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Travel Tips

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  • Is your passport expiring within six months of the date on your return ticket? If so, get it renewed because some European countries may deny your entry.
  • If you will be traveling during peak season, make reservations early for frequented restaurants, hotels, local guides and popular sights.
  • Call your bank and let them know which countries you will be visiting to avoid restrictions on your credit and debit cards and also ask about fees. Get your bank’s emergency phone number (not their 800 number) so you can contact them if you encounter a problem.
  • If you are thinking about purchasing travel insurance, check if insurance you currently have (homeowners, renter’s or health) will cover you.
  • Bringing children along? Check to make sure you have proper paperwork for each child including a passport, consent letter (if only one parent is traveling) and documents if your child is adopted.
  • Make copies of your travel documents in case the originals are lost.
  • Planning to buy a rail pass? You will need it before you leave the USA.
  • If you are a student, get an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) to get discounts throughout Europe. If you will be staying six nights or more in an official H1 hostel, you should get a membership card.
  • If renting a car, you will need a valid driver’s license. Technically, an international driving permit is required in Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.
  • Using your US cell phone in Europe? Ask your phone provider about their temporary international calling plans and / or if your phone needs to be unlocked while out of the country.
  • Purchase a good guide book for news and tips about the location/s you will be traveling to.
  • Look into downloading appropriate apps to your phone to use on your trip ie: translators, maps and transit schedules.
  • If you have any medical or dental needs, see your doctor to be checked out or any dental work done prior to traveling. Make sure you have extra medication and bring along the prescription and also one for eyeglasses or contacts in case you need to get more for any reason.
  • Put mail on hold, pay bills and put newspaper on hold before you leave. You don’t want to come home to the water or power off due to a late bill.
  • Provide your family or friends with a copy of your itinerary so they will know where you are and when you will be home.
  • List valuable items you are bringing with you (make and model numbers and descriptions) and take pictures so you will have a record in case you need it for police or your insurance company in case of theft.
  • Check on the latest airline carry on restrictions as they constantly change. The Transportation Security Administration’s website has a list of what you are allowed to bring on the airplane.