by Bernard D. Nomberg, Partner, The Nomberg Law Firm
If you plan to travel abroad this summer, here are some things to consider doing now. It is never too early to start planning for your trip as the summer will be here quickly and the to-do list will continue to lengthen.
Travel Pre-check– TSA pre-check provides expedited security screening for flights departing from U.S. airport and global entry provides the same benefits along with expedited custom screening for international travelers. This is something you need to apply for well in advance to ensure the rigorous background check gets completed and will make your trip much smoother.
Passport– Make sure your passport is up to date. Check the expiration date on your passport now to ensure you will be covered during your travel. Keep in mind, that the passport application process takes about six weeks. Also, bringing a copy of your passport will ensure that even if your passport gets stolen or lost, you can still get back into the country.
Legal Documents– If you do not have a will, you should create one before your trip and also ensure that the will you currently have is updated in case something happens on the trip. Be sure the document states your choice of guardian for your minor children. Create a power of attorney giving someone else permission to order medical decisions for your child if you are leaving them at home on your travels.
Notify Credit Card Companies– Choose one or two credit cards to take with you on your trip and call the companies before you leave about your travel dates and plans. It might be worth noting whether your credit card company has an additional charge for international use. Know how to contact your credit card company from abroad if an issue with your cards were to arise. However, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand in the local currency as your cards may not be accepted everywhere.
Phone Plan– Buy an international phone plan ahead of time. Your phone may need to be “unlocked” through your carrier. Your phone company will help you know which international phone option would be best for you.
Charger Adapter– International countries have different size plugs and voltage. If you are wanting to charge your iPhone or use your hairdryer, make sure you bring the applicable converter to be able to charge all of your electronics.
International Driver’s License– Not every country requires an International Driver’s License but it is a good idea to have in case you run into any issues. You can get one very easily through AAA.
Vaccinations and Prescriptions– You can visit Center for Disease Control and Prevention to find health information and vaccination requirements for your destination. You should get any required shots six weeks before departure. Additionally, some prescription drugs may be illegal in your destination country. You can check the U.S. Department of State’s country information page to learn about any prescription restrictions at your destination country.
Register your trip– One option many international travelers utilize is register your trip online with the U.S. Department of State. This allows you to enter your itinerary and in the case of an emergency, the U.S. Government will know about your presence in the country and where to contact you. You can also specify who this travel information may be shared with.
Read Up– Whether you are reading online through a travel blog or through a paperback book, having an abundant source of knowledge about your destination is invaluable. Read about the region you are traveling to gain insight information which you might have not known about otherwise, regarding money conversion, clothing, and cultural/legal customs.
Here are some helpful links to review before traveling abroad:
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Bernard D. Nomberg has been a lawyer for more than 20 years. Bernard has earned an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell’s peer-review rating. He has been selected a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine as well as a Top Lawyer by B-Metro Magazine. Bernard is the immediate past Chair of the Alabama State Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Section.