International travel can be the most enlightening experience one can have. The problem is, it does not just happen in a snap. You need to prepare and plan in order to have the most successful, rewarding, and rejuvenating time abroad. It is important to know what international travel necessities you need. Here are a few necessities that can get you through an international trip, no matter how bad the jet lag.
International Travel Necessities That Seem Obvious But Can Be Overlooked
This may seem like a no-brainer to add to your international travel necessities, but you will not believe how many people forget about renewing their passport. There are certain guidelines that need to be followed. Your passport must be valid for up to 6 months after your international trip. Any less than 6 months and you cannot cross the border. Freshen up on your passport knowledge and be prepared.
If you are going to travel internationally then you will need to buy plane tickets. This is an obvious international travel necessity, but there is a certain way to get the best ticket. Determine if you would prefer to fly as cheap as possible, which could include more than 3 flights and longer travel time, or if you value a close to non-stop flight that costs a bit more. If you have time to search, check all major airports that surround you. Do not be afraid to fly to an airport an hour away and go through security again if you can get there quickest that way.
You always want to purchase your tickets in advance. The best time to purchase an international ticket is 6 months in advance. Some great bargain chasing sights include Google Flights, Kayak, and Orbitz. If you like to live on the edge of your seat, join “Thrifty Travel Premium”. For a small monthly subscription, you can get daily emails with the best international flight deals that fly out of or around your city.
Flying with kids? Consider travel insurance if flying with kids because the unexpected usually does happen.
Print Your Itinerary and Tickets
Are you a planner? If so, you probably have a written out itinerary and pre-paid tickets to attractions and museums. Make this an international travel necessity and be sure to print everything before you leave home. Having printed itinerary with addresses can come in handy if your electronics lose their charge or if you need to show anything when going through customs.
You do not want to carry too much stuff when you are exploring and navigating an international city. Your best friend and international travel necessity will be a small crossbody bag. You will want a bag that is small enough to fit your passport, money and credit cards, tissues, and something for charging your phone. Look for a crossbody bag with lots of zippers. You will want to have pockets close to your person to keep your precious belongings safe and close.
Your Own Traveling Medicine Cabinet
When going to a foreign country, you want to be prepared for the “bad times”. Pack your prescriptions, a few band-aids for any potential blisters or “boo-boos”, and some standard medicine for headaches, pain, and digestion. Remember that all pills should travel in their original bottle.
You will probably want to try all of the local cuisines. The experience can be delicious and invigorating, but too much of a good thing can go “south” and fast. Medicine or supplements that help you and your stomach are international travel necessities. Immodium and Pepto Bismol are standard medications. If you have a sensitive stomach you can take a Pepto Bismol chewable before every meal. If you prefer something more natural, the best thing you can have in your arsenal is Charcoal. Charcoal has been used to help intestinal gas, diarrhea, and, in some cases, can help with hangovers.
Side Note: Activated charcoal is a fine, odorless, black powder often used in emergency rooms to treat overdoses. Its toxin-absorbing properties have a wide range of medicinal and cosmetic uses.
It is also an international travel necessity to have something on hand for hydration. It can be hard to drink enough water and remain hydrated throughout the day. Most international pharmacies will have hydration packets. Otherwise, you can purchase Drip Drops before you leave for your exciting trip.
As an international traveler, you want to be prepared for anything. That includes public restrooms. Do yourself a favor and always have a packet of tissues as an international travel necessity. Not every restroom you come across will be squeaky clean. Tissues come in handy for when you need toilet paper, or when touching a questionable door handle or even assisting with the occasional runny nose. Not every public restroom you come across will be a war zone, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. You can buy very inexpensive tissues at any convenience store, but if you are looking for something perfect for international traveling, you will be interested in the Kleenex Slim Pack. They are thin enough to fit in your back pocket or in your small crossbody bag.
Morphie Case/Power bank
No one wants to be in a foreign country with a dead cellphone. Always have something on hand to charge your phone. You may prefer to carry your charger, a power bank or a Morphie Case. Whatever you choose, this international travel necessity is small enough to fit in a crossbody bag and powerful enough to get you through your busy itinerary.
While traveling, whether alone or as a family, it is important to know where you are and how to get to where you want to be. Consider adding navigation tools to your international travel necessities list. Citymapper is a great app with an easy to use interface, tips on which subway car to enter, and even alerts for when you approach your stop. It can also tell you how long it would take you to arrive at your destination by jetpack. Another international travel necessity is the confidence to look like you know where you are going. Plan out your trips when you stop for a meal or coffee and put your map away as you walk to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.
Tip: Once you have finalized your international travel necessities packing list, be sure to stop thinking about it and enjoy your trip!
A Power Adapter
Always make sure your electronics are charged and add a power adaptor to your international travel necessities list for quick access to charge up. You can find different types online, depending on the country you are traveling to. You will thank yourself for getting a power adapter with multiple USB ports. This way you can charge everything all at once with only one adapter.
There is nothing more necessary than a pocket guide with ideas for what to do. Make Lonely Planet pocket guides an international travel necessity. They are small enough to fit in your pocket or crossbody bag and they list all the must-see sights, as well as some off-the-beaten-path jewels. These pocket guides also come in handy for those traveling in a country with a different language. You will always know how to respond with your pocket guide.
Traveling internationally during the holidays? Here are some tips on how to dress for Holiday Travel In Style.
For those travelers out for the long haul, include laundry detergent on your international travel necessities list. No one wants to spend half a day at a laundromat, let alone a laundromat in a different language.
Tip: You will want to learn the art of sink laundry.
Simply put your laundry in the sink with a tab of laundry detergent. Once you feel you have sufficiently cleaned your laundry, roll your clothes in a dry towel and squeeze. This last step will cut your drying time and get your clothes ready to wear much sooner.
Airbnb is more than just a home away from home. They also offer “experiences” hosted by locals. The selections range from cooking classes to history tours, to private VIP shopping. All experiences are led by locals and offer something different from travel guide sites like Viator. Make this an international travel necessity and experience your city of choice like a local.
A well-planned trip can make all the difference. Always prepare with what necessities you need on the fly and take comfort that you are ready for anything. Now the only question to ask next is, “where to”?
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