By Lissette Martinez
For many, traveling is one of life’s beautiful pleasures. Not only do you get to see and enjoy a different place, but it liberates you from the routine and stress of everyday life. However, this pleasure –so divine for many–could also become a headache if there is no plan or organization before, during, and after the trip. The following tips will help protect you and avoid mistakes that can turn your trip into a nightmare.
• Know the place you’ll visit: Before traveling, it is essential that you search all available information on the country you intend to visit-inform yourself about living conditions and laws, weather, transportation, public safety, food, etc. Also, don’t forget to check on admission regulations. Each country has different criteria and requirements for entry and stay of foreigners. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country where you are traveling what the requirements are. Look up crime rates, health, safety and more on the U.S. Department of State website before visiting any foreign country.
• Ensure documents are current: Make sure you have a valid passport and/or visa. Verify that all your legal documents are not expired and make copies of them in case you lose them while on your trip. If you lose any documents, the copies will help you to initiate the solicitation of your new identifications. It is also a good idea to have your corresponding consulate‘s information handy just in case.
• Inform your family: It is important that you make copies for your family and close friends of your itinerary, telephones, hotel name and others in case of an emergency. It will be a lot easier to contact you should an urgent situation arise.
• Be cautious: Check your flight status and airport updates. You need to be prepared for flight delays and weather conditions. DFW airport, for instance, has launched a mobile application where you can obtain all the information needed about flights, parking, fees, and more. Furthermore, avoid carrying cash; just keep in your pocket what’s necessary. Avoid being the object of a crime and do not leave your bags unattended.
• Money matters: Without money, you can’t enjoy your trip. Be sure to get information about monetary conversion. Remember to exchange money to the currency of the country you will be visiting in case you need a taxi, food, etc. Furthermore, call your bank and ask the fee rates for credit/debit card international use and inform them you will be using your card internationally. If unusual transactions occur they (Bank) could block your card to avoid fraudulent use.