6 Essential Websites for International Travel

If you’re planning your trip abroad we recommend 6 essential websites for international travel information. The following sites contain essential information on passports, travel warnings, health situations abroad, customs regulations, weather forecasts, and general traveler assistance. We strongly recommend that you keep these website address on the smartphone you carry with you on travel and in a Dropbox file that you could easily access while traveling. Because you’re traveling alone, for the solo traveler, this becomes especially important. Sometimes we can get wrapped up in finding the perfect tour guide or a great coffee shop and ignore the fundamentals of travel planning.

Six Essential Websites

1. Passport Information – US Department of State

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html – Everything you need about passports is at the US Department of State website. This is very important if you lose your passport while traveling. Check our tips on how to secure your need documents here.

2. International Travel Alerts and Warnings – US Department of State

A great page which will allow you to see all current travel advisories and warning as well as sign up to have travel advisories and warnings sent direct to your email address as they are issued. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/about-our-new-products/staying-connected.html

3. Health Travel Information – US Centers for Disease Control

This site is a wealth of information on travel to specific countries and how to protect yourself. This is a must to read before you travel. Since it may be too late to prepare for local health dangers once you’ve arrived, this preparation is particularly important for travel to less-developed nations. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

4. Customs Regulations – US Customs and Border Protection

Since don’t have to worry about US Customs Regulations when leaving the country, except for declaring any amount over $10,000 that you are taking out of the country, this site is focused on your return. https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens

5. Weather – The Weather Channel

Frequently, you will get far better local weather overseas from The Weather Channel than your local news sources. It’s a good idea to keep this source in mind when making travel plans and when in the middle of your trip things start to change. Check international weather issues as you move from point to point on your trip. The is especially important if you’re flying. If you’re going on a cruise, make sure your flights to your departure port can get you there on time. We always check The Weather Channel before boarding our return flights to make sure that we can, in fact, reach our home airport. Don’t assume that now I’m returning I can relax because I’ve boarded my return flight. Check you connecting points for weather problems. https://weather.com/

6. AAA – Not Just for US Travel

AAA has some great services for international travelers as well as in the US. Their international services are really helpful in applying for an international driver’s license and finding local affiliates for assistance. AAA is well worth the membership price if you’re doing any traveling – whether domestic or international. Check out AAA.

Other Essentials for Travel Planning

One of the key points that all of these tips bring forward is that it is essential to have a smartphone and an international adapted charger with you. Even if you can’t get local cell service, you can still use the files stored on your phone. Keep your phone locked with an easily remembered access code. If you’re traveling with someone else, make sure that they know the code to your phone so they can access it if something happens to you. Contact your cell provider before traveling to coordinate what you’ll need to do to use your phone in specific countries and how to control the cost. More tips are covered in our earlier post – Safe International Travel. We recommend bookmarking these posts and keeping them handy to review every time you plan a trip.

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