Checklist for traveling abroad

International travel is fun and exciting, but it can easily become stressful if you forget or lose important documents. This checklist will help make sure you have everything you need for a smooth trip.

1. At least $100 in local currency: Calculate the taxi fare from the airport to your destination and take more than that amount with you. It’s good to have some change at the airport for luggage carts and tips. Remember to bring some money from the country of origin as well, in case you need it on the trip back home.

2. Passports. Be sure to check expiration dates well in advance. It is worth checking the regulations of the destination country as some countries require the passport to be valid for a month or more after the travel dates. Check again and again that you include all the necessary visas with the information in your passport.

3. At least one copy of each passport packed separately from other travel documents. Consider including copies in a checked bag and then store them in the hotel safe at your destination.

4. Health insurance cards. Check that your health insurance is valid in your destination country and be sure to bring the cards, just in case.

5. Printed copy of important phone numbers (doctors, family, US Consulate, etc.). Everyone has this information on cell phones these days, but what if you lose your phone, forget the charger, or it stops working?

6. Immunization records (required for some countries)/birth certificates. Some countries require proof of immunization and/or paternity test before entering the country.

7. Notarized health authorization (if traveling with grandchildren). This doesn’t need to be complex, just a statement naming the adults traveling with your children and giving them permission to approve medical care in an emergency (as required by most schools).

8. Notarized travel permit or custody papers if both parents are not traveling. It is common for passport control to request this information if one parent is traveling alone with a child. A copy of the child’s birth certificate should also be carried if both parents are not traveling.

9. Printed copy of the itinerary and accommodation telephone numbers. Better safe than sorry!

10. Leave – copy of the itinerary, copy of the passport and contact numbers with a neighbor or relative.

Complete this checklist and you should have everything you need for a fun and exciting international adventure.

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