Be a SMART Traveler
WRITTEN BY ANNE GORDON, OWNER, LEISURE TRAVEL ADVISOR,
LIVE LIFE TRAVEL • WWW.LIVELIFETRAVEL.WORLD
Here are some essentials to becoming a SMART Traveler:
STEP (SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM):
Register all International Travel with STEP. This ensures that the local US Embassy can contact and locate you in case of an emergency while traveling: https://step.state.gov/step/
IMPORTANT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION:
REAL ID: Deadline is 10/1/20 https://www.tsa.gov/real-id
VISA: Some countries require a visa to enter them, you should apply as early as possible as some are harder to obtain than others. https://cibtvisas.com/visa-quick-check
Avoid lines by having the proper documentation
Learn about your destination before you get there and arrive well-informed – We recommend the State Department as a trusted resource: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html
Use one trusted source for all travel-related health information, including vaccines you may need: https://www.nc.cdc.gov/travel
Other tips: Wash your hands often, travel with hand sanitizer and wipes, pack more than enough of your prescription medication (you may want to carry an extra scrip on you as well), get your annual flu vaccine, drink bottled water/stay hydrated.
Avoid international fees by using a travel credit card that waives them.
Get a duplicate of your ATM card to travel with.
Take out foreign currency once in destination using a bank ATM, avoid airport currency exchanges and never take out a cash advance on your credit card.
Carry emergency fund cash on you at all times.
Leave all of your valuables at home (including the engagement rings).
Common Sense: The best advice that we could give any traveler today is to use plain old common sense. Be smart, be aware of your surroundings at all times and be prepared. Lock all doors and don’t go out alone at night (even on the beach).
Get your passport renewed at least one year before it expires (reminder that kids passports only last for 5 years; adults for 10): https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/havepassport/renew.html
Leave your passports locked in your hotel safe; carry a copy on your person while in destination (we travel with both paper copies and have them backed up in the cloud on our mobile devices).
Make sure your travel advisor has copies of your updated passports pre-travel (do not email or text any ID or credit card info).
Use RFID blocking and never store your passport in a carry on or check it with other luggage.
A FEW FINAL TIPS TO KEEP YOU HEALTHY DURING AIR TRAVEL:
A certain celebrity always travels with Neosporin and uses a Q-Tip to apply it gently in their nostrils before every flight (we are seriously going to try this!)
I personally take and travel with Airborne (chewable tablets) and swear by them (pre, during and post air travel.)
Beware of the water on planes, we recommend washing your hands with soap and water and then always using your hand sanitizer upon return to your seat.
With all of this said, please don’t be afraid to travel, just be smart when you do. These same “essential tips” can also be applied to your everyday life.