My dad hasn't ever travelled internationally. My brother has been to Colorado, Florida and a variety of Midwestern states - always with some sort of sports team or our family. On January 5 they will travel to meet me in Cartagena, Colombia before we head back to Cali, Colombia on January 9.
Needless to say I am somewhat concerned for them to arrive in Cartagena and intact together so I have assembled the following list of travel tips for international travel. I will follow up tomorrow with a list of tips specific to Colombia!
Kristin's International Travel Essentials
- Make two copies of your passport. Leave one at home with someone staying behind and bring the other one with you - packed separately from your original passport!
- Empty your wallet of everything you will not need while abroad. This includes credit cards you don't need (i.e. you don't really need to bring 5 abroad), charge cards to specific places, business cards, photos, etc. Once you have your wallet limited to the bare essentials, empty the contents and photocopy the front and back of every card. Pack this photocopy separately from your wallet when you travel.
- Utilize online check-in to select your seats ahead of time whenever possible.
- All customs forms to immigrate to another country will ask for your forwarding address - so know where you are going!
- Be friendly to all customs agents! (And security people too!) They probably hate their jobs so the nicer you are to them the better chance you have of getting out alive. :)
- Travel carry-on unless you absolutely need to check something for security reasons. Checking bags for just a short trip is a hassle, you run the risk of your bag getting lost, and there really isn't anything you need for 7 days that cannot go in a carry-on bag. Just remember that all liquids (this includes "weird" liquids like toothpaste, peanut butter, etc.) need to be 3 fluid ounces or less.
For detailed instructions on how not to be an obnoxious airport traveller, please reference my previous post.