Travel Documentation 101 – What to carry with you on International Trips!

So you are all set to take off on your first international trip! Excited? Nervous? Raring to Go? We are assuming you have planned your Itinerary to the T and can’t wait to it hit the ground running. Unfortunately, travel is not just about planning an itinerary, but also entails a bit of paperwork. So, we at BuyForexOnline.com have compiled a list of documents that you must carry with you at all times, so that your International trip stays easy and hassle-free!

GENERAL DOCUMENTATION

  • Passport: Carry a passport that is valid well beyond the date of your anticipated return

First and foremost, you would need to carry your passport, your only valid identity proof in a foreign land, with you at all times. Keep it safe and secure.

  •  Visa: Obtain any required Visas well in advance where required

Needless to say you need a travel authority to travel to any foreign country/countries. This travel authority is normally in the form of Visa, which is obtained prior to the journey, except in case of countries where “Visa on Arrival” is available. Visas are approved by destination country’s embassy present in your native country. Details on how to apply for visas is available with the embassy office or at the official government website of your destination country. The process usually involves filing an application at the embassy or consulate of the country and submission of all the required documents to accompany your application. Sometimes, the respective consulates may call you for a personal interview, for fingerprinting procedures or to furnish additional documentation in select cases. Granting of visa is solely at the discretion of the Embassy.

You will also require a Transit Visa if you are going to be in-transit for more than 12 hours. It is a good idea to check Transit Visa rules for the country of transit beforehand.

  • Insurance: Arrange for health and travel insurance

Although not a necessity at all times, it is still advisable to carry medical and travel insurance when you are traveling out of country. Travel Insurance is designed to pay for certain unexpected costs that may arise when you are travelling, such as emergency hospital/medical costs, trip cancellation, lost baggage and accidental death insurance. In countries like the US, without Health Insurance in place, Medicare can turn out to be an extremely expensive affair and can costs an arm and leg, pun intended. There are plenty of good providers online and the process for purchasing insurance online is fairly simple.

  •   Foreign Currency: Buy your Forex well in advance

Over the years, ways to carry foreign currency has undergone many changes. From a limited amount of cash to traveller’s cheques to the now popular forex cards, we have come a long way. Forex cards are by far the best option for you. They are safe and secure, easy to carry, re-loadable, cheaper than cash or debit/credit cards and you can use them at any ATM’s or POS systems across the world. And you can even carry multiple currencies on a single multi-currency forex card.

  •  Air Ticket: Carry a hard copy of your return air ticket

Confirmed return air ticket is also required if you are travelling for a short while. A one-way air ticket will be accepted only for students or working professionals (Student Visa or Work Visa holders), as well as dependents of the working professionals.

     • Consent Letter: If Travelling with children

Please carry documentation proving your right to accompany children. This can be in the form of a consent letter or court order

  •  Accommodation Proof: Carry a physical copy of Hotel Bookings, or a letter of sponsorship

At most immigration counters, you will be asked to furnish Proof of accommodation. This would mean a concrete confirmation such as hotel/ hostel reservations, invitation letter from a solvent person residing in the visiting country, or a sponsorship from a company/university stating that the applicant has made arrangements for his stay for the number of days as mentioned in his visa application. Do carry a physical copy with you.

DOCUMENTS NEEDED DURING FLIGHT CHECK-IN

* It is mandatory to carry a government issued photo identification (ID) proof along with your ticket. It is used at the airport entrance security for verification as well as by your airline at the check in counter.

* On presenting your photo ID proof and ticket, a boarding pass will be issued to you. For international flights, your passport is the only valid photo ID proof that will be accepted.

* In case you have an infant with you, you will have to carry their birth certificate along with the ticket.

Optional:

* Obtain an International Driving Permit, if required.

* A planned itinerary and budget list.

DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL

If you are travelling abroad for business, you need to have an additional set of documents to carry apart from the ones mentioned above. These are:

* Employer/Business Documents

* A letter from your employer indicating the purpose and length of the trip as well as their intent to pay for the costs of the trip.

* Tax statements for the last 3 years.

* Documents describing the business, its duration, financial statements, details of the employees (such as their names, addresses, what kind of work they do, for how long they are employed and their salaries), and the proof (including photographs) of the office, shop, warehouse etc.

ADDITIONAL TIPS:

* Leave copies of your passport identification page, itinerary and insurance policy with friends or family.

* Scan all documents and have ecopies– Especially passport. You can always access them online in case you lose the physical copy

* Take care of health needs: vaccinations, prescriptions, medical certificates, supplies, extra eyeglasses.

* While abroad, keep receipts for purchases and make special arrangements for food, plants and animals brought back to your country.

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