rectified or addressed."
It certainly doesn't take much to wear down your smart phone's battery, especially if you're snapping a lot of photos and videos or using Google Maps to navigate a new city. The last thing you'd want is to run out of juice a few steps into walking along the Great Wall of China or when you're trying to figure out what time the train to Amsterdam leaves Brussels. Stay charged anywhere with Belkin's slim and lightweight power bank that fits in your pocket or purse. Its 10,000 mAh recharges a smartphone up to three times; its universal USB-A 2.4 amp port quickly and safely charges devices like smartwatches, fitness bands, headphones, speakers, action cameras, and Bluetooth-enabled devices. Next, find out 14 genius packing tips from flight attendants.
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