5 International Travel Tips to Know in 2020
International travel budgeting and planning can be both daunting and exciting. Learning tips on how to travel smart abroad is best learnt in the research stage of planning a trip. Having a little pre-trip knowledge and a glimpse of what to expect can prove very helpful especially when taking your first international trip. Here are 5 tips you should know before travelling internationally.
1. Create A Final Checklist
Before travelling, it is always a good idea to have a final checklist of the things you need to tick off before you head out the door. For peace of mind while you’re away, make sure your home is secure. Preparation is the key and taking a few simple steps can help avoid arriving home to a disaster.
Pro Tip: Whether you are travelling in summer or winter always turn off the water at the mains. This way if a pipe freezes up or your hot water bursts or leaks, your whole house won’t get flooded or destroy your cabinets and flooring. You can find more pro tips in my Go Travel International Travel Toolkit. An eBook filled to the brim with international travel tips and resources for just $0.99AUD.
2. Passport Tips
Copy your passport in case it gets stolen or lost. You may need to prove your citizenship to get a new passport. Keep scanned copies of your identity cards and passport in your email box or save a copy on your phone, either in photos or notes. Carry 2-4 recent passport size photos in case you need to replace your passport or obtain a visa.
Don’t forget to check your passport has at least one blank page and its expiration date. Travellers must follow the 6-month rule! Passports must have at least 6-months of validity when travelling internationally. This means your passport must be valid with an expiration date of more than 6-months after your final day of travel. If your passport is close to the expiry date, it is best to renew it right away in case you get stuck overseas longer than you have planned. Bear in mind, applying for a replacement passport in your country can take 4-6 weeks or longer.
Pro Tip: Passports must also have enough blank pages to accommodate visas, entry and exit immigration stamps for each country you plan to visit. At least one page in your passport is required for each visa.
3. Travel Apps ~ Delete & Download New Apps Before You Leave Home
Holidays are the perfect time to unplug, but tech-savvy travellers know a smartphone can be the perfect travel buddy. There are a ton of great practical, functional and free international travel apps out there. Knowing which ones to download before leaving home is the key to getting around easier and you’ll be loaded with all the information you need.
You can build your own personalised travel itinerary with the help of dedicated apps that can centralise all your bookings in one place and help you to organise a travel plan. Other great family sharing apps help you record and share your adventures to loved ones back home.
Also, consider deleting apps you don’t use and apps that contain sensitive security information such as banking and social media networks, etc. For security purposes, log out of your electronics and any app, website or social media networks that remember your password by default. Download your favourite holiday and travel apps before you leave home and save time and the life of your battery!
4. Paper vs eBook Guidebooks
Guidebooks are an essential travel partner but unfortunately, they can be heavy and bulky. There are many excellent online guidebooks available that include maps, phrases and detailed information about the city’s attractions. My favourite online guidebook is Visit A City. Download the Visit A City app before you travel and create a plan of the things you want to see and do.
Pre-download the Travelzoo app to find great overseas, local and transport deals. Avoid downloading apps on your mobile when travelling as this can incur hefty charges from your wireless carrier and drain your battery. If you need to download anything, use your hotel’s free wi-fi.
5. Never Travel Without A Backup Battery Pack
I never totally rely on accessing traditional power to charge my devices when I travel. Today, portable battery packs are filling the power-gap when travelling. Battery packs can charge phones, cameras, eReaders even power up a laptop. They come in various types with different degrees of quality and price. I use a portable battery pack to charge my hand-held devices when I’m out and about and don’t have access to an electrical outlet.
If your travel plans involve long journeys or big days exploring, you should definitely invest in a portable battery pack that is capable of charging all your devices when you’re mobile. My iMuto Battery Pack is ultra-compact, thin and offers high-speed two-way charging and adjusts the power output to safely charge each connected device.
Pro Tip: To save the life of your mobile battery turn off wi-fi, notifications and switch to flight mode. Did you know your mobile charges quicker inflight mode?
Coronavirus Effects On Tourism
When the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Coronavirus epidemic, more than 70 countries responded by imposing travel restrictions against China. Since then the travel industry has taken a hammering across the globe from travel bans, cancellations and the disruption of air and train travel. Understanding the Coronavirus and practising good hand hygiene can prevent this nasty virus from spreading from human to human. Coronavirus is not an airborne virus! Hence, why practising good hygiene is the best safeguard for everyone.
There are no good reasons why you shouldn’t travel during this outbreak. The key message here is:
- Don’t cancel your travel plans
- Monitor and be aware of travel restrictions in the countries you plan to visit
- Practise good hand hygiene
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and dispose of the tissue in the bin
- If you can’t afford Travel Insurance, you can’t afford to travel overseas!
Coronavirus Health Advice | Stay Up to Date
If you plan to travel anywhere in the world, you should monitor government travel website updates. Most sites offer an alert system based around the travel plans you have logged on their site. Being a smart traveller is the key to keeping yourself well informed and out of danger.
Here are the links to the most frequently visited countries:
- Asia – Smart Traveller | Asia
- Australia – Smart Traveller
- Canada – Travel Advice and Advisories
- Europe – WHO | World Health Organisation
- New Zealand – Safe Travel
- United Kingdom – Foreign Travel Advice
- United States of America – STEP | Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
Do you want to learn how to better protect yourself when travelling during the Coronavirus outbreak? Check out this informative Q & A video with Dr Carmen Dolea, Head, IHR Secretariat at the World Health Organization.
Travel Insurance Deals
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, it is more important than ever that you purchase travel insurance BEFORE booking ANY of your travel arrangements. Many travel insurers have exemptions around the Coronavirus, so read the fine print plus the terms and conditions before purchasing travel insurance.
I usually used World Nomad when I travel overseas. On occasions I have got a better deal using Entertainment coupons and discount codes. World Nomad, CoverMore, Insure and Go and World2Cover offer Australians comprehensive travel insurance that is great value for money and provides peace of mind.
Sharing is Caring!
So, there you have it, a full run-down on my 5 Top International Tips. I hope you are now loaded with useful information and ideas on how to best travel internationally. Don’t forget to let me know the tips you have learned along the way too. Oh, and if you like this post please pin and share it – I’d really appreciate it!
Travel Planning Resources
Subscribe to the Progressive Traveller community and receive my FREE printable travel packing checklists. Learn how to pack efficiently and maximise your luggage space for your next trip abroad. (checklist available at the end of this section)
Book Your Flight
Rent A Car
RentalCars.com is where you will find the right car in the right place at the right price. It’s the best car rental site for comparing prices and offers.
My go-to-online accommodation search engine is Booking.com. With over 830,000 hotels, apartments, villas, resorts, guest houses and B&Bs, you will be spoilt for choice. They offer great rates, *free cancellation, no reservation fees and best prices are guaranteed. Through the booking site you have access to customer reviews, special offers and great deals. Plus, each accommodation is shown by location and photos, so you know exactly what to expect.
Save $35 with this Airbnb coupon code and learn the best way to find cheap Airbnb accommodation around the world. Check my Go Travel eBook for more accommodation pro tips.
Protect You and Your Belongings
If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel! Protect yourself and your belongings with my preferred consumer insurer, World Nomads. They provide an extensive range of options to suit your type of travel and they are giving my readers a 5% discount code when they enter Go Travel. Head to World Nomads, and enter the promo code GOTRAVEL for an exclusive discount!*
- For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, World Nomads cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.