20 Things to KNOW before International Travel | Research Checklist 2019
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20 Things to KNOW before International Travel | Research Checklist 2019


Setting aside a couple of hours
prior to traveling can save you a heck of a lot
of stress, time and money. In today’s video, I’ll be covering
20 things that you should research about your destination
prior to traveling. (Music) Vaccinations. This is not only important to make sure
you’re keeping yourself healthy, but there are many countries
that require you to show proof of specific vaccinations
prior to entering. For example, when I traveled to Uganda, I had to show proof
of my yellow fever vaccine when I arrived at the airport. Check the requirements for onward travel. If you’re flying on a round trip
going into the country and then flying back
out of the country, you’re fine. But, if you’re entering
the country on a one-way, you often need to show proof
that you will be exiting the country. It doesn’t need to be a flight,
you can usually just book a bus. Often, the airline will ask you
for proof of your exit of the country prior to letting you even board the plane because, if you arrive at that airport
and they turn you away, that airline is responsible
for flying you back home. If you don’t want to book your flight out
or your bus out far in advance you can also use a service like Best Onward Ticket. It’s going to give you
a temporary airline ticket that will expire within 20 to 48 hours and this will work for you
as proof of onward travel. Check your visa requiremets
and the visa processing times. Do this early. I booked all of my flights to Vietnam and then found out that my visa
was going to take five days to process and I had to re-book all of my flights. I also encourage you
to look into the details of each visa. When I was in this predicament,
they gave and alternative option: Instead of applying for a three-month visa
that was going to take five days, they would give me a one-month visa
in a 24-hour turnaround. What they didn’t tell me is that,
once I arrived in Vietnam, I’d be paying over USD 100
to get an extension and that the extension process is
a total pain in the butt. I’m glad I looked this up,
because it ended up being cheaper for me to cancel and re-book all of my flights
to arrive in Vietnam later than it would’ve been to get a one month visa and to extend while I was there. Research any travel warnings or alerts. Warnings are generally long, ongoing,
say if there’s confilct or war in a specific country, when alerts are going to be
for one-off specific events, say a terrorism attack in London. It’s not only important
to keeping yourself safe but also may affect
your travel insurance coverage. I trust Safety Wing
for my travel medical insurance; when I was looking on their website
I noticed some exclusions. Where there’s countries
with ongoing confilct, the coverage is limited. So, check with whatever insurance you use
to make sure your country is covered, regardless of any alerts or warnings
that happen to be going on at the time. And before you buy any travel insurance, check with your credit card,
because you may already be covered. My credit card gives me
21 days of free coverage. Entry and exit fees. Many countries around the world
will require you to pay an entry fee when you arrive at the ariport. For Vietnam, I believe it was USD 25. They wouldn’t accept any other currency. So, if you’re not a US citizen,
you need to find a way to get US cash prior to boarding your flight. Speaking of money… Conversion rates. This could completely change
where you decide to travel to. Say I’m going to London. As a Canadian,
my money is now worth half as much. But, on the other hand,
if you’re coming from London, and you’re traveling to Canada,
or even New Zealand, your money is worth a lot and you can do
a heck of a lot more with it. I highly recommend you download
a free app, XE Currency, so you can help keep tabs
on the conversion rate and what you’re spending
while you’re actually in the country. Also, how will you be accessing
your money while abroad? Are credit cards widely accepted?
What are the ATM fees? I prefer to use my debit card and withdraw cash
from an ATM when I arrive However, many times I’ll find
the ATM fees are between $5 and $10, which is going to change
how much I’m taking out each time. So, do your research and be informed so you can make a decision
that’s going to save you from additional fees
that you may not need to be paying. Scams. You can find them
in any country in the world, particularly if it’s a tourist destination. Look up online, use google. You can find all the information
on what common scams are… I also have a whole video
on scams across Southeast Asia which I’ll link below. Scams may also affect how you choose
to withdraw and access your money. When I was in Canggu, Bali last month,
credit cards were widely accepted. but credit card theft was a huge problem. Myself, along with three other friends,
had our credit card scammed. I also use the ATM with my debit card,
and my debit card was copied. If credit card theft is a problem in
the destination that you are traveling to, it may be worth seeing
if you can get the foreign currency from a bank at home prior to your trip. You can look into getting
a prepaid credit card, Stack is one of the best in Canada. There’s no foreign transaction fees and then it also comes with an app
that allows you to freeze the card. So, it you lose it,
you can freeze it on demand and then unfreeze it anytime. You can also have
push notifications enabled, so anytime anything is spent on the card you will get a notification sent
directly to your app so, you will know right away if someone
who is not you is using your card. Check out the SIM card
and data plans available. You will likely be leaving
your phone on airplane mode unless you want to have hundreds,
potentially even thousands, of dollars in roaming charges. So, you will likely be looking
if you can get an affordable data plan. Not only should you be looking
at how much you should typically pay for these plans so you don’t get scammed,
also look if there’s any restrictions. Again, when I was in Bali,
I signed up for a data plan and I didn’t realize
that it was only specific to the one area in Bali
that I was staying in. This information was not disclosed to me
when I was purchasing the plan and I didn’t think to ask because,
in every other country I travel to, the data plan was applicable
to the entire country. Research the outlets
and the voltage that’s used. Yes, you can get an adapter, a universal one or one specific
to the country when you arrive. But I think it’s always nice
to have one with you so you’re not stuck in a sticky situation
at the airport with a dead phone. If you do forget or lose your adapter,
before you go out and buy a new one, check with your hotel
or hostal front desk. Us, travelers, are notorious
for leaving these adapters behind and they probably have
a spare one that you can borrow. Research popular apps for your phone
and then download them before you go. An example would be, say you use Uber
and Lyft in your home country, but, in the destination country,
they use Grab as the ridesharing option. When you sign up with Grab,
you need to verify your account by getting a text message
to your phone number. If your phone is on airplane mode
and you can’t reach your phone number, you won’t be able
to verify your account and, while there are ways to get around this,
it’s just much less of a pain to do it and have it ready
before you leave home. Tipping culture. Look up what is expected
in the country you’re going to and then please abide by that – even if it’s different from what you’re
used to – while you are there. For example, if you travel to Canada, our servers are paid
less than minimum wage because it’s expected
that they will be also receiving tips. Tipping is becoming expected
in many countries that have not traditionally tipped, so look up the most
up-to-date information you can, check out forums on TripAdvisor –
that’s a great starting point – and see how much it’s expected
that you should be tipping, whether it’s 5% or 20%. If you traveled to a destination
10 years ago that had no tipping, they may be tipping now. Double, triple, quadruple check… what is legal and what is illegal,
as well as the penalties associated. We just had marihuana
legalized here in Canada, but say, if you were in Thailand, the still allow the death penalty
for any drug use. Look this stuff up, it’s kind of scary. Can you safely drink
the water from the taps? From my experience,
in most countries you can’t, so I’d say: assume no. You may want to consider getting
one of these nifty little gadgets that are coming out on Amazon
that will sterilize the water for you. One is called LifeStraw
and the other is SteriPen. It’s pretty cool. Road conditions. Particularly if you plan to be driving, say you have an
international driver’s license and you will be driving
in the country that you are going to, check what side of the road they drive on. I know personally I wouldn’t be
comfortable driving on the left. Check the up-to-date weather forecast… one, two days before you leave
and adjust as necessary. Don’t assume that because it’s summertime
it’s going to be warm. In Ottawa, in June, we had snow! So, you want to look up for any anomalies
and then be able to pack accordingly. And, regardless of what
the temperature or the weather is, see if there’s any dress restrictions
that you should know about. On the same notes,
review any local customs, you could be disrespecting someone
without even realizing it. But you can easily avoid this by just doing a little bit
of research in advance, like, how do you greet people?
Is it a handshake? A hug? A kiss? Where do you sit at the dinner table?
Do you talk at the dinner table? Is eye contact considered
rude or appropriate? Check out the description below for a checklist that’s going to include
all 20 of these tips as well as my favorite
websites to research, so you know you can get quality
and up-to-date information. The goal is to have you check
all of these off the list in one afternoon. And next week I’ll be covering
the essential things that you need to do before you leave the house. So, hit my face over here
so you can subscribe and stay tuned for that video next week on what you need to do
prior to leaving your house for a travel. Hope to see you next week. Bye!

20 Comments

  • Leo Howard

    I always love your adorable personality Megan it's what I love about these videos plus I really thought the tips were so helpful

  • Portable Professional

    Pst! Don't make the same mistakes as me! 😂 Prepare for your next trip with the free checklist here: https://mailchi.mp/a489e27d62bf/u59rxc65j1 Where are you heading next?!

  • jodi Muse

    Always great information! I am curious or should I say confused about the visa process for Vietnam. I'm heading there DaNang at the end of September. I'm hoping to be in and around S.E.A for about 2 years. Now, as a Canadian I have to get an 'approval' letter before I can even board the plane on this side. Once I land I get my stamp at the airport and should be good for the 90 day tourist visa. My question is concerning the visa run at that point. Do I need to apply for another ' approval ' letter each time I do a visa run in and out of Vietnam? 🤔🤔😫

  • Jennifer H

    I am a new subscriber. LOVE your little square mascot!! Does he have a name? This video is so timely for me as I leave for Italy in less than two weeks. Keep up the wonderful content. Sending love from San Diego.

  • Cris Yorke

    When I went to study in Europe, I just booked a one way ticket, and the counter let me by without asking much. I said I was going to apply a student visa when I arrive.

  • Peter Lemke

    Recently subscribed after seeing one of your earlier videos. Once again here you give excellent traveller advice without any waffle or hard sell.

    Much appreciated especially the Best Onward Ticket tip. That's perfect for travelling through Central America me thinks and cheaper than buying multiple outbound bus tickets.

  • PREPFORIT

    Still good / relevant. Info even if I am at my destination . ( Thailand ) you are right about the use of illicit substances here. That was part of my English advice for Farangs/tourists. / public service announcement on TV and radio. As well as removal of footwear and no pointing etc.
    Thanks again . !

  • Leah MacGregor

    Thank you so much for all of the useful tips!! There's so much to think about and plan out before a trip and this definitely makes it less overwhelming 🙂

  • James Bass

    One of the most helpful travel videos I have seen. Note that the drug prohibitions apply to prescription drugs even in countries as drug friendly as Holland. Pain meds and sleep meds can require a medical certificate from your doctor. Check with the embassy or consulate offices for the countries you will be visiting.

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