Money, Communication, Insurance, and Other Hassles

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Plan to take enough money to last your entire trip.

Use travelerís checks as well as cash. Record the numbers of your travelerís checks and keep in a separate place in case they are lost or stolen.

Be aware of credit card and identity theft. Use your credit cards only with reputable businesses. In countries with known credit fraud problems, it is best to keep your card in sight during all transactions.


Many people elect to take travel insurance when planning a costly or prolonged trip. To find out more about insurance products available to travelers, you may wish to consult the following websites:


Be aware that your cell phone may not work overseas. If you wish to use a phone overseas, consult your U.S. cell phone service to determine whether you can extend coverage to your destination. However, few U.S. services offer this option.

In most developing countries, you can use local cell phone services; however, you may need to purchase a cheap phone overseas to access them. You subscribe to a service by buying and installing a SIMMS card into your phone (each SIMMS card has a unique telephone number). Note: U.S. cell phones do not have a slot for a SIMMS card. With a phone and a SIMMS card installed, you can purchase "minutes" on scratchcards that are ubiquitously available. You add minutes to your account by entering the scratchcard number over the phoneline, calling a number designated by the cell service for that purpose.


Some countries require visas for entry. Consult the embassy websites for the countries that you plan to visit to learn about their visa requirements and application procedures. You will need passport photos and some require proof of yellow fever immunization. You will have to send your passport to the foreign embassy or consulate along with other required documents. And since visas can take up to 6 weeks to process, you will want to start this process early if you are visiting several countries that require visas.

Many countries do not require U.S. travelers to obtain visas in advance of travel, but instead issue them at the airport on arrival. Note that there will usually be a fee for visas whether they are issued from an embassy or at an airport.

Important Documents and Consular Matters

Make copies of your passport, vaccination record, and your credit card numbers. Pack copies of these copies in a location separate from the documents themselves, so that you will have them should a loss occur. It is also desirable to leave copies of these documents and your travel itinerary with someone at home whom you can contact in an emergency.

You may need the consular services of the U.S. Embassy while abroad. A list of embassies in most countries can be accessed at: http://www.usembassy.gov/ . It would be a good idea to record the address and phone number of the U.S. embassies and consulates at your destinations and keep this information with your passport.

Avoid Being a Target for Theft

Useful Links

Travel Tips: http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/top_10_trvler_tps.ctt/top_10_trvler_tps.pdf

Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/travel

World Health Organization: www.who.int/en/

State Department: www.travel.state.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection: http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/kbyg_regulations.ctt/kbyg_regulations.pdf

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