8 Tips For First-Time International Travelers – Bankrate.com

We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content, by enabling you to conduct research and compare information for free – so that you can make financial decisions with confidence.
Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover.
The offers that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within the listing categories. But this compensation does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial offers that may be available to you.
Financing a home purchase
Refinancing your existing loan
Finding the right lender
Additional Resources
Looking for the perfect credit card?
Narrow your search with CardMatch™
Compare Accounts
Use calculators
Get advice
Bank reviews
Looking for the perfect credit card?
Narrow your search with CardMatch™
Compare by category
Compare by credit needed
Compare by issuer
Get advice
Looking for the perfect credit card?
Narrow your search with CardMatch™
Personal Loans
Student Loans
Auto Loans
Loan calculators
Looking for the perfect credit card?
Narrow your search with CardMatch™
Best of
Brokerages and robo-advisors
Learn the basics
Additional resources
Looking for the perfect credit card?
Narrow your search with CardMatch™
Get the best rates
Lender reviews
Use calculators
Knowledge base
Looking for the perfect credit card?
Narrow your search with CardMatch™
Selling a home
Buying a home
Finding the right agent
Additional resources
Looking for the perfect credit card?
Narrow your search with CardMatch™
Car insurance
Homeowners insurance
Other insurance
Company reviews
Looking for the perfect credit card?
Narrow your search with CardMatch™
Retirement plans & accounts
Learn the basics
Retirement calculators
Additional resources
Looking for the perfect credit card?
Narrow your search with CardMatch™
We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content, by enabling you to conduct research and compare information for free – so that you can make financial decisions with confidence.
Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover.
The offers that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within the listing categories. But this compensation does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial offers that may be available to you.
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
At Bankrate, we have a mission to demystify the credit cards industry — regardless or where you are in your journey — and make it one you can navigate with confidence. Our team is full of a diverse range of experts from credit card pros to data analysts and, most importantly, people who shop for credit cards just like you. With this combination of expertise and perspectives, we keep close tabs on the credit card industry year-round to:
At Bankrate, we focus on the points consumers care about most: rewards, welcome offers and bonuses, APR, and overall customer experience. Any issuers discussed on our site are vetted based on the value they provide to consumers at each of these levels. At each step of the way, we fact-check ourselves to prioritize accuracy so we can continue to be here for your every next.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that we’re putting your interests first. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions.
We value your trust. Our mission is to provide readers with accurate and unbiased information, and we have editorial standards in place to ensure that happens. Our editors and reporters thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure the information you’re reading is accurate. We maintain a firewall between our advertisers and our editorial team. Our editorial team does not receive direct compensation from our advertisers.
Bankrate’s editorial team writes on behalf of YOU – the reader. Our goal is to give you the best advice to help you make smart personal finance decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy. So, whether you’re reading an article or a review, you can trust that you’re getting credible and dependable information.
You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers.
We’re transparent about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by explaining how we make money.
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.
Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.
International travel can be stressful, even for a seasoned globetrotter. But for a first-timer, it can feel outright overwhelming. After a long flight, you have to orient yourself in a foreign country, where the time zone, language and currency may be different from what you’re used to. Not to mention any surprises that are likely to pop up along the way.
With this in mind, preparing for international travel ahead of time will make for a smoother journey. Here are some tips to get you ready for your first trip abroad.

Before you start booking flights, you need to make sure certain documents are in order. For starters, international travel requires an updated passport. You’ll need enough pages in your passport for visa stamps. While most countries only require a quarter page for their stamp, others require a half page or more. If this is your first trip abroad, that shouldn’t be an issue, since you’ll have a brand new passport with plenty of blank pages.
Once you have your passport sorted, it’s time to check on visas. Many countries will offer U.S. passport holders a tourist visa on arrival. However, other destinations, like Australia or Vietnam, require you to apply ahead of time, and often charge a fee. Make sure you check the visa requirements for your final destination and take care of any paperwork.

You’re about to rack up some serious travel expenses, so why not use them as an opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus? With a card that rewards travel purchases, you’ll get extra points in the bargain—and a slew of useful benefits, including travel insurance.
Make sure the card you use for this trip does not charge foreign transaction fees, and that it works abroad, particularly where you’re going.
Some travel rewards cards, including the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card, offer an up to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. This is a great time to sign up for one of these Trusted Traveler Programs, to help speed you through airport security lines. Since you’re traveling abroad, you’re probably better off with Global Entry.
Once you have the perfect card for your trip, make sure you use it to maximize rewards on your international trip.

It’s important to book international travel at least a month ahead of time to get the best ticket prices. Start looking for flights as soon as you have an idea of when you want to travel. You can use an app like Hopper to keep track of flight deals for your desired destination.
Make sure you’re taking advantage of mileage loyalty programs and travel rewards cards to get the most out of your flight. If you’re a loyalty member of an airline or hotel chain, especially if you have a co-branded airline card or hotel credit card, look into promotions and special offers to see if you can get in on some deals.

Your flights are booked and now it’s time to find a place to stay. Look for lodging that’s in or near the city center so you can walk to places of interest. A great way to find affordable places abroad is through Airbnb, and you can get bonus rewards for Airbnb bookings on many travel cards. A perk of using Airbnb is that your host will often serve as a local connection who can help you find your way around and make suggestions for things to do.

Whether or not you’re the type who spends hours contemplating the clothes to take on your travels, there are some essentials you’ll definitely want to bring along. For starters, a digital luggage scale will allow you to track the weight of your checked luggage. It comes in handy, especially on your return flight with all your souvenir purchases.
You’ll also want to pick up a universal power adapter, to keep all your electronic devices charged—just in case the place you’re staying doesn’t have one. Lastly, bring a sturdy pair of walking shoes. You’ll likely be pounding the pavement during much of your sightseeing. A pair of all-terrain walking sandals or trek shoes will keep you on the move, even if you get caught in the rain.

Travel day is here, and you’ve arrived at the airport with your luggage. Most international flights will offer two checked bags. However, some destinations like Mexico or Canada only offer one. Check with your airline to be sure how many pieces of luggage are allowed. Also, check the weather at your destination before departing to make sure you’re prepared.
Remember to pack any liquids or creams over three ounces in your checked bags, but keep your passport and important travel documents on your person while you’re traveling. When packing your carry-on bag, be sure to pack any medicines you’re taking, something warm to wear for the flight, a travel pillow and an empty water bottle to fill up once you’re in the airport terminal. (Airport security will make you toss any full bottles.)
Also consider putting a toothbrush and a change of clothes in your carry-on bag, just in case your luggage doesn’t meet you at your destination. In the event this happens, you’ll be covered if you’ve purchased your ticket with a credit card that offers lost or delayed baggage insurance. One example is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers coverage of up to $500 for you and your immediate family in the event that your luggage is delayed.

Here’s a scenario you’d probably prefer to avoid: You’ve finally arrived at your destination and begun making purchases with your credit card—and your card is declined. It’s possible this happened for your own protection without your knowledge.
Credit card companies take foreign transactions seriously. They want to make sure there’s no funny business happening with your accounts. And if your issuer doesn’t know you’re the one suddenly making these foreign transactions, they could suspend your account.
So before you head out on your world tour, let your credit card company know when and where you will be traveling. A simple phone call beforehand will save you a lot of trouble on the road and free you up to make the purchases you need.

It’s recommended that you arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to when your international flight is scheduled to depart, especially if you don’t have Global Entry. Remember, when you travel internationally, you have to go through customs and immigration, in addition to normal security. This process takes time. You don’t want to miss your flight because you’re stuck in a long line.
Give yourself the luxury of getting through the lines early so you can relax, enjoy some free wifi and grab a snack.
International travel has a few more moving parts than domestic travel does. But with these tips, you’ll be able to hit the ground running. Having the right travel rewards card can earn you rewards for your purchases, and provide useful travel coverage. Relying on a credit card means you’ll spend less time trying to figure out the currency exchange rates, and more time enjoying the sights and sounds around you.
 *All information about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.
Credit Cards
The best credit cards for international trips let you avoid added fees on i…
Learn more
Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitat…
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. Bankrate is compensated in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. This compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear. Bankrate.com does not include all companies or all available products.
Bankrate, LLC NMLS ID# 1427381 | NMLS Consumer Access
BR Tech Services, Inc. NMLS ID #1743443 | NMLS Consumer Access
© 2022 Bankrate, LLC. A Red Ventures company. All Rights Reserved.

source

Leave a Comment