Traveling Abroad Checklist: 10 Things You Need to Know
Traveling abroad can bring feelings of excitement and nervousness. After months of researching and planning, when the big day finally arrives, you may have an overwhelming sense that you’re forgetting something. And, since you’ll be traveling across the world, it’s important you have everything you need.
It’s also important to leave some things behind.
With a checklist to help you plan; your traveling experience can be smoother and less stressful.
Traveling Abroad Checklist
Passport & Visa
While you will need your updated passport and valid visa paperwork, it’s not a bad idea to email yourself a copy of them as well. Most interns traveling abroad keep a Google drive with their passport, visa, boarding pass, proof of address, and other important documents that may come in handy. It’s also suggested to share the file with a trusted relative in case of emergency.
We encourage you to have a copy of all your updated health records when traveling abroad. Unfortunately, Illnesses and accidents do happen unexpectedly and are not covered in the United States on your health insurance from your home country. This is why it’s important to purchase health insurance while you are away.
CareerDean offers two health insurance packages and you will be covered throughout the duration of your internship program.
Be sure to leave important information with a trusted relative. This includes your travel itinerary, your sponsor’s information, and your workplace address and phone number. Any information you give can be helpful in case of an emergency or another unforeseen event.
It’s also good practice for you to write down your sponsor’s information or share it with a coworker. In the case of an emergency here in the States, emergency personnel may need to contact your sponsor. And, if everything is locked away in your phone, the process may take longer.
Have a good understanding of the currency exchange. Shopping, eating out, and enjoying the sites can really add up. Knowing how your money converts can help avoid an empty bank account.
Also, with so many fraudulent activities in the world today, using a bank card or credit card in another country may raise serious flags with your banking establishment. Let them know you’ll be traveling in the United States prior to leaving.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has strict laws about medicine and vitamin usage. If you have prescribed medication or vitamins, contact the U.S. Embassy to ensure it’s safe to bring it into the country. Any approved medication you travel with must be in its original container and have your name printed on the bottle from the pharmacist.
If you need additional or different medication while in the United States, the FDA requires you to see a physician for a new prescription. From there, any licensed pharmacist can provide you with the approved medication.
Do you have a plan in place for when you arrive at the airport? How will you get to your hotel or sponsor home? These details should be worked out before you leave your home country.
How do you plan on getting around town? Do you plan on driving? Will you take a bus or use a rideshare program?
If you plan on driving, be sure to understand the United States road laws. It’s also helpful to know the area you’ll be around. Having an idea of nearby drug stores and restaurants will make your transition smoother. An updated navigation app will prove to be a vital tool.
Calling & Data
International calling isn’t cheap. Contact your service provider and set up an international calling plan prior to leaving. Before traveling abroad, clearly identify your data usage, phone usage, and roaming expectations.
While you’re in the United States, know what numbers are used for emergencies. 911 is the universal emergency number in the United States. However, other countries use a different emergency number and the list can be found here for your reference. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your sponsor regarding what to do in an emergency.
Traveling abroad with your laptop, tablet, phone, or even gaming system is completely expected. However, not all plugs are created equal. If you’re going to bring your own chargers, research electrical adapters that are right for your equipment. Just be sure they are designed to convert to United States receptacles.
If you’re going to be in the United States for longer than one season, it’s important you know the climate. Southern American cities such as Miami or San Antonio have much different seasons than Northern cities like Boston or New York. Proper clothing will provide you with the comfort and protection during these seasons.
While researching this information prior to travel is helpful, your sponsor and coworkers can give you tips on what to wear and how to handle the season changes.
Tastes of home
Many cultures rely heavily on foods and spices. However, not all spices are available in the US. And, sometimes, if they are available, they may not be as good quality as what you get at home. Packing a few of your favorite spices (as long as they’re legal) can soothe your homesick heart.
Are you ready?
With your checklist complete, you can make traveling abroad the best it can be. You’ve got your passport, your visa, phone, sufficient clothing and other essential items ready for an amazing trip to America.
With your job lined up and your sponsorship secured, the only thing left is to board the plane.
The team at CareerDean is here to help make your internship abroad as memorable and impactful as possible. We’re here for you in any way you may need.
For more information on internships, traveling abroad, or for any questions you may have while you’re here in the States, please contact the CareerDean team.