7 Things You Didn’t Think of Packing for International Travel

We all pretty much have the routine down for domestic travel. But what about for those international trips? While we all may think of the essentials for traveling (e.g. clothes, tooth brush, chargers, etc.) when packing for an international trip, there are a couple extra items on the list you might miss in your rush to make your flight.

Remember: it’s always better to be over prepared than get caught between a rock and a hard place.

7 International Travel TipsInternational Travel

    1. 1. Unexpired Passport! – This might sound like an obvious one, but the last thing you need is for the flight attendant to reject you at the gate because your passport is expired. The good news is that adult passports last for 10 years. This means if your parents were nice enough to take you for your passport on your 18th birthday, it’ll last you until you’re 28 (even if the picture might look a
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    1. 2. Photocopies of Important Documents – Ok. So you remembered your passport, license, credit cards, etc. But did you make copies? It’s a good idea to keep a folder with copies of all the important cards and documents you’re carrying just in case you get separated from the original. I know a woman once who had her entire purse stolen in Guatemala but was lucky enough to have a copy of her US passport in her suitcase back at the hotel, which helped exponentially when she appeared at the US Embassy later that day.


    1. 3. Plug Adapters – Before you leave, do a quick Google search to see what the outlets are like at your destination. Different countries have a whole host of plug configurations that won’t fit your US sized iPod charger. A lot of airports sell plug adapters, but you might as well save yourself the last-minute hassle and pack one before you go.


    1. 4. First Aid Kit – You never know if that new pair of shoes you brought is going to leave you with blisters after the first day on the town. Band-Aids, Neosporin, and Advil are the essentials for any travel first aid kit and should get you through almost anything. But for those times that the fish from dinner doesn’t quite sit well, it’s a good idea to keep some Imodium in the kit, as well.


    1. 5. List of Important Phone Numbers – Hard and digital copies! Important numbers include your family (in case you use speed dial every time), coworkers, hotel, car rental or taxi company, airline customer service, credit card company, local police, and (in dire circumstances) the local US Embassy.


    1. 6. Travel Luggage Scale – It’s a fact of nature that we all come back from a trip with more than we left with. Whether it’s documents you picked up at the business convention or souvenirs for your loved ones, there always seems to be a little more to squeeze in on the return flight. Save yourself from airline fees for overweight luggage by checking your bags’ weight before you get to the check-in counter. A decent luggage scale can be purchased for around $15 on Amazon. And if you’re really concerned about extra souvenirs, it never hurts to pack an extra fold up bag for the trip back.


    1. 7. Sunscreen and an Umbrella – Fact: Mother Nature never fails to play tricks on us. Even when you have the weather report for your destination, it’s hard to tell what you’ll really get.


A few additional tips for international travel:

-Alert your credit card company of your travel plans
-Activate international calling plan
-Download a few helpful mobile apps, including the State Department’s Smart Traveler, Currency Converter, and Google Translate (if needed)
-Purchase a hairdryer/flat iron that converts 220 volt current (if needed, once again)


Anna Albi is a graduate from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she received a B.A. in Creative Writing with an additional major on Professional Writing. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Arts in Professional Writing, also at CMU. Feel free to reach out to her through Google+.

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