6 Planning Tips For Your Vacation Abroad

Traveling to another country on vacation can be a wonderful experience.  Travel broadens the mind and refreshes the spirit.

Choose an interesting place to go. Rather than settling on a well-known holiday destination, think outside the box. For instance, if you want a seaside vacation, consider an exotic location like Larnaca, a 6,000-year-old seaport in Cyprus. Next, determine how much money you will need, hunt for travel deals, and work and save for the trip.

Some things that you should take care of well before your intended trip include making sure that you stock your wallet, get your passport renewed, apply for any necessary visas, and get an International Driver’s License (if you intend to rent a car). You may also want to consider whether you should get Traveler’s Insurance, if you need to get any health shots and if you have enough prescriptions meds with you.

1. Decide how you’ll stock your wallet

Although traveler’s checks used to be a go-to solution when traveling, they can be problematic if you go to a less developed country. Getting cash in the foreign currency might be a problem, too, because you might have to take a large stack of notes, which increases the risk of theft. You might be better off taking a credit card and informing the issuer which country you’ll be visiting. This way, your card won’t be denied for suspicious activity when you make purchases from a foreign country.

Additionally, you have to consider what to do if your wallet is stolen. One simple solution is to have a family member send you money. If, for instance, you live in Australia, you can ask them to sign up for a Ria Money Transfer Australia account. They can then use this service to send you the amount you need in an emergency.

2. Renew your passport and apply for any necessary visas

Make sure your passport is up-to-date, valid for 6 months after your date of return. Renew it, if it’s set to expire. Next, see whether you will need a visa and find out where to get one. Make a photocopy of everything. If your passport is ever stolen, file a police report, go to the nearest embassy or consulate and fill out a statement about the theft and apply for a new passport. Carry your photocopies with you in your carry-all.

3. Apply for an International Driver’s License

If you are planning on renting a car, then also consider getting an International Driver’s License.

4. Decide on Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can provide protection should you have a medical emergency or trip interruption. But before you apply for this, make sure that there are no travel warnings and advisories about the country you’re planning on visiting. If they are, then you may not be able to get travel insurance.

5. Find out about Vaccinations

Find out about any required vaccination shots at least six weeks before you leave. These may be necessary if you’re traveling to a country where a disease is widespread. Also, find out about any dangers associated with drinking the local water.

6. Fill your Prescriptions

Take photocopies of your prescriptions and pack them separately from your non-prescription meds. You may also have to check to see these prescription drugs are legal in the destination country. Usually, this is not a problem, but it’s best to make sure that it’s not on a confiscation of prescription drugs list.

And if you need to use a syringe, then get a letter from your doctor about why you need to inject yourself. As you go through customs, be sure to declare your syringe.

Finally, get enough medicine to last your whole trip as it might be difficult to get a prescription refill when you’re abroad.

Plan Early

By planning ahead, you’ll enjoy a safe time abroad. The earlier you take these six steps the better.  If there are any delays in getting the required paperwork, it won’t interfere with your flight plans.

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Waiting in the waiting room – A visit to doctor’s office

My daughters and I had our first visit to the doctor’s office in Tervuren, Belgium yesterday. Good thing the doctor is within walking distance, very close to my daughter’s school. Here (or at least with this doctor) you don’t need any appointment. Just show up at his door whenever you are sick and need some treatment. Ofcourse it has to be within his working hours…very convenient I thought.
When we got inside his office, I thought I would at least see a receptionist/clark/cashier…something. But here the doctor does everything all by himself. No need to carry your insurance card all the time. You just pay a small amount of cash (23 euros in our case), get a receipt and that’s it. Ofcourse we will file all the claims every few months to our insurance company for reimbusement.
Back in the states I always thought going to a doc’s office is a big deal. First you have to find a doctor within your network (depending on your insurance benefit), then you have to show up 5/10 minutes early, depending on the paperworks, bunch of forms that you have to fill out before you get the treatments, then stand in the line with your insurance card, pay the co-payment, sometimes doctor’s office will bill you if any portion of the claim wasn’t paid by the insurance company. Not to mention, you are never call inside the office right when you have the appointment time (never understood, why do they give us appoinments if they can’t keep it). But I thought in Belgium (or may be all over Europe) going to a docter is very hassel free and rather an easy process. Even though there is no appointment system, usually you will get to see the doctor within 30 minutes (usually a lot less) of your arrival. Another good thing is that same doctor will see our whole family…yeppie. No need to find multiple docters within our network. Never enjoyed going to a doctor before… 🙂

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