My Top Ten Travel Tips For Students
Here are my top ten travel tips for students traveling overseas
1. Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visas, if required. Also, before you go, fill in the emergency information page of your passport! Make color copies of your passport and visa information and carry a copy with you at all times. This way you can secure your passport in your hotel room safe.
2. Read the Consular Information Sheets (and Public Announcements or Travel Warnings, if applicable) for the countries you plan to visit. You can easily find them at the U.S. state department travel web site. Register your trip online at the same web site.
3. Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends at home, so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency. Keep your host program informed of your whereabouts.
4. Make sure you have insurance that will cover your emergency medical needs (including medical evacuation) while you are overseas. If you bring any medication with you, ensure that you have copies of your prescriptions.
5. Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling. Remember, while in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws! You will not be in Kansas anymore. What is legal in one country may not be in another. Do your homework before you go.
6. Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas and never accept packages from strangers. Thieves and possible drug smugglers may target you. Be observant and report anything suspicious.
7. While abroad, avoid using illicit drugs or drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages, and associating with people who do. Possession of small amounts of marijuana may be a misdemeanor in your home town, but may be a Class I felony in another country. Instead of a small fine, you may be looking at 10 – 20 years in a foreign prison. Don’t even consider doing drugs in a foreign country.
8. Do not become a target for thieves by wearing conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of cash or unnecessary credit cards. Dress plain and simple with nondescript shirts and jeans.
9. Deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money to avoid violating local laws. Currency exchanges and banks are your best choices. Money changers on the streets or back alleys may be illegal.
10. When overseas, avoid demonstrations and other situations that may become unruly or where anti-American sentiments may be expressed. Avoid government buildings and embassies unless you absolutely have to go. Registering with the state department travel website will provide the embassy a way to contact you in country either by phone or email.
Use common sense and have a great trip.