In just a few short days, I’ll be on an airplane headed to Germany. I will spend several days in Germany, then fly to Dublin, and explore Ireland. I’ve done a lot of research on international travel and consulted several friends and experts. I’ve learned a lot about travel safety and how to avoid foreign transaction fees and unwanted cell phone bills! Here are the five most important things I’ve done to prepare for my trip and hopefully these will help you if you’re taking any international trips in the near future.
International Health Insurance. I met with my insurance provider and we talked about the importance of having a health insurance for traveling abroad. His name is Kevin and he told me a story of someone who maxed their credit card out paying for emergency services. If something happened abroad, I would have to pay upfront and then submit the claims when I returned to the U.S. A big pain! His recommendation was to use GeoBlue and for less than $60, I have medical and dental insurance while abroad. I’ve seen many friends use World Nomads for travel insurance too. Their quote was comparable but I went with what Kevin recommended.
Avoid Data and Phone Fees with Tep. Tep wireless is a pocket WiFi device that will allow up to five devices to connect. I rented this device with faster 4G service, insurance and a car charger. For $160 I will have unlimited Wifi for two weeks. I can put my phone on airplane mode, connect to my Tep wireless and Facetime and iMessage my family for free. I can post updates on social and blog! I can even accept calls and texts from anyone that also has the Tep app. This gives me such piece of mind and since we’ll be driving I can use Google Maps and hopefully not get lost!
Enrolled in STEP. A free service that lets U.S. citizens enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, receive important safety information, and let the U.S. Embassy contact you if there is an emergency.
Take photos of your Passport. I have left a photo of Passport in my safe at home, should anything happen. I also have it saved in a secure DropBox.com folder.
Notified the Credit Card Company. I called my credit card company to let them know where I’m traveling and the dates so I don’t run into any issues. I also made sure I wasn’t being charged foreign transaction fees, these can really add up. Lucky my Chase card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees but several credit cards do. I am a huge fan of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card! I pretty much paid for my entire trip using points and then bought my husband’s plane ticket for Jamaica in 2019 with points. The card provides us with travel insurance, 3 x the points on travel and $300 in travel credit each year. It’s really the best card I’ve had for travel benefits and the points accumulate so fast. You can sign up today and receive 50,000 bonus points! Oh and my card number and all of the details are in my safe at home should I lose my card or have it stolen.