Prepare To Travel
Prepare To Travel
Joel Widzer (Travel Strategist) gives expert video advice on: What do I need to do before I leave for a trip?; How long before a trip should I start preparing?; What are the differences between domestic and international travel? and more...
What do I need to do before I leave for a trip?
Before you leave on a trip, you want to make sure that you take some basic steps. What you want to do, first of all, is close up your house. You want to maybe tell a neighbor that you're going to be gone, and have them maybe look after your newspaper or your mail, or you can put those on hold with the post office and the newspaper. The other thing you want to do is make sure that you have all of your papers in order, such as if you're going to have to have a passport, to make sure that you have that with you. Make sure that you have your insurance card with you. Also, the credit cards that you're going to take with you on your trip. Make sure that you have your house closed up, as well as your paperwork in order, before you go.
How long before a trip should I start preparing?
It really depends on the type of trip and the length of your trip. Some people like to prepare a year in advance just because it's exciting. They like to think about the trip that's upcoming. A lot of people might prepare a few days. So it depends on the complexity as well. If you're taking an international trip, it's good to plan well in advance. And there, you want to make sure that you have the right credit cards. You want to think about the credit cards that are going to charge international fees. You want to make sure that you have numbers to your doctors. You want to make sure that you have copies of your prescriptions. You want to make sure that the neighbor knows where you are, how they can contact you. So you leave information about your hotel behind. So you want to make sure that your planning time is enough to take care of all the needs that you have.
What are the differences between domestic and international travel?
The main difference between international and domestic travel is that domestic travel is within the U.S. and that includes the continental U.S., Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. International travel is anything else. The key thing for international travel is that to get back into the U.S., you're going to need a passport. That even means going to Canada or to Mexico. And so basically when you're travelling international you have a few other considerations. You're going to need a passport and also your telephone (your cell phone) might not work internationally, so you're going to have to think about how you're going to communicate. You want to think about the type of credit cards you can use internationally - the type of currency you're going to carry with you.
What type of documents are needed to travel?
It depends on where you're traveling. If you're traveling domestically, mostly what you'll need is just a state-issue ID. And particularly if you're traveling by air, you'll need that ID to board an airplane and to go through the security check at the airport. If you're traveling internationally, you're going to need a passport and to some countries, you're also going to need what's called a visa. A visa basically is an extra stamp that goes into your passport that allows you entry into that country for a certain period of time. Very often you have to apply through a consulate or through an embassy. If you do need a visa, what you can do is you can check on state.gov and you can find out what countries require a visa. If you do need a visa, you need to have some advance planning. Sometimes it can take up to six weeks to get a visa.
Can I drive a car in other countries?
Driving a car in another country can be a lot of fun, but you want to make sure that you know the rules of the road before you go. What you want to make sure is, first of all, some countries require that you have what is called an international driving permit. That is something that you can get at the AAA offices or at the country, and what you'll need is two passport photos, and your state issued driver's license, and they can issue one in a day. Some of the other things to consider is the insurance regulations. Sometimes, your own home insurance will not cover you while you are traveling in an international country, so you want to call your insurance company, see what type of coverage you have, also get to know what the regulations are in the country because in some countries, if you are in an accident, and you don't have insurance, you can be put in jail.