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A trip abroad can be so exciting and something great to look forward to. Whether you’re an avid traveler or a first-timer, there are definitely things you want to pay attention to and check off your list before you enter the world of international travel. For an easy, stress-free trip (or as stress-free as you can make it), make sure you follow a few of these preparation tips before you embark on your long-awaited journey abroad:

Prepare Your Travel Documents

Probably the most obvious, but a necessary tip on the list is preparing all of your travel documents. You want to make sure you have a passport, that it’s up to date, and that you have more than one copy. If you don’t have a passport and you’re planning a trip abroad, make sure you start the process as early as possible, as in some circumstances it can take a while to come in. If you already have a passport, make sure it’s up to date; meaning isn’t going to expire within the next three to six months. Some countries will deny you entry even with a valid passport if it’s due to expire within a few months. Additionally, you want to make copies of all of your identification documents, (passport, license, credit card, etc.) and leave them with someone you trust at home; that way, if your wallet or purse is misplaced or stolen, you will have an easier time getting things replaced.

Get Finances in Order

Always make sure are prepared for the financial changes that could come with a trip abroad.  Get in contact with your credit card company and bank, so they don’t flag any fraudulent or suspicious activity while you’re overseas. Additionally, you’ll likely need cash in some circumstances. Try to exchange currency before you leave the states, so everything is already done. Depending on where you’re going the processes to get local currency can vary; just make sure you do the necessary research.

Do Some Local Research

The fun part: researching your destination and fun things to do while you’re there! This is where your experience abroad is made. Research fun local areas to visit, sites to see, and events that may be happening during your time there. If you’re going for the purposes of a scheduled event, have your tickets purchased early so you won’t have to worry about it later.

Electronic Essentials

Depending on where you’re headed, voltage and electronics may be much different than what you’re accustomed to. Make sure you pack the necessary adapters, as well as check the voltage of all your electronics. In some cases, even if you have an adapter, if the voltage of your electronics isn’t compatible, you may not be able to use them.