6 Tips for Traveling Abroad

Ensure that your upcoming vacation is a hassle-free journey with these tips for traveling abroad.

A passport is a necessity when traveling abroad

Whether you’re applying for a passport or renewing one, you can get passport photos taken at select AAA branches.

Photo Credit: iStock

Prep Your Passport

The U.S. State Department expects to receive 20 million passport requests in 2017, up from 14.5 million in 2016. If you haven’t renewed your passport in the past 10 years, beat the stress of the lengthy renewal process by renewing it now. A passport is necessary for traveling abroad; starting in January 2018, a new law called the REAL ID Act will go into effect, imposing stricter identification requirements for international and domestic travel. What’s more, a number of countries in Asia and Central America and some airlines require a minimum of six months remaining on a passport to be considered valid.

Whether you’re applying for your first passport or you’re renewing one, you can get your passport photos taken at select local AAA Travel branches.

You'll need an international driving permit if you're planning to rent a car when traveling abroad.

AAA recommends that you get an international driving permit if you’re planning to rent a car when traveling abroad

Photo Credit: iStock

Get Your Permit

If you’re planning to rent a car while traveling abroad, AAA recommends that you obtain an International Driving Permit before you go. A valid form of identification in 150 countries, an International Driving Permit translates your driver license information into 10 languages. Download the application online, then submit it to your nearest AAA Travel branch so it can be processed in time for your trip. An International Driving Permit may be issued up to six months in advance of your requested effective date, and a permit is good for one year.

Map It Out

After you have your International Driving Permit in hand, plan your routes and familiarize yourself with street names before traveling abroad. As a AAA Member, you can get maps and AAA TourBooks® for the United States, Canada, Europe; you can order them online or pick them up at your local branch. Nearly 200 maps and TourBooks® are available to help you get where you need to go.

You can also learn more about your destination through the AAA Travel International Destination Guides. Select from 540 destinations to find inspiration for your next trip.

Notify your bank and credit card companies when traveling abroad to avoid setting off fraud alerts.

Notify your bank and credit card companies when traveling abroad to avoid setting off fraud alerts

Photo Credit: iStock

Money Matters

Traveling abroad means using foreign currency. If you use a debit or credit card to make purchases or withdraw cash from an ATM while traveling abroad, transaction fees will likely apply. Talk to a representative at your bank ahead of traveling abroad and ask what fees are imposed on foreign purchases or ATM withdrawals. To avoid setting off fraud alerts, notify your bank and your credit card companies of what countries you’re visiting and when you’re visiting them.

Grab a Business Card

When traveling abroad, the first thing you should do when you arrive at your hotel is ask the front desk for a business card with the hotels’ name and address in the local language. If you get lost, you can show the card to a local or a taxi driver and get pointed in the right direction.

Travel Alerts

It’s a good idea to check the State Department’s travel warning and alerts before and during your trip. You’ll also want to print out or save in your phone the address and contact information for the local U.S. Embassy.

The expert Travel Counselors at AAA can help you plan the perfect international vacation. Call 877-396-7159 or visit your local branch to learn more.

Learn more

Heidi Kazemi, AAA Travel Counselor, Roseville, Calif.

Customization is always my top priority when planning a client's vacation. I ask about their family and where they've been before. Their preferences guide our planning so the vacation is perfectly tailored for them.

© 1996–2018, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah. All rights reserved  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy