5 Important Items To Carry When Traveling Abroad

Traveling abroad can be the experience of a lifetime. Experiencing new sights, languages, food, and culture is a horizon broadening and thrilling experience, especially if one is going abroad for the first time.

Preparing to travel abroad need not be a stress inducing experience. Whether you’re visiting one country during your trip or several, planning out your essentials will make your trip smooth and enjoyable, according to the Matador Network. Here are five important items to carry when you’re traveling abroad.

1. Your Smartphone

In many countries, you can swap your home SIM card with a cheap pre-paid SIM, giving you access to the country’s cellular network. This is especially useful if you’re on an extended stay, and your smartphone will perform all the same functions it did at home – from helping you to locate your hotel to the cheapest eatery in town. Make sure that you add the country or region’s emergency phone numbers to your phone’s directory, and leave your temporary number with your friends and family back home, as well as the hotel, hostel, or campground you are staying in during your visit.

And, of course, a smartphone is a fantastic backup camera for photographing your journey if you don’t own another digital cam.

2. Copy of Your Passport ID Page

You should never carry your passport as a matter of course when traveling abroad, particularly if you’re an American citizen or resident – American passports are a hot target for thieves, along with United Kingdom issued passports. Leave your passport in your hotel or hostel’s safe, or in your campground’s lockbox, and take a photo copy of the ID page of your passport. This will help your national embassy to identify you properly if you are experiencing an emergency or if your passport is lost or stolen. Many ports will accept a copy of the ID page along with other ID, such as a license, if you are leaving the country and have been unable to replace a lost or stolen passport before your departure.

3. Your State ID or License

In place of your passport, carry a state ID or license. Hotels, bars, restaurants, and other places that require ID will usually accept foreign IDs that are not passports, and will also serve if you have an emergency that involves paramedics or the police. Outside of the States, there are few places that will not accept out-of-state, out-of-province, or foreign identifications cards, so make sure to keep it on you at all times.

In addition, make sure to carry any medical ID cards and traveler’s insurance cards in case you get into an accident or must deal with an emergency.

4. A Credit or Bank Card

Before you travel, check with your bank about international ATM fees or fees per transaction with your card. Ideally, you should carry as little cash as possible, and use your bank card for as many purchases as you can, since most banks and credit unions do not charge per-transaction fees for international purchases. If you must carry cash, leave the bulk if it in your hotel or hostel’s safe or lockbox, and make most of your purchases with your bank or credit card.

Most international destinations will have ATMs and exchequeurs available if you need cash in an emergency.

5. A Good Jacket

Traveling abroad requires you to be prepared for all sorts of weather. Take a decent jacket with you, preferably one that includes a zip or snap-in liner for colder weather. The outer shell will protect you from wind and rain, and in colder climates, zip the liner in for added protection for the elements. If it includes secret pockets or built-in protection such as scarves and gloves or mittens, all to the good – especially if you’re traveling during the winter.

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While your packing list should certainly be longer than just these five essentials, remembering to take each of these items with you will make your trip much more enjoyable, and make emergencies – even small ones – easier to handle.