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International Trip Prep 101



Planning an international trip? Before you go...know the basics, which can make your trip comfortable and more worry-free! First of all, visit S.T.E.P. What is that? It's the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which is sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Our world is more global and political these days and unfortunately violence can erupt when and where you least expect it. Therefore, it's helpful to know the whereabouts of our U.S. citizens, so that assistance can be obtained from the U.S. Government when it is needed. S.T.E.P. is a FREE program that allows U.S. citizens to enroll their upcoming international trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy. It also provides emergency contact information to you about the closest U.S. Embassy, so that you can keep that information with you at all times. Another benefit to this program is that you will receive emails & notifications prior to your trip, if there is political unrest or if unsafe traveling conditions arise in the area where you plan to travel. Be sure that you have a valid U.S. Passport prior to booking your trip. In many instances, most countries require that your passport doesn't expire for at least 6 months after the date of your expected return. Make sure all of your documentation is in order and it is kept on your person. Keep additional copies available, in case of theft or loss. Visit the National Passport Information Center for additional information and tips. Be familiar with the culture and location that you are visiting. It's important to be culturally aware and conscious of customs & standards that are different from your way of life in the United States. Be open-minded and flexible, because no place will be exactly like home. Last, but not least, there are more options to stay connected now than ever before while traveling internationally. There are a multitude of free or low-cost apps such as WhatsApp that will allow you to keep in touch with friends and family. You can also contact your cell phone provider to sign up for an international phone plan prior to your scheduled departure. Your cell phone provider can offer international phone plans that are much cheaper than paying fees and international rates of the country that you are visiting. Don't be caught off guard! Check into your connectivity options prior to your departure. Be safe, enjoy your trip and don't forget to purchase souvenirs! PM


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Paula Maddox

Coach | Author | Speaker | Minister | Doctoral Student

Tel: 404.939.7432   

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