With summer vacation rapidly approaching, if you’re like many students, you’re pondering the possibility of traveling during the extended break between semesters. The good news is that there have never been more opportunities for students to see the world and, with an ever growing number of get-away choices, there is truly a travel option for anyone who has wanderlust or a taste for adventure.
Of course, you can simply opt for a week or two unwinding with friends at a resort. However, venturing even further to stay in hostels in Europe, to explore the far corners of the world on an eco-vacation, or even to volunteer overseas alongside charities, government bodies, and community organizations might be just the ideal way to spend the summer months.
While traveling abroad can be an incredible opportunity for any student, there are potential health and safety risks to consider. Fortunately, there are strategies to significantly minimize these inherent risks. Here are five key items you’ll need to ensure you have a trouble-free, safe trip:
Copies of airline tickets, itinerary, credit cards, and passport information page
You’ll definitely want extra copies of your important travel documents just in case the originals are stolen. Make copies of your airline tickets, itinerary, credit cards, and passport information page. Leave one copy of these documents with a family member back home, tuck another copy in your bags, and fold yet another copy in a money belt or travel pouch.
Copies of Your Prescriptions
If you’re planning to bring prescriptions or over-the-counter medications on your trip, you’ll first want to find out if they’re legal where you’ll be staying. There are a number of commonly used medications that are prohibited in other countries. To find out if you might have a medication that is considered an illegal narcotic, check with the foreign embassy of the country that you’ll be visiting. A listing of foreign embassies is available on the Department of State’s website.
Carry your prescription drugs in their original bottle that they came in with the drug company label and dosage information. To be additionally safe, also bring a copy of your original prescription or a letter from your doctor. Don’t forget to bring a copy of your prescription for corrective glasses or contact lenses in case you need a replacement.
A Way to Stay Connected
You’ll want to have reliable way to stay connected with loved ones back home while you’re away, and you’ll probably not want to pay expensive roaming charges on your trusty cell phone. An alternative is to use an internet phone provider. One smart option is S-unno. They provide a variety of free Mobile-to-Mobile, PC-to-PC and very inexpensive rates to phones including an extremely helpful solution for calling toll-free numbers in the United States. This can be a real lifesaver when you need to get a hold of a bank, credit card company, or insurance company that only has a contact phone number that can be used domestically.
Covered Luggage Tags
You’ll want to make sure your bags are identifiable in case they get lost. But, you don’t need to advertise your personal details to everyone passing by. To avoid this, put your name, phone number, and school’s address on covered tags. Never use your home address.
International Medical Insurance/Travel Assistance
It’s simply a fact that from time to time accidents do happen. And, they can happen anywhere, including while traveling. Most likely, your existing healthcare coverage doesn’t protect you once you leave the United States. Even if you’re only traveling for a few days abroad, you’ll want coverage for medical care and emergency medical evacuation. There are a number of reputable travel medical insurance providers and coverage isn’t expensive. Make sure to review any plan before you sign up and understand exactly what it covers before you venture away from home.
Traveling can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences, and by implementing these precautionary strategies before you leave, you can enjoy your journey and rest assured that you’ll be prepared for the unexpected.