Travel insurance and emergency-assistance-service provider CSA Travel Protection has drawn up a list of eight useful travel tips for travel from the United States to foreign countries. The tips are:
1. Check the State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web sites for potential travel alerts before departing.
2. Take a mobile phone, and “internationalize” it by purchasing an international SIM card for your phone so that you can call home, fellow travelers or elsewhere without worrying about finding and using a pay phone.
3. Research your destination beforehand. The World Factbook from the CIA is a helpful, easily accessible site featuring overviews of the history, climate, political situation, demographics and industries of every country in the world.
4. Educate yourself on exchange rates for each currency you will be using so you are sure of exactly how much you are spending.
5. Leave copies of itineraries and passports with family at home, and scan and send these travel documents to your web-based email account such as Yahoo! or Gmail. You can then retrieve them at an Internet cafe, hotel business center or similar location. Should you lose your passport or luggage, having copies of these important documents can help you get out of a jam.
6. Contact your bank and credit card companies and brief them on your itinerary so they know to authorize payments.
7. If you have food allergies, write down how to say each food in the language spoken in each country you are visiting. It is amazing how people can communicate without speaking the same language, but if your throat swells after eating shellfish, you may want to learn the word for shrimp in the country or countries your are visiting. (Better still, take a phrasebook or language dictionary with you. There are also useful food-and-dining-specific guidebooks for many countries that contain local-language dictionaries of words for food items, ingredients, menu items and dining terms.)
8. Buy travel insurance. Travel insurance provides an added layer of protection against unforeseen events such as medical emergencies, natural disasters and theft. It also safeguards against trip cancellations such as job loss and health-related incidents of non-traveling family members. Additionally, most travel insurance plans include emergency assistance services to provide expert help with just about any situation while traveling.
For information on CSA Travel Protection’s travel insurance plans, visit www.csatravelprotection.com.