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Travel Tips for Visiting a Foreign Country for the First Time

Travel Tips for Visiting a Foreign Country for the First Time Image Credit: Flickr

Travel Tips for Visiting a Foreign Country for the First Time

While less than half of Americans hold a passport, the National Travel and Tourism Office reported that a record number traveled abroad in 2016 – a 7 percent increase over the previous year at 80.2 million. If you plan to help raise that number in 2018 or beyond, there are multiple travel tips to consider that can go a long way in ensuring a positive experience when visiting a foreign country for the first time.

Go Nonstop
Booking a nonstop flight can make a significant difference in your air travel experience, particularly if it’s a long-haul destination. Connections and layovers mean a greater risk of flight delays and, more stress. Going nonstop takes much of that out of the equation, reducing the hassle and perhaps the number of times you’ll have to go through security too. If you live in a remote area of the country that may not be possible, but, for example, if you just purchased one of the homes for sale in Austin, TX, you’ll want to know that Austin-Bergstrom International Airport offers seven nonstop international flights, including:

* London, England on British Airways
* Frankfurt, Germany on Condor
* Toronto, Canada on Air Canada
* Cancun, Mexico on United and Southwest
* Guadalajara, Mexico on Volaris
* Mexico City, Mexico on Aeromexico

Scan Those Important Documents
When traveling in a new place, you’re much more likely to lose items, and in some spots they’re a prime target for pickpockets and the like. That’s why it’s so important to scan all important documents such as your driver’s license and passport, visa if required, health insurance card and travel insurance.

Using Your Cell Phone
These days, most major cell phone carriers offer special international roaming plans so that you can use your phone while in a foreign country, including data for things like GPS and other apps, email and so on. Be sure to contact your carrier in advance to find out what it offers and inquire about all possible fees. Some carriers offer free international roaming in destinations like Mexico and Canada, but they may not tell you until you ask.

Give a friend or family member a copy of your itinerary
No matter where you plan to travel, domestically or internationally, there should always be at least one person who knows where you will be at all times. That way, if some unforeseen, unfortunate event does occur, such as getting lost on a hike, or if an emergency happens at home, someone will be able to reach you.

Credit Cards, Debit Cards and Cash
Before you leave, be sure to call your bank and credit card companies for each card you plan to use while traveling. If you don’t, some will automatically place a hold on your account as soon as a foreign transaction is attempted, rendering them useless. Keep your debit and credit cards in an RFID Credit Card shield holder to prevent personal data from being accessed.

Withdrawing cash from ATMs while you’re traveling is usually the least expensive way to go, but you may want to make calls to customer service to ask what the fees are before you go to avoid unpleasant surprises. If you don’t already have one, consider obtaining a card that doesn’t incur international fees.

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