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Never Forget These 8 Things When Traveling Internationally

Updated: Jun 24

Be like Santa when you travel abroad. Make a traveling overseas checklist. Check it twice. And don't forget any of these important items!


Note: Always Pack Tissues represents many tried and tested travel sites as what is called an 'affiliate' partner. That means if you click on my ads I may get a commission from a resulting sale.



Passport + Digital Copy

Believe it or not, this is such a common thing to forget at home when you are on your way to make an international plane.


Take a picture or scan a digital copy for your records.


Make sure your passport has at least 6 months validity before the expiration date. If you need to renew, there's a new online system being rolled out to make life easier. Check out more about this new program here.



Medications

Being sick abroad is no fun, and it can be difficult to find the medications you feel comfortable with to get you through. Bring your primary medications, and don't forget to throw in some Nyquil, Tylenol, Tums and whatever else you think you may need.




Consider Phone Plans and Cell Data Before You Go

Especially if you plan on renting a car and need navigation, you'll need your offline maps downloaded in advance or you'll need cell coverage abroad.


I've detailed how to best do this at my link below:


Bottom line: get a phone plan that offers international data, or consider a digital eSIM like Airalo. Digital eSIMS are really growing in popularity, and offer lots of different options for data coverage.




Some Starter/Emergency Cash

Real talk: You may need money as soon as you touch ground in the airport. I had to pay to use the bathroom (I want to say it was in Morocco) and I didn’t have any cash or coins on me. I had planned to get it exchanged at the hotel.


Always get a little scratch before you go anywhere, in the currency of that destination. Ask your bank for smaller bills for paying street vendors, cab rides, etc.


Read more about my advice on getting cash abroad here.



More Than One Method of Payment

Let’s say you’re in Rome, and you’ve just been mugged. The guy took off with all your credit cards, cash, and ATM cards. You need to consult my advice on how to avoid getting pickpocketed abroad, and also my tips on smarter money management when you travel. These are key tips for understanding how to properly split up your money across multiple means.


For instance, if you got pickpocketed, maybe they take only your VISA card, but your AMEX is still safe at the hotel room. Split up your methods of payment across your belongings…just in case!



Voltage Adapters for Travel


Let's talk travel adapters.


If you are coming from the US with US plugs, you do NOT need an adapter when visiting:


  • Mexico

  • Canada

  • South America

  • Japan

  • Caribbean*

*Some islands use US plugs including the Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands, and the Turks and Caicos). Consult this handy list for more information on your destination.



If you are visiting Europe, you will need the following adapter type:


international travel adapter

You need this type of two prong adapter for visiting:



This brand is my favorite from Amazon. They have many varieties of all of the adapters, all less than $10 each. Get yours or browse options here.

international travel adapter

The UK has their own three prong plug and it looks like the ones at this link here.


For visiting the following, you need this plug:


international travel adapter
  • Australia

  • New Zealand

  • Fiji

  • China


You can see it is similar to the US plugs, but with a slant.


Lastly, you can also choose all-in-one adapters, which can be handy if you are Carmen San Diego or travel frequently across the globe. These can be a cube shape or tiny like this one:


international travel adapter

I actually don't prefer this type, simply because it can't hold up the weight of my device cords. Go for the Tessan brand for durability.


Learn more about adapter types here.



Digital or Paper Copy of Covid Vaccination or other Important Documents

Although not common these days, I still bring my COVID cards on every trip. I would hate to be stuck without it if the need came up. It’s small enough to not make a fuss, so why not bring it?


Also consider bringing important reservation confirmations, or at least keep a digital copy in a folder that is easily accessible offline. I use Google Drive for this and it has come in handy many times!


Always Pack Tissues!

Ya’ll are listening, right? Always. Pack. Tissues. You need them for bathroom snafus, cleanups on the go, drippy gelato fingers and whatever else the world throws at you. Just bring ‘em, k?

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Hi, I'm Maria!

Globetrotting since 1995, I'm not a digital nomad or a social influencer.

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And I'm here to inspire you to

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