Essential Preparations for Your 2021 Trip Abroad
It’s been one year since the coronavirus outbreak. Though international borders have eased up a bit thanks to vaccine rollouts, non-essential travels are still highly discouraged in many countries, including the United States.
As people are looking forward to traveling this summer season, the best option would be to take domestic travels rather than overseas. In most European countries like the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Spain, vacation travels remain heavily restricted.
Nonetheless, there are still EU countries that allow vaccinated travelers to visit.
This month, Croatia announced that anyone could travel in their country if they can present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate.
Also, the Greece tourism minister, Harry Theocharis, announced last month that anyone who has received vaccination against COVID-19, has antibodies, or tested negative for COVID-19 can travel in the country this summer.
But before you get all excited for your overseas travel vacation, make sure you have prepared everything on your checklist. This includes getting your finances in order, packing appropriately, and updating necessary documents.
- Update Your Passport & Visa
The State Department highly recommends having your passport renewed 9 months before its expiration date. In most countries, they require U.S. passports to be valid for a minimum of 6 months after returning from abroad.
Do not wait until the last minute. Be sure to check your passport’s expiration date immediately and before booking any tickets. Usually, it takes 10 to 12 weeks for the whole passport application. But you can always utilize the expedited service for a minimal fee.
You may visit the Department of State’s website to check for the nearest passport facility. The site also has a page for country information updates. It contains necessary facts about your destination, including whether you need a visa, medical information, and special circumstances.
- Stay Posted on Health & Travel Advisories
With this ongoing health crisis, you can never be too careful in keeping yourself safe from COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected different countries across the world.
What you can do is to check from time to time on the State Department’s website any travel warnings and alerts for your destination country. Most travel insurance policies do not cover any contingency to countries under travel warnings.
- Get Vaccinated, Fill Prescriptions, & Visit Your Dentist
Since COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available, it is a must that you have to have yourself vaccinated before traveling abroad. Besides, almost all countries only allow foreigners in if they are vaccinated against the Coronavirus.
Apart from that, get other vaccination requirements for your summer destination. These may include vaccines against the Zika virus, malaria, and cholera.
To ensure maximum protection, opt to get the required shots at least 6 weeks before departure.
If you are taking any medication, be sure to check with your destination country’s foreign embassy. Carry with you photocopies of your prescription medicines and always pack them in their prescription bottles.
Visit your dentists and physician for any checkups. If you have any serious dental concerns that need an operation, schedule right away with your oral surgeon. It is extremely a hassle scheduling a dental appointment when you are in a foreign country, especially if you do not speak their language.
- Stock Up on Acceptable Payment Options
It can be really stressful when you are shopping or eating at a restaurant abroad, only to have trouble with your payment method.
When going overseas this summer for vacation, opt to carry one or two credit cards with you. Do not forget to inform the credit card companies of your travel plans and what countries you are visiting. Otherwise, your card might be denied as the issuers might find any activities suspicious.
Since traveler’s checks are no longer viable, opt for your bank cards instead to get money from ATMs. Even remote destinations have at least a few available machines.
- Register with the State Department
You never know what will happen on your trip, especially if you are going to a remote area. To be safe, you should consider registering with the U.S. State Department. Enter your itinerary so that the government or your family and friends can easily contact you if there is an emergency.
- Get Insurance
Most people do not really think about it, but getting travel insurance can provide valuable protection if something unexpected happens along the trip. This could cover anything, including emergency medical situations, cancellations, and trip interruptions.
Having everything prepared allows you to have a carefree time while you are abroad enjoying your summer.