Want to know exactly how to prepare before you go abroad?

Here's an important check list ...

We know: What Documents to Take When Traveling Abroad

As you prepare to pack, check the following:

Travel Itinerary

DO NOT publicize your travel plans, but limit that knowledge to those who need to know. Leave a complete itinerary (including contact numbers, if known) with your office and with family or a friend.


  • At least 6 months remaining validity?
  • 3 copies of the page containing your photograph:
    Place one in carry-on bag
    Place one in luggage
    Leave one with office or family


  • Current/appropriate visa(s) (tourist/business)
  • Visa application information must be accurate. False information may be grounds for incarceration.


  • Take only the credit cards you need.
  • Carry only the documents you will need in a wallet or purse.
  • Realize all business documents might be subject to search, seizure, or copying.
  • Carry a U.S. driver's license with your photo on it.
  • Make two copies of the numbers of credit cards and traveler's checks, and telephone numbers to report loss, and air ticket numbers and store in your wallet or briefcase. (These items should be stored in separate locations to preclude loss of all the information.)


  1. Carry a copy of prescriptions and an ample supply of any prescription medications, in original containers if possible.
  2. Bring an extra set of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Carrying your prescription with you will expedite the procurement of replacements.
  3. Carry an international shot record that certifies appropriate inoculations.
  4. List with your blood type, allergies, medical conditions and special requirements. (Medical alert bracelets are a good idea.)
  5. If you do not have comprehensive medical coverage, consider enrolling in an international health program. (Hospitals in foreign countries do not take credit cards and most will not honor U.S.-based medical insurance plans.)
  6. Keep your personal affairs up-to-date. Have an up-to-date will and insurance policy. Leave a power of attorney with a family member or friend should anything happen to you.
  7. Carry air sickness medication with you. Even the best traveler sometimes experiences air sickness.

The Law

  1. Items of value, such as cameras and laptop computers, can be registered with Customs before departing the United States. The embassy of the country you plan to visit can provide a list or pamphlet describing customs restrictions or banned materials. (Minimize the possibility of an encounter with the local authorities.)
  2. Check with the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Consular Affairs for traveling conditions and warnings. Dial (202) 647-5225.
  3. Use airlines, hotels, and car rental companies that are recommended by your travel agent. If renting a car, will you need an international driver's permit for the country you plan to visit?

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