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Going overseas this summer? Preparing for a trip across continents is much more involved than preparing for a trip across state lines. If you’re going abroad this summer, here are a few tips to help you prepare and ensure you have the best trip possible.

 

Pack Lightly

Only pack what you can comfortably carry by yourself. You may have to drag all of your luggage around a busy station with no elevators or escalators. Bringing only the essentials will make your trip much easier on your back (plus, then you’ll have a little extra room for souvenirs).

 

Arrive Early

For international flights, plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight takes off. This will give you time to check in, check your luggage, make it through security and arrive at your gate with enough time to relax before takeoff. If you’re departing from one of the busiest U.S. airports, you might want to give yourself a little extra time.

 

Look Up Monetary Conversions Ahead of Time

Get a sense of how much your money is worth before you arrive in a foreign country and have no idea how much anything costs. Use a conversion calculator to determine how much money you should be bringing with you, and make sure you have some local currency in case you go somewhere that doesn’t take credit cards.

 

Check in With your Doctor

Before traveling internationally, make it a point to visit your doctor and make sure you’re up-to-date on all vaccinations and have refills on all of your necessary prescriptions. Also, make sure to ask them what the protocol is if you were to injure yourself while on your trip.

 

Have a copy of your passport

Always have an extra copy of your passport in your luggage and at home with someone you trust. That way, if your passport is stolen while you’re out and about, you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to get back home.

 

Get guidebooks

It may seem a little old school to purchase an actual paper guidebook, but having one item that contains maps, helpful phrases in the native language and details on different attractions will come in handy, especially if your phone carrier charges you for international usage. You’ll be able to find almost anything you need to know from one book you can keep in your bag.

 

Bring a charger adapter

Nothing is worse than arriving at your destination and realizing you have no way to charge your phone or laptop. Then, there’s all the trouble of trying to track down the proper adapter in a foreign country where you might not even know the language very well. Save the headache and research ahead of time what kind of adapter you’ll need and make sure you remember to bring it along.