5 Tips for Traveling Outside the Country

Are you planning an international trip soon? If so, here are some tips to keep in mind before you jet out on your next adventure.

1. Limit Social Media Announcements
It’s sad to say, but burglars’ ears perk up when they catch wind of a vacation announcement. Avoid making huge public statements about your trip on social media, and limit the number of pictures and posts you create during your trip. You’ll have plenty of time to upload photos and memories when you return. You don’t need the whole world knowing when your home will be vacant and vulnerable. Ask a trusted neighbor to keep watch of any suspicious activity and message you if anything seems out of the ordinary.

2. Don’t Overpack
Do you easily come down with the “just in case” syndrome while packing for a trip? Avoid overpacking and include only the necessities. You’ll appreciate the lighter load and have less to carry around with you. Consider the climate, culture, and activities you have planned while adding clothes and supplies to your suitcase. You probably won’t wear as many outfits as you think. Plus, if you seriously need something when you get to your destination, you can always purchase it there and support the local economy. There’s no point in overstuffing your bags.

3. Research Local Dos and Don’ts
The last thing you want to do when you travel to another country is offend all the residents. For example, if you’re an avid fan of the thumbs-up, research whether such a hand gesture translates directly. Also, look into mannerisms such as bowing and hugging, policies on tipping at restaurants, pedestrian laws, and how to politely address strangers. You may stick out like a sore thumb no matter how well you memorize the local customs, but you can minimize tourism angst by assimilating to the communication styles of the populace.

4. Take Care of Your Health
No one wants to sit next to a sick person on an airplane. Take good care of your health during the weeks before your departure so that you prevent the spread of illness during travel. Plus, traveling can present challenges for your immune system, especially in airplanes where space is tight and air is recirculated.
Prior to traveling, make sure all your medical records are up to date in the event you need to provide documentation or proof of vaccination. As the University of Cincinatti reports, electronic health records are more widespread throughout the globe to help minimize diseases and provide the best possible treatment plans.

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5. Sign Up for Travel Alerts
An article posted by USC recommends that you keep tabs on travel warnings such as disease outbreaks and risky weather patterns. You can register with the federal government online by providing your email, phone number, and travel destination. If there are any important safety or health updates, you will receive a notification with the details, severity of risk, and recommendations for handling the alert.

All Aboard!
Most of all, relax and enjoy the ride! Travel is a wonderful adventure so long as you plan ahead. Protect yourself, your health, and pay attention to travel alerts so that you’re fully prepared and safe.

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