First of all, congratulations are in order!
If this is your first time traveling abroad in a while, here are some things you should do or bring before your trip.
1. Obtain a money belt that straps to your body to store your cash, passport and valuables.
2. Carry travel insurance if your regular health insurance doesn’t cover you while abroad. Travel insurance is also useful if your baggage is lost or delayed, and provides reimbursement on prepaid reservations if your trip is canceled, interrupted or delayed.
3. Make a copy of your passport, and leave it in the safety of your attorney or a friend.
4. Register with your country’s embassy. If there is a problem in the country while you are traveling abroad, this would make it easier for the embassy to contact you, and get you out of harm’s way.
5. Do not forget to renew your prescriptions, and take some over the counter medications with you. For example, I do not travel abroad without my allergy medication, regular pain killers, and antibiotics.
6. Call your bank provider and place travel alerts on your credit and debit cards. You do not want the bank to think there is fraud on your account while you are traveling abroad, and then lock your account as a precautionary measure.
7. Carry several types of currency: local cash, traveller’s cheques, some U.S. dollars to convert if you spot a deal, credit cards that have no foreign transaction fees abroad, debit cards to withdraw money from an ATM without fees or have the fees reimbursed such as Charles Schwab. Also, you can get cash advance from your Discover Card while traveling.
8. Check the country’s entrance/exit fees. Some countries require travelers to pay in order to enter or leave the country. These fees are not included in the price of your airline ticket, and can range from $25 to $200.
9. Buy some local currency before you head out: You can also ask your local U.S. bank for some foreign currency, but note that they do not usually give you the best conversion rates. Research the best conversion rate for the country you are visiting, and convert your currency there.
10. Get a phone or data plan that works internationally. You do not want to be stuck with those hefty AT&T or Verizon bills. If you want to be incommunicado, look into shutting off your data roaming, and use Viber abroad in case you do need to reach your family or your attorney.
11. Do not forget a power strip and plug adapter. You will need these while traveling, and in many countries, your electronics would need an adapter to work.
12. If you plan to travel a lot, you may want to invest in Global Entry to avoid long lines at airports and have TSA precheck privilege. Better yet, some credit cards provide a reimbursement for this fee, so you may want to look into this.
13. Visiting a foreign country may be as easy as going to Canada and flashing your green card. But some countries, such as Australia, may require you to obtain a visa, even though you have a green card or advance parole. Check the visa requirements of the countries you plan to visit ahead of time, so you can get all your ducks in a row.
If you need an expert immigration attorney to help you navigate the process and help you gain the right to travel abroad, you can always contact us.