When you travel overseas, you’ll need to take many documents with you. Some items are things you should bring on every trip, while others are a little more exotic. In either case, ending up without these documents can result in serious inconvenience. Before you leave, make sure you have the following so that you avoid headaches while abroad:
—Your passport. Any time you cross national borders, including when you come back to your home country after being abroad, you’ll need to present your passport. Make sure yours won’t expire until at least half a year after your trip ends, and pack a copy of your passport in a separate place from the original. For travel to some countries, you may also need a visa before you leave.
—Information about where you’ll be staying. It’s always a good idea to carry your hotel information when you travel, but it’s especially important when traveling internationally. Often, you’ll have to fill out an entry card upon arrival in a new country, and when you do, you’ll need to state the address of the place you’ll be staying.
—Insurance information. It’s usually legal to enter a foreign country without travel insurance or international medical insurance, but it’s a good idea to have both in place. Carry your insurance information with you in two spots, so that if one copy is stolen or lost, you can still access the data.
—A driver’s license. A driver’s license from your home country will often be valid for a limited time in the country you’re traveling to, and having one may let you rent a car.
—Documents relating to children. Children bear their own document requirements. Make sure you have copies of all of their information, including insurance. If you’re traveling by air, you will probably need a passport for your child even if he or she is an infant. In addition, if you’re traveling with grandchildren, you’ll want to have their parents write and notarize a letter authorizing you to supervise their medical care. Keep this letter with you at all times.