Special Report

32 Crucial Tips for Traveling to Foreign Countries

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Fill your prescriptions

Take stock of the medicines you regularly take to see if you have enough for your trip. If not, you may need to ask your pharmacy for a travel exception to refill it early or ask your doctor to order a 60-day, for example, instead of a 30-day supply of those daily pills. Check with your insurance plan to find out what provisions it provides for such a situation.

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Beware of alcohol limits

In checked bags, the Federal Aviation Administration allows unlimited alcohol as long as the alcohol by volume is less than 24%. If the alcohol is between 24% and 70%, the FAA limits passengers to five liters. In a carry-on, you can have no more than 3.4 ounces of alcohol. Countries have their own rules for traveling with alcohol and their own limits for bringing in alcohol, so check those too.

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Take a power adapter

Avoid leaving the country without an adapter and a long (at least 6 feet) power cord. This would allow you to charge your smartphone or other tech equipment by adapting to the local voltage requirements. As a precaution, email the hotel or tour group to verify the voltage used at your destination. Long power cords come in handy if you’re among many others charging a phone at a public charging station.

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Grab the correct ID

Proper forms of ID, depending on where you’re traveling, include: a driver’s license, a state-issued photo ID, a passport, a Department of Homeland Security trusted traveler card issued from Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST, a federally recognized tribal ID card and others. Also, when traveling abroad, generally your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of departure. Some airlines won’t let you board the plane if your passport doesn’t meet that requirement.

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Research the holidays in your destination

When you travel, consider whether being at your destination during major holidays is what you want. You may want to experience the festivities, though you’ll likely pay more and have limited choices of hotels. On the other hand, in some countries, stores and museums are closed or have different hours during holidays and even public transportation may have holiday hours. Make sure you are aware of all these.