10 THINGS TO TAKE ON AN INTERNATIONAL TRIP
So you all all geared up for your first international trip. The excitement, planning, purchasing flight tickets and hotel bookings all adds up to the excitement. However, there are a few important things that you must take with you whenever you travel internationally. Some of these are must haves while some of these are optional.
So let's take a look at 10 things which you should take with you while you travel internationally.
1. PASSPORT AND VISA (ALONG WITH PASSPORT COVER)
Obviously, that's the most important thing. Without a passport and a visa (if applicable), you are going nowhere. So, keep your passport and visa in the most accessible place in your bag or pocket. Don't forget to ensure one thing. Your passport should have a minimum remaining validity of 6 months to be able to enter a foreign country (in most countries). For example, if your passport is expiring on 31st December 2020, then you must leave the foreign country before 1st July 2020. This is very important and you should not miss this one.
Next comes visa. Ensure that you have checked the authenticity and validity of the visa in the official embassy website. If you don't require a visa or if the country has visa on arrival scheme, then don't forget to take each and every item in the visa checklist.
And then comes one important thing. You need a cover for your passport. Because, when you travel, your passport gets worn out at the edges and may even have some tear here and there. You need to protect your passport and hence it is highly recommended to buy a passport cover.
2. FLIGHT TICKETS AND HOTEL BOOKINGS IN HARD COPY
Ensure that you have at least 2 copies of flight and hotel booking in hard copy with you. Along with that have soft copies in your phone and e-mail so that you have varied options in case of any unforeseen event.
There have been many instances with travellers in which they took only soft copies and then their phone batteries died out or in some other cases, they took only hard copies of documents and then somehow they lost their bag containing the documents. Thus, it is always advisable to have documents in both hard copy and soft copy format.
3. PASSPORT PHOTOGRAPHS
Take at least 5-6 passport size photographs. Check the background colour which is required and the finish (glossy/matte). It is normally seen that most of the countries prefer white background photos. Remember to take the photo without any blur or reflections. Spectacles etc should be removed preferably.
Check out https://visafoto.com to know your photo requirements for a particular country.
4. PHOTOCOPIES OF PASSPORT AND VISA
This is also very important. Ensure that you take at least 5-6 photocopies of your passport and visa and keep in different places. Also don't forget to keep soft copies in your mobile and e-mail.
This is very important because it will help you in case of loss, theft or damage of passport.
One more thing to keep in mind is to keep the phone numbers and address of the Indian Embassy in the country you are visiting with you at all times. In case of any problems or emergencies, you should always visit the embassy first.
5. TRAVEL INSURANCE
Do not forget to take travel insurance. In case you are caught with even the simplest fever while travelling, your medical bills can shoot through the roof in a foreign country. Some countries like US and European countries have a mandatory requirement for travel insurance. While other countries may or may not have a mandatory requirement for travel insurance, it is always recommended to take a cover of at least USD 50,000 per person. The charges are not that high. You can get an online travel insurance for around INR 1000 - INR 2000 giving coverage of around USD 50,000 - USD 100,000 for a couple.
5. CURRENCY AND CARDS
You have several options regarding monetary usage in a foreign country. You can use cash, debit card, credit card, forex card according to your own convenience. That said, you should always keep cash in hand with you at all times in case you are faced with any emergency. Emergencies may include your card not working or your card getting stuck up inside an ATM machine etc.
It is advisable to keep the local currency of the country that you are visiting and also keep some major currencies like US Dollar, Euro, Great Britain Pound etc. The Indian Rupee may not be readily exchanged at all places, so just keep a minimum quantity with you. Also remember that you are not allowed to take out cash exceeding INR 25,000 per person to a foreign country from India.
Also, keep around 2-3 debit/credit cards so that you have a backup at all times. BookMyForex is a great website for purchasing forex cards and foreign currencies. You can get cash and card within the same working day by just sitting in the comfort of your home and uploading the necessary documents.
6. NECK PILLOW AND LIGHT BLANKET
Travelling by economy class in a flight is always a pain. If you are travelling long distances in economy, then you must take a few items so that you can make your journey a little bit comfortable. I will recommend you to take a neck pillow and a light blanket whenever you are travelling long distances. This of course does not apply if you are travelling by business or first class.
7. HEADPHONES AND BATTERY BANK
Always remember to take your headphones and a good and powerful battery bank. We all are dependent on our smartphones these days and as such we need to keep it in full charge. Also, investing in a good pair of headphones or earphones will be good for you to enjoy the journey.
Syska is one great power bank that I can personally vouch for. I have used the 20,000 mAH and it gives an astounding number of charges for my mobile,camera, wireless headphones etc.
Boat headphones are great and cheap. Of course if you have the cash, then Bose is the obvious choice.
8. UNIVERSAL TRAVEL ADAPTER
Different countries have different power ratings and power plugs for use of electrical appliances. Although our equipment and chargers are designed to work on a range of power input, the main problem arises when you cannot plug in your charger to the electrical sockets in a foreign country.
That's were Universal Power Converters come into play. You just buy one adapter and it will work almost all over the world. Please note that the converter which i am showing just converts the shape of the pin so that you can fix your chargers into the sockets in a foreign country. You have to check that your charger and device supports the current and voltage rating of the country. Otherwise, your equipment could get damaged.
Always carry a Universal Power Converter with you. It will help you a lot.
9. HAND SANITIZER AND SUNSCREEN LOTION
Hand Sanitizer and Sunscreen Lotion is also a must have in your travel bag. You can never know the strength of the sun out there and can return back with a bad sunburn. It's therefore always advisable to use a good sun screen at all times.
The same goes for a Hand Sanitizer. Since we are not used to foreign germs, so it can cause mild issues like stomach problems or also different other issues. Prevention is always better than cure and so keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer at all times with you and use it judiciously.
10. EXTRA PAIR OF SPECTACLES
An extra pair of spectacles. Yes, this is also very important. It happened with me in Thailand. My spectacles suddenly slipped off my hand and the glass broke inspite of it being fibre glass. Luckily, I had a second pair of spectacles to use. Otherwise, I would have had to again go to the shop to purchase one. This problem will be known only to those people who wear glasses. I mean the uncomfortable situation in which you don't have your eye glass with you.
So, these are 10 things which you should take while travelling abroad. In addition, I will also mention a few things which you can take depending on your requirement.
1. Prescription Medication along with valid prescription.
2. Eatables like Chocolates, Dry Fruits, Instant Noodles etc.
3. A good pair of sunglasses.
4. Extra memory cards for your camera along with an external hard disk if you are taking a laptop with you.
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