Whether it is a family vacation or a business trip, international travel can be difficult if you do not know what you are preparing for. Of course, research on wherever you are going is your main priority, but you cannot forget about the preparation before you arrive there.



One travel tip is to assume that you can only carry one “item” on the plane when traveling internationally. I bought my tickets through Delta, which has the rule that you can carry both a carry on (such as the one shown)

Paul Deloughery Luggage

and a small bag. I usually take this plus a laptop bag with no problem. But some of my flights were operated by an affiliate airline (in this case, KLM). They have a “one item” rule. That forced me to check my carry on suitcase at the gate. And that probably caused some confusion because it didn’t go through the normal channels. Result: It got lost somewhere between Kiev and Phoenix. The good news is that it was found. And Delta will deliver bags to you once they are located. Mine was delivered within 24 hours of landing back in Phoenix.



You won’t be able to do much in a new country without money. You should research the conversion rate of the country you are staying at so there are no surprises when you try to buy food or lodging. If you do not want to carry around cash and are relying on a credit card, make sure it is up to date. European banks have switched to the chip technology and very few accept the magnetic-strip cards. Some business do not accept credit cards at all so you should have local cash on you at all times. To avoid unwanted local currency at the end of your trip, apply it to your hotel bill and then pay the remaining balance with your credit card.



I guess the most important step in international travel is to remember your passport. You won’t get anywhere if it is safely tucked away in your sock drawer at home. You also want to make sure your passport is up-to-date. The U.S. will usually let you use your passport up to the expiration date but several countries will deny visitors if it expires in less than six months. This is due to an unexpected reason you may get stuck overseas, countries want you to have a valid passport to travel back to the United States.