The first big international trip we took together was on our Honeymoon to Europe. We had a BLAST, but there were so many things looking back that we wish we knew, that would have made the trip so much easier. On our subsequent international trips since then, we’ve learned so many things that have made overseas travel seem second nature – but my god, we wish someone had sat us down and just told us these things upfront. We’re sharing some things that we learned the hard way, so you don’t have to.
-Know the Six Month Passport Rule
Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel. So even if you have a valid passport, if it expires in six months, you need to go ahead and renew it.
A lot of smaller places, like food stands or European Christmas Markets, only take cash. We had an unfortunate incident with a forgotten Pin number when we took no cash with us, and we had a VERY hard time on our trip, It’s always a safer bet to just pack cash.
-Call Your Credit Card Company
You know what’s no fun? Trying to call your credit card company from France, because they’ve put a fraud alert on it because they don’t know you’re out of the country. It’s better to just give them the heads up that you’re leaving the country so they don’t cancel your card.
-If you don’t speak the language, take common meds
I’ve gotten colds while traveling, stomach bugs, and crazy allergy attacks. Instead of trying to read the labels on Italians medicines in an Italian pharmacy, we always pack common meds that we might need.
-Bring your passport and passport card
Packing a backup is always good on the off chance that something happens to one.
-Buy tickets before you get there
We try to have all of our tickets settled before we leave the country – whether it’s train tickets, theater tickets, or something else. Having a plan is not overrated.
-Have an adapter for everything
Unless you don’t like being able to use a hairdryer, or having poorly charged electronics. Make sure you get one that gets great reviews too.
-Take a few extra pairs of clothes in your carry-on
If you’ve ever had your luggage lost by an airport, you’ll know the importance of packing a few changes of clothes in a carry-on. I always take a packing cube with a few changes of clothes, and a jacket when I travel. I also make sure essential cosmetics are in my carry-on.