International Travel Tips
There are several pages in this website with international
travel tips. Below is a quick listing of them. Also be sure to
read further down for the important tips from the U.S Department
of State, and the links to resources like the country-specific
consular information sheets.
Plane Tickets is the page to go to when you are ready to
shop for the best deal on airfare. The discount ticket web sites
are very useful (some of them), but won't necessarily find the
cheapest fare. You'll find some good money-saving travel tips
A Few Reasons to Travel to
Israel - Quite a few actually, and from someone who has been
living there for a while.
Information On Ecuador
is a page about a country where you can go from glaciers to tropical
beaches in a day, and where you can still get a meal in a nice
restaurant for less than $2. There is more information about
Ecuador on the page on Banos.
There is also my adventure story from Ecuador, on the page, "Climbing Mount Chimborazo."
Adventure Travel covers the wilder trips overseas. You'll
find tips and links to other resources here.
Travel is for the budget-minded among you. There are tips
on how to keep your travel costs down, and information on where
the really cheap places are.
Travel Safety Tips has
information and advice for travel here, there, and everywhere.
You'll also find security issues covered on the page, "Travel Money Belts." I
also tell the story of being robbed on a bus on this latter page,
a good precautionary tale.
Cheap Bus Travel has information
on using busses, trains, and taxis in foreign countries. You'll
find tips on how to determine which to use.
5 Best Things about Learning the Language Before Travelling
- Why it helps to be prepared and a couple suggestions for where
to get those lessons.
A passport is an internationally recognized travel document
that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer. A valid
U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries,
but not all. To see which countries require a passport, refer
to the "Entry Requirements" link below. The U.S. Department
of State is the authority that grants, issues or verifies United
New Application for a U.S. Passport
To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in
person to one of 6,000 passport acceptance facilities located
throughout the United States with two photographs of yourself,
proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification
such as a drivers license. The photos must be 2" x
2" (Walmart and many other places take "passport photos.")
Acceptance facilities include many Federal, state and probate
courts, post offices, some public libraries and a number of county
and municipal offices. I obtained mine at the local county building,
but I did have to order a certified copy of my birth certificate
first, from the county where I was born. So plan ahead. There
are also 13 regional passport agencies, most of which serve only
those who are departing urgently. Appointments are required in
You'll need to apply in person if you are applying for a U.S.
passport for the first time; if your expired U.S. passport is
not in your possession; if your previous U.S. passport has expired
and was issued more than 15 years ago; or if your previous U.S.
passport was issued when you are under 16 your currently valid
U.S. passport has been lost of stolen.
Renewal of a U.S. Passport
You can renew by mail if: Your most recent passport is available
to submit and it is not damaged; you received the passport within
the past 15 years; you were over age 16 when it was issued; you
still have the same name, or can legally document your name change.
You can get a passport renewal application form by downloading
it from the Department
Of State Website.
International Travel Tips From The Bureau Of Consular Affairs
1. Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visas,
if required. Also, before you go, fill in the emergency information
page of your passport!
2. Read the Consular Information Sheets (and Public Announcements
or Travel Warnings, if applicable) for the countries you plan
3. Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the
countries to which you are traveling. Remember, the U.S. Constitution
does not follow you! While in a foreign country, you are subject
to its laws.
4. Make 2 copies of your passport identification page. This
will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen.
Leave one copy at home with friends or relatives. Carry the other
with you in a separate place from your passport.
5. Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at
home so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
6. Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas. Do
not accept packages from strangers.
7. Prior to your departure, you should register with the nearest
U.S. embassy or consulate through the State Departments
travel registration website . Registration will make your presence
and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you
in an emergency. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information
on your welfare and whereabouts may not be released without your
express authorization. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary
and the numbers or copies of your passport or other citizenship
documents with a friend or relative in the United States.
8. To avoid being a target of crime, try not to wear conspicuous
clothing and expensive jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts
of money or unnecessary credit cards.
9. In order to avoid violating local laws, deal only with
authorized agents when you exchange money or purchase art or
10. If you get into trouble, contact the nearest U.S. embassy.
You can use the link here for country-specific Consular Information Sheets.
Foreign Entry Requirements
Below is some information copied directly from the Department
Of State - Bureau Of Consular Affairs Website. It is about the
requirements for international travel in general. For more tips
and the list of individual countries (with their specific requirements),
use the link above or at the bottom of this section.
This listing (see the link) is for U.S. citizens traveling
on tourism/business and does not apply to persons planning to
emigrate to foreign countries. Persons traveling on official
business for the U.S. Government should obtain visa information
from the agency sponsoring their travel. For purposes of this
publication, a visa is an endorsement or stamp placed by officials
of a foreign country on a U.S. passport that allows the bearer
to visit that foreign country.
PASSPORTS: U.S. citizens who travel to a country where a valid
U.S. passport is not required will need documentary evidence
of their U.S. citizenship and identity. Proof of U.S. citizenship
includes an expired U.S. passport, a certified (original) birth
certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship,
or Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States.
To prove identity, a valid driver's license or government identification
card are acceptable provided they identify you by physical description
or photograph. However, for travel overseas and to facilitate
reentry into the U.S., a valid U.S. passport is the best documentation
available and unquestionably proves your U.S. citizenship.
Before you send your passport through the mail to apply for
a visa, sign it in ink, and write in pencil your current address
and daytime telephone number in the space provided. This will
help the U.S. Postal Service return it to you should it become
separated from the envelope during processing.
Some countries require that your U.S. passport be valid at
least 6 months or longer beyond the dates of your trip. If your
passport expires before the required validity, you will have
to apply for a new one. Please check with the Embassy or nearest
Consulate of the country that you plan to visit for their requirements.
Some Middle Eastern or African countries will not issue visas
or allow entry if your passport indicates travel to Israel. Consult
the National Passport Information Center, telephone 1-877-4USA-PPT
(1-877-487-2778 or TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793) or http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/index.html
for guidance if this applies to you.
VISAS: If a visa is required, obtain it from the appropriate
foreign consular representative before proceeding abroad. Allow
sufficient time for processing your visa application, especially
if you are applying by mail. Most foreign consular representatives
are located in principal cities, and in many instances, a traveler
may be required to obtain visas from the consular office in the
area of his/her residence. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TRAVELER
TO OBTAIN VISAS, WHERE REQUIRED, FROM THE APPROPRIATE EMBASSY
OR NEAREST CONSULATE OF THE COUNTRY YOU ARE PLANNING TO VISIT.
As soon as you receive your visa, check it to make sure no mistakes
were made. Processing and visa fees vary, and most fees may not
be refundable. For specific details, consult the Embassy or Consulate
of the country you plan to visit.
IMMUNIZATIONS: Under the International Health Regulations
adopted by the World Health Organization, a country may require
International Certificates of Vaccination against yellow fever,
especially if you are traveling from an area of the world that
is infected with yellow fever. Prophylactic medication for malaria
and certain other preventive measures are advisable for travel
to some countries. No immunizations are required to return to
the United States. Detailed health information may be obtained
from your local health care provider or by contacting the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, telephone 1-877- 394-8747
or Internet: www.cdc.gov.
AIDS/HIV TESTING: An increasing number of countries have established
regulations regarding AIDS testing, particularly for long-term
visitors. Although many are listed here, check with the Embassy
or Consulate of the country that you plan to visit to verify
if this is a requirement for entry.
ADDITIONAL FEES: All international flights are subject to
U.S. Immigration and U.S. Customs fees paid in advance as part
of your ticket. In addition, many countries have departure fees
that are sometimes collected at the time of ticket purchase or
upon exiting the foreign country.
Use the link here to find the Entry Requirements for the country you are traveling
to. I hope you found these international travel tips useful.