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When travelling abroad, we sometimes do not realise how different another country can be from our own, assuming that all we need to do is to hold a valid passport. This assumption may cause some issues that end up spoiling our trip. To avoid that from happening, here’s a helpful list of 7 essential to-dos before travelling abroad:
- Check your passport is valid and has the correct time left before expiration (the minimum time required varies depending on the country you’re visiting). If you need a visa, allow plenty of time to arrange this.
- Get insurance. Make sure it covers you for any activities you’re likely to do. If you’re traveling within the European Economic Area, apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (but don’t forget to get your insurance too!).
- Research on the country you’re going. Get information about, at least, the basics: required documents, medical requirements, emergency contacts (112 is the number to call on in any country in the EU), what’s illegal there, etc.
- Do you need to exchange money? If so, exchange this upon arrival and take enough cash for at least your first days there, even although you’re paying things by card or taking most of the money out once you’re in-country. Furthermore, try to always carry some local cash.
- If you are driving abroad, make sure your license is current and valid and beware of the driving laws there (in some countries, when an officer fines you they won’t let you going on with your journey until you have paid for your offence).
- Take copies of your vital documents with you. This will make things easier in case of loss of any of them.
- Get electronic adaptors: different countries have often different kinds of plugs, or even voltages. Get the right one so you can use and charge your electronics abroad. Always make sure your laptop/tablet/mobile is charged when transiting through an airport to prevent anything from being confiscated under anti-terrorism laws.