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Cover Your Bases before a Trip Abroad

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You've been planning to travel outside the country for weeks now. You have a new safe and secure suitcase. You've checked all of the travel warnings about the country. You've even visited several tourist blogs for tips about your stay in the new location. So why are you still worrying?

Planning a smooth trip takes a lot of work, and many little tasks can slip through the cracks when your excitement clouds your attention to detail. Here are a few nitty gritty specifics you'll want to cover before any trip to another country.

Prescriptions and medications

According to the U.S. Department of State, there are a lot of things you should consider if you take medications regularly and you will be traveling abroad. For one, make sure to pack enough medication for your entire trip. If the medication cannot be easily purchased abroad, you may find yourself in between a rock and a hard place if you run out of medication mid vacation. Emergency medical evacuation isn't the only thing covered by travel insurance organizations. Insurance agencies can also help you obtain emergency prescription replacements, too. However, checking in with a doctor and preparing beforehand can help you dodge a medical situation abroad.

Bring copies of important documents

Lots of paperwork may be necessary for your trip abroad. From your passport to your travel visa, losing just one piece of paper can throw a wrench into your whole trip. The U.S. Department of State recommends making photocopies of everything including your:

  • Passport I.D. page
  • Foreign visa
  • Itinerary
  • Hotel confirmation
  • Airline ticket
  • Driver's license
  • Credit cards
  • Traveler's checks serial numbers

In a worst case scenario, your documents could be stolen during your travels, preventing you from access to some of your accommodations or even barring you from entering certain regions. The document copies are an extra security measure to make sure you aren't left stranded in a foreign country. Especially with the more important materials - your passport and foreign visa - make photocopies to give yourself some extra peace of mind. Your passport can be reissued at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and travel insurance companies can put you in touch with U.S. officials within foreign countries.

Know your itinerary

More than just having an extra copy of your itinerary, it is important to know the subject matter on the document. Study your itinerary before leaving your hotel while you're traveling abroad. This will make sure every part of your trip goes smoothly and you aren't left without a schedule in a place you don't know. Better yet, if you're traveling for leisure and you'll be in one location for a prolonged period, try going over your itinerary with concierge services. Often times these travel professionals can tell you which tourist attractions you may enjoy the most, what restaurants are the most popular or authentic and where you can go for some entertainment, according to USA Today.

Keep in touch with home

It's hard to keep the lines of communication open with your friends and loved ones back home for many reasons. Sometimes Wi-Fi can be too expensive - likewise with mobile phone usage - and other times it may just not be available. No matter what situation you find yourself in, it's important to have some means of communication with home for security reasons. Savvy travelers may purchase particular mobile phone plans that support international data usage. Others may keep an eye out for secured Wi-Fi locations to send emails. Whatever your method is, make sure you have one reliable source of communication before your travels abroad.

The information contained here is provided by Brafton. AIG Travel assumes no responsibility for the use, accuracy, or interpretation of the information contained herein.