Traveling Overseas…what to do before you go!

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You’ve dreamed about it for as long as you can remember and now it’s here. Tickets are booked, that packing list is beginning to swirl in your brain and you’re counting down the minutes until you head to the airport…now what? Although that aforementioned packing list will differ between long and short term travelers, some things are constant. Of course, not everyone will have the same amount of time available to plan, but the more you take care of ahead of time, the less you’ll have to worry later. No matter where you’re traveling from or heading to, certain things apply. Taking care of yourself, having access to finances, making it across borders safely and connecting with family and friends are priorities across the board. Perhaps these few suggestions will make your pre-trip planning easier. Enjoy the journey!

Banking:

  • Let your banks know when and where you’re traveling (travel notifications)
  • Check that your ATM card will work with the same pin number
  • Find out if there are any banks/partner banks with NO international ATM fees
  • Have access to an emergency fund if necessary
  • If you choose: use a pre-loaded card for easy budget record keeping
  • Call credit card companies in advance for a travel notification
  • Perhaps open a credit card with NO international transaction fees for you travel
  • Be sure to bring at least 2 different cards; often VISA and MASTERCARD are accepted worldwide; AMERICAN EXPRESS is less accepted overseas
  • As often as possible carry US dollars/Euro and the currency of the country you’re visiting

Phone Service:

  • For long term travel: Use smart phone apps for free texting as long as WIFI is available and purchase low cost mobile phone with interchangeable sim cards for less expensive calling options
  • For short term travel: Use smart phone apps for free texting or purchase an international phone for a one-time fee that only costs when in use

Visas:

  • Check with your state department & that of the country you’re going to regarding visas needs, processing fees & times
  • Always allow for extra time for processing
  • If purchasing a visa at a border, check ahead of time which currency is valid for purchase
  • If visas are purchased online, always bring an extra print out for proof or purchase
  • Check in advance how many pages are necessary for visas in passport to be sure of enough pages; if need be add pages to passport in timely fashion
  • Make a few copies of the front page of your passport for easy travel and security

Healthcare:

  • Purchase travel insurance from a separate company (not only your credit card) that covers healthcare situations as well as delays/luggage details
  • Carry documents with you that display: allergies, vaccinations, & medications taken
  • Be sure your travel companion knows of your allergies to food/medications
  • If traveling with an EPI-PEN; be sure to have a label on the pen or the box with your own name on it/prescription; some airport securities check them
  • If have severe food allergies/medical condition, perhaps carry a card with those details in the language of the country you’re visiting
  • Check state department websites far in advance to see if any vaccinations or medications are necessary prior to your arrival (some vaccinations are a series needing time while others take at least 10 days to take effect)
  • Be sure to have your doctor’s number available if any questions regarding travel medications (reactions/side-effects to anti-malaria medicines)

Safe and happy travels!

 

Travel Interview: Jessie on a Journey

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snorkel

On an underwater snorkel adventure

Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. Here she shares her story and advice: ‘stop making excuses'; she believes you’ll find the many gifts of travel if you just leap. Read the rest of this entry

Itchy Feet

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Itchy Feet

Itchy Feet

It’s happening! For those who know me, it’s not surprising that my smile grows when asked about sand, sun, surf, summer, dark chocolate and of course, travel! Just about every day there’s travel on my brain in one form or another but there are times like this that it takes up every part of my being. I’ve got itchy feet again! Read the rest of this entry

Interview with Mapping Megan

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been traveling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure.  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home. Here she shares her story about how she got started, how she chooses to travel and how she chose to make her own ‘reality’. Read the rest of this entry

Holiday Lifestyle Amidst The Routine

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Home in Long Beach, NY

Home in Long Beach, NY

Anyone who knows me will tell you that it’s the simple, little things that make me smile. I choose experience over things, sunshine over snow, barefoot over heels and laughter over tears. Since I spent my summers at the beach as a child, it’s the only place I’ve ever wanted to live and I feel lucky to spend my days next to the Atlantic with my feet in the Long Beach sand.

As a traveler, I love to explore and rarely do I want to return from an adventure. Since those adventures take a bit of cash, there are stretches of time spent ‘at home’ saving for the next journey. While I wait, why not make home an adventure in itself. There’s travel in the every day if we put our minds to it. Routine is boring but travel is exciting, so why not find the exciting in the every day. This summer more than any other before, Mathew and I are doing just that and last weekend was a perfect example-it was Craft Fair weekend in Long Beach! Read the rest of this entry

Interview: The Professional Hobo (Nora Dunn)

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For many of us who love to travel, we have to fit our adventures into a finite period of time. That long weekend is precious and we might spend the entire year looking forward to that two-week holiday. There are even some of us who can grab four, five, or six weeks to enjoy an extended journey. For those who are looking for more and want to travel slowly, deeply and with no end in sight…meet Nora Dunn, The Professional Hobo. This location-independent writer has been traveling the world for seven years and sharing her adventures from the road. Focusing on traveling in a financially-sustainable way, here she shows how the gifts of travel have changed her life.

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1.When did you get started traveling? It was a dark and stormy night in late 2007 when the plan was hatched to sell everything and travel full-time. I’ve been on the road ever since early 2008. Read the rest of this entry

Interview with Rob and Lina Erohism of Erohisms

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RobandLina

Two weeks a year is more than some people ever get to travel. Often life, bills, schedules, work and so many other things get in the way and it just doesn’t seem feasible anymore. What you felt compelled to spend your money on as a university graduate may be different for those in their thirties, forties or beyond. Travel doesn’t have to stop when you get that career. For many travelers, the skills and abilities picked up along the way might just make you more ‘employable’ or give you the push to leap out on your own for that company you always wished to create or the life you dreamt you’d have in ‘retirement’. Meet Rob and Lina of Erohisms. A couple, who after experiencing life ‘traditionally’, decided to make the jump (for awhile) to that of the ‘non-traditional’. With a ‘grown up GAP year mindset’ they set out into the unknown of long-term travel to see what it could be like for them. Here they share their experience. Read the rest of this entry

Beyond Melbourne’s CBD

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There’s a world of adventure beyond Melbourne’s Central Business District. Short trips (and of course long ones as well) on all sorts of modes of transport take you to exciting destinations. Just a tram ride away finds the seaside feel of the Docklands, the boutique shops of Chapel Street or the drool-worthy cake shop windows of Ackland Street. If you have a few hours or days to spend away from the CBD, you can find your toes in the sand of the Great Ocean Road, eating fish and chips with the little penguins of Phillip Island or getting up close and personal with native wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary. Be it beach, adventure, restaurants or just a road trip filled with fun-Melbourne’s surrounds have it all. Read the rest of this entry

Confessions of a World Traveler

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Everyone travels in his/her own way. Some grab a few days at a local spot while others book a year in advance knowing they have to travel on ‘school holidays’. Some are intricately linked to the idea of last minute adventures and yet, there are still others who ditch the norm and try to make travel a life’s focus. No matter the type, each and everyone finds the meaning of travel and its gifts have an effect. Endless long-term travel may not be in store for every traveler, but most who have ever left the confines of their own four walls can agree that boundaries have the tendency to change, perspective sometimes arises and new people are often met. In this guest post, Akaisha Kaderli shares just some of the gifts she’s found in ‘Confessions of a World Traveler’. Read the rest of this entry

Getting to know Melbourne

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melbourne sign port

Welcome to Melbourne

When I was twelve years old I had a counselor at sleep-away camp from Australia. I couldn’t get enough of the accent at the time and not much has changed since. Over twenty years later, I married an Aussie and in our travels, we moved to Melbourne for a while. I loved every minute of living there and wish everyone I know the opportunity to visit this beautiful city. To date, some of my favourite restaurants, markets, shops and things to do are held in this city filled with lane ways, a love of cafes and an outdoor lifestyle. Take a journey with me around this wonderful city. Read the rest of this entry