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Seven International Travel Tips

International travel provides the chance to get immersed in different cultures, gain new perspectives and memorable life experiences. Here are 7 tips that can help you avoid travel snafus so you can make the most of your global travels.

1. Your Passport
Make several photocopies of your passport and pack one in a carry-on bag, another in your checked luggage and yet another at home with someone you trust. It will help prove your citizenship if your passport gets lost or stolen. You may also want to make an electronic copy that you can store in your e-mail account, just in case.

2. Your Doctor
Ensure you have all of the proper vaccinations and all your prescriptions are current. Carry a copy of all prescriptions you are taking, just in case they are lost or stolen.

3. Ground Transportation
Finding reputable ground transportation in a different country can be confusing and costly if you aren’t familiar with the local providers. GroundLink is available everywhere in the United States and in 110 countries. Simplify your travels by booking ahead with GroundLink for airport transfers and other planned excursions. Plus, you won’t have to worry about having cash available in the local currency to pay for your rides. Download the GroundLink iPhone or Android app and the car service you need- anywhere you travel- is just a click away.

4. Credit Cards
Contact your credit card providers in advance to provide the dates of your travel and the countries you are visiting to avoid the hassle of having your credit card denied because it’s being used in a country where you don’t normally transact business. Also, check to see if your credit card providers charges foreign transaction fees and ask about setting up a pin number for ATM use.

5. Mobile Phone
Call your mobile phone provider to set up the right international wireless plan for your travels. If the options seem too pricey, consider using Google Voice, Facetime or Skype to stay in touch with friends and family while you’re abroad. Also, do a little online research to find out if you will need an adapter for your phone charger in the countries to which you’ll be traveling.

6. Travel Insurance
Some countries require that you have out-of-country medical insurance as part of their visa requirements. Regardless, it’s a good idea to have basic travel insurance plan for medical emergencies, medical evacuation, and 24/7 emergency assistance. Travel Guard (www.travelguard.com) is one of the best we know.

7. Smart Traveler
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a service for US citizens traveling abroad to register their trips with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Certainly something you should consider if you’re traveling to a country with a history of political instability.

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