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57 International Travel Tips (for COVID-19 too)

I traveled 133 days in 2019! These are my best international traveling tips from all of my trips.

You might feel a bit overwhelmed traveling internationally, especially if it’s your first time or with COVID-19 happening. No need to worry at all. These are my best international travel tips for going to virtually any country!

I’ve been to Europe, Asia and South America (from the US) both alone and with groups and/or another person. From my repeated trips, these are my best combined tips for international trips.

12 International Travel Tips to Know Before You Go

These international travel tips are great to know AFTER you booked your flight but BEFORE you start to travel overseas.

1. Certain countries require vaccines before you go. Make sure to look this up and get this taken care of at least a month in advance.

2. The medicine or supplements you usually take may not be available in the country you’re going to. As a result, it’s a good idea to pack your own medicine and supplements. See more in the health and wellness section below.

3. Star a few of the important places you’ll need to be mindful of in Google Maps ahead of time because you can use this app offline and without data.

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4. Ask a family member or friend to watch over your house, grab your mail, water your plants or even watch your pets.

Rover is a great trustworthy pet-sitting company. Get $10 off your first pet sister with this link.

5. If you don’t have someone to grab your mail while away, you can ask the post office to stop sending mail if you’re going to be away for awhile.

6. Call your bank and let them know that you’ll be traveling overseas. Also, find out how much the international conversation rate is for using your credit or debit card abroad.

If you have good credit and no financial issues, you may want to consider opening up a new credit card. You can get points that you can use for travel and have 0% international exchange rate fees.

This is not financial advice. Please consult your financial advisor before opening up a new credit card.

7. Find out if your medical insurance extends to travels overseas. If not, you may want to get traveler’s insurance just in case you need medical attention while traveling overseas. Learn about coronavirus and travel insurance here.

8. Leave copies of your passport with a family member.

getting a pocket wifi is a must for international travel tips
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9. Decide whether you will extend your current data to foreign countries (can get quite expensive) or get a pocket wifi sent to your arrival airport or hotel.

10. You may want to have the currency of the country you’re visiting before you get there just in case.

11. To save money you may want to look into housesitting, booking an Airbnb or getting a hotel with a site that gives you rewards for future bookings.

Learn what Airbnb is here or go ahead and book now to get up to $40 off your first time!

12. Buy tickets to sights you really want to see ahead of time because sometimes popular places sell out of tickets ahead of time.

For example, the Anne Frank House is a really popular tourist attraction in Amsterdam. Tickets get booked up months in advance.

I like to get tickets at Get Your Guide or Viator.

11 Packing Tips for Traveling Internationally

1. If you’re going to moving around from hotel to hotel or even country to country quite often, your bag will get messy quickly. Packing cubes are the ultimate solution to this!

bringing packing cubes is a great international travel tips

You can separate your clothing out by type, or even better, you can put specific outfits in each packing cube.

For example, you can have clothes in one packing cube for the first half of a trip and another set of clothes in another for the second half of the trip. That way, you can also keep the second set of clothes clean too.

bringing pills for traveling internationally

2. Medicine and supplements can take up a lot of space if you bring them all in its own bottle.

I like to take a specific number of pills in a traveling pill box. It saves so much space.

Note: There are some prescription medicines that are best to keep in its prescription bottle as the label acts as a doctor’s permission to have it on you.

3. Your hair appliances may or may not work abroad because of the different plug types and voltage around the world.

dual voltage straightener is necessary for international travel tips

I recommend this dual-voltage hair straightener for traveling, but you may want to read this complete guide on using hair appliances abroad to really understand why you may need a new one for traveling.

4. Clothes tend to get quite wrinkly when being packed away. Packing cubes can help prevent wrinkles, but I personally like to pack a dual-voltage clothes steamer to use when I arrive.

Read more about keeping clothes wrinkle-free while traveling here.

international travel tips for traveling overseas
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5. Each country’s electricity standards differ in voltage. Also, the physical shape of the plug changes from country to country. Because of this, you will need an adapter.

It’s best to buy a universal adapter that works in any country, but to be sure, you can also look at this volts and plugs chart to see if there’s a difference in the country you live vs. the country you’re going to.

6. If you’re trying to pack light, there are specific types of clothes that can be mixed and matched and used for many different occasions.

bring a menstrual cup for travel is one of my best international travel tips

7. One of my most important tips for travel abroad trips for women is to pack your own feminine hygiene products. They may not be widely available wherever you’re going, especially if you’re going hiking or into the wilderness.

I highly recommend packing a menstrual cup because it takes up little space and generally doesn’t need to be taken care of as much as a tampon and pad. Read why a menstrual cup is a must for travel, or get the menstrual cup I have here.

At the very least, you should pack your own pads and tampons especially if you are not used to tampons without applications, which are common outside the US.

8. Packing a foldable, reusable bag is a must for traveling overseas or locally. There are so many uses for it especially when traveling on a budget airline or shopping.

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9. If you are flying to multiple countries and are taking a budget airline once within a continent, be aware of luggage limits on your next flight.

For example, flying with budget airlines in Europe means saving a lot of money, but there are severe restrictions on carry-on weight. You’ll have to pay extra to check in a bag.

10. If you’re going to a country known for its wine, you may want to leave space in your luggage for a bottle or two, or you can get a separate wine luggage sent to your hotel in the foreign country to take back six bottles of wine home.

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11. If you’re like me and like to take Instagrammable photos, then you may want to bring this lightweight tripod meant for backpacking. It fits into a backpack! See if this is the tripod for you.

If you’re going to Europe, you may like this European packing list. (In case you didn’t know, I live in Europe but am from the US.)

5 Tips for Going Through the Airport

One of the most stressful parts about international travel for beginners is going through the airport. Here are my best tips to make this part of your journey hassle-free.

1. In your carry-on, keep your toiletries bag separate with 100ML bottles in a 1-quart Ziploc bag because there is a limit of how much liquids you can bring onto a plane.

Unfortunately, this also includes your foundation and perfume.

TSA calls this the 3-1-1 rule.

Make this toiletries bag accessible easily as during the security screening, they will ask you to place it separately.

If you are checking in a bag, then there is no liquid limit, but be mindful if you are taking a flight when you get to your next destination.

2. Because of the 100ml liquids rule, dump out your water bottle before you get into security check.

You want to make sure to do this beforehand because if you get pulled over for a check (not a big deal), you might have to wait awhile for them to check a handle of bags before you (if it’s a slow day).

3. During security screening, you’ll have to take off your shoes, jacket and belt. You’ll also have to empty out your pockets.

If you’re new to traveling, then knowing this ahead of time will help you get through the security check faster.

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4. Enjoy the perks of a Priority Lounge, which you need a Priority Pass for.

A priority pass basically allows you to piggyback off other airport lounges and use them to wait and eat at before your flight.

Having access to a Priority Lounge is awesome! We usually fill up on tons of food and are able to wait comfortably with wi-fi until we need to head to our gate.

Note: Some Priority Lounges are better than others. For example, the one in Amsterdam is ok but the one in Vietnam had pho and other yummy food!

5. Random but good to know fact– boarding, getting and taking off will take at least 45 min. altogether so if you need to use the bathroom, go beforehand.

10 International Travel Tips for Long Flights

International flights are usually quite long so knowing these international travel tips for flying will help pass the time easier.

having your passport is the most important of international travel tips
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1. Before you fly, double check that you have your passport. It’s the most important thing to have for traveling.

2. Airplanes usually have entertainment provided but you may want to download your favorite music, book, podcasts or even Netflix movies onto your iPhone or Kindle. Flights can feel much longer than they are sometimes!

3. Some people (aka Mike and me) get ear pain during takeoff and landing. It feels like a sharp shooting nerve pain from your nose to ear.

This isn’t common but something about the pressure of the cabin during takeoff and landing on your sinuses can cause this.

As a result, you might want to pack sinus spray or read more about avoiding ear pain while flying.

tips for packing food when traveling overseas
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4. Airplanes are pretty accommodating to specific dietary restrictions nowadays but unless you’re in first-class, the food can be subpar, expensive or not enough.

You can bring food on a flight as long as it’s not liquids over the limit so pack some healthy food to bring on the plane!

5. Overall you should only bring the jewelry you really need to avoid losing items, or worse, getting jewelry stolen while traveling.

But no matter how much jewelry you bring, you should keep them on you or in your carry-on. DO NOT pack them with your checked bag.

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6. Most of the time, airplanes provide you with earplugs to sleep and earbuds to watch movies. But the earplugs are sometimes stiff and don’t cancel out noise too well, and the earbuds for listening to movies are terrible. They’re crackly and distort sound a lot.

As a result, you’ll want to pack your own ear plugs and earbuds, and if you need darkness to sleep, you might want to bring an eye mask too.

7. Don’t be shy about getting up, walking around and using the space by the bathrooms to do some light stretching.

This is one of my must-dos for traveling with fibromyalgia or chronic pain.

reusable charger for traveling overseas

8. Have your reusable charger on hand. Sometimes outdated airplanes don’t have charging stations.

I’ve had this reusable charger since 2015. It’s small and holds 1.5x battery charge.

9. I feel like they never give enough water on a plane. That’s why I bring this ridiculously large 32 oz. collapsible water bottle.

I fill it up after security but before the flight at a water fountain and it happily lasts me an entire 7 hour flight + the time traveling from the airport to the hotel.

10. Get a AirPods bluetooth adapter so you can use your AirPods on a plane with the in-flight movie system.

You might like: Pro Carry On Tips for Frequent Travelers

5 Travel Tips While in the Foreign Country

1. Google Maps will be your best friend while traveling. It shows you walking, driving, biking and public transportation directions.

You can even use it offline or without data by starring places in there ahead of time. Here’s how.

2. Since clothes get wrinkly while traveling, use your dual-voltage travel steamer before you head out for the day.

3. Sometimes cities have some sort of a tourist pass, which allows you to visit multiple sights and use the public transportation at a deeply discounted price.

For example, NYC has a city pass that can save you up to $100 on six major sights while Amsterdam has a city pass that includes public transportation.

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4. Be mindful of local travel tips.

For example, in Amsterdam, an important local travel tip to know is that bikers have the right of way, not pedestrians. In NYC, slow walkers stick to the right side of the sidewalk while fast walkers pass them on the left.

To find these local travel tips, simply Google “local tips for [insert city here]”.

5. Knowing a few words in the local language goes a long way with locals.

Hello, Please and Thank You are great ones to know. You’ll be surprised at how many locals will giggle in glee with just those three words.

8 Health & Wellness Travel Tips

packing medicine for an international flight - international travel tips
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1. The country you’re going to may not have the medicine or supplements that you’re used to taking so make sure to pack medicine with you ahead of time.

For example, I am lactose intolerant and since I need lactose intolerance pills when eating, I always pack them with me.

2. If you have specific dietary restrictions, make sure to write down the translation of the issue you have on paper or have it handy on your phone someplace. Things can get lost in translation quite easily.

For example, a local’s viewpoint on “dairy free” may be different than what it actually is.

When I was in Germany and asked a waitress if a sandwich was dairy free. She said yes. When I got it, the sandwich had a ton of cream cheese.

Perhaps cream cheese is so common in her diet, she may not have even realized this counted as dairy. Here’s tips for traveling with lactose intolerance.

3. Most of the time you don’t need a doctor’s note to say you can travel with prescription medicine. The label on the prescription bottle is good enough but you’ll still want to double check depending on your medicine and country you’re going to.

From experience, I’ve traveled with over 15 types of supplements and multiple prescription medicines, and I’ve only been stopped once. It was because of a holistic reishi mushroom mix I had. For some reason, one of the minerals in there set off the sensor during the checkpoint.

4. If you have sinus issues often, then you may get ear pain while going up and down on the plane. Pack sinus spray.

5. Avocados are a great snack for the plane because the high fat content helps you stay hydrated. (Planes are dehydrating).

yoga mat folded up

6. Bringing a travel yoga mat is much better than a regular yoga mat because it folds up much smaller and it’s lighter.

Having a yoga mat on you in general is a great way to stretch after a long day of exploring or stay in shape while traveling.

7. Be mindful of the local tap water quality.

Google “can I drink the tap water in [insert country here]” to see if tap water is safe to drink. If it is, then drinking tap water is a great way to save money and be green.

Some places are not even safe to cook with tap water.

For example, while in Thailand, we boiled tap water to drink tea but still got stomach troubles.

While in Vietnam, we noticed our teeth getting sore and (TMI) I started getting a yeast infection. For some reason, the water in Vietnam causes both of these to happen.

Use tap water to brush your teeth in some places.

8. I feel like they never give enough water on a plane. That’s why I bring this ridiculously large 32 oz. collapsible water bottle.

I fill it up after security but before the flight at a water fountain and it happily lasts me an entire 7 hour flight + the time traveling from the airport to the hotel.

6 Coronavirus Precautions to Take While Traveling

With COVID-19 widely spread around the world, it’s more important than ever to take extra precautions while traveling. Make sure to really pay attention to these international travel tips related to coronavirus.

1. Bring and wear a mask especially on the plane and when indoors.

2. Carry travel-sized hand sanitizer with you at all times.

3. Learn about travel insurance in regards to coronavirus and see if you want to get travel insurance for your trip.

4. Be flexible with your plans. Coronavirus may impact whether places are open or closed or if flights are delayed.

5. See if you need to get a coronavirus antibodies test before going on a flight. Some flights are now requiring people to show that they are healthy enough to travel.

6. Check government websites on the status of corona in the country that you’re going to. Also check your local government’s travel site to see if you will be quarantined when you get back as this will impact your work schedule.

Need any specific international travel tips for the country you’re going to? Comment below or DM me on Instagram so I can give you specific advice.

Thanks for stopping by! See you soon.
@sarchetrit (Instagram, TikTok)

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