I recently just got back from my vacation in Cancun, Mexico and had an amazing time! This was my first time ever traveling internationally, and what an experience! For anyone who has traveled outside of the United States, there are plenty of things you should do to be prepared for your trip.
I wanted to share with all of you what I have learned from my traveling abroad experience so that the next time you travel, it will be a breeze!
–Make photocopies of your passport. In case of an emergency or if your passport gets lost/stolen, having an extra copy of your passport can help ensure returning back home. It’s important to also leave a photocopy of your passport at home with someone you trust.
–Bring only one or two credit cards. I would actually suggest bringing 2 credit cards. I ran into a problem on my trip where I was planning to use my credit card for all of my purchases. Unfortunately, I did not check ahead of time and found out that my credit card was not accepted anywhere in Cancun. Luckily, I also brought my debit card and was able to use that. I encourage you to also call your provider and inform them of your trip. Providers might put a hold on your account as a safety precaution if you do not let them know. And be sure to ask if your card is accepted where you are traveling!
–Look up conversion rates. Make sure you are aware of the currency rates of the country you are visiting and understand them. I first found it difficult to understand the actual value of items in Mexican pesos. I caught on fast, but I wish I had looked into it more. Check to see if the country you are visiting accepts American dollars or if you need to convert your money prior.
–Research the area you are visiting. It’s always important to understand the area you will be staying in. Is it dangerous to travel alone at night? How about public transportation? You don’t want to try to make yourself an easy target by looking like a tourist!
–Use the safe in your hotel. When you do not need your passport, credit cards, cash, and other valuables without a doubt, keep them locked in your hotel safe.
Also, Travel.state.gov/ is a resourceful site for more tips, travel warnings, and registering your travel plans in case of an emergency. Be sure to check it out!
Have you traveled abroad before? Do you have any other ways to be prepared? Please share and comment below!
-Lauren Dufour, VP of Unbanking