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9 Essentials You’ll Need for Overseas Travel

Posted by MoneyKey on August 9, 2019
man holding a mini-globe

Arriving at your destination after a long flight can be one of the most exciting parts of your vacation. You’re in a new place, you’re full of energy and ready to explore, and the possibilities for adventure seem endless. But getting to a new location only to realize you’ve forgotten some important travel items isn’t the best way to start your trip. That’s why it’s so important to have a reliable list of all the essentials for overseas travel.

If you have to travel frequently on business trips or road trips, you’ll likely need to create a specific list depending on the type of trip you’re going on. There’s a long list of things you might need to pack when it comes to your carry-on, your checked bag, and your toiletries. If you want more examples, check out this great list of essential travel items.

This list isn’t going to focus on some of the more obvious items like socks and underwear, but instead focuses on items that are essential when you’re traveling abroad, like compression socks for long overseas flights and adapters for foreign electrical outlets.

If you take the time to plan ahead, you should be able to properly budget for your vacation and make sure you have all of the essentials for overseas travel. After all, the more you bring on your trip, the fewer purchases you’ll make which will hopefully keep your spending to a minimum.

1. A Current Passport and a Backup

The first essential items for overseas travel might seem obvious, but you might be surprised at how easy it is to forget your passport at home, or to find out that it’s expired before it’s too late.

A lot of countries require that your passport be valid for six months from your arrival date, so it’s important to make sure that your passport falls within those parameters. This should be the first thing you pack, and remember to always check the expiration date well in advance.

passports are essential for overseas travel

If your passport is current and the expiration date is acceptable for the country you’re travelling to, you should also bring a backup copy with you on your trip and make sure you have access to it while you’re overseas. You can also take pictures of your passport to have on your phone in case you lose your physical copy.

2. Insurance Information

Travel insurance is another essential for overseas travel. When you’re in a remote location, you typically won’t have medical coverage, so getting travel insurance and making sure you’re covered can be crucial if you run into a medical emergency. Just like your passport, it helps to take a picture of your insurance information to have it on hand at any time.

When you’re evaluating travel insurance options, make sure that you’re covered for things like:

  • Emergency medical
  • Medical evaluation
  • Lost luggage
  • Travel delay and missed connected flights
  • Trip cancellation

Some good travel insurance providers include Allianz and TravelGuard. If you do wind up in a medical emergency on your travels and aren’t covered by insurance, you might want to consider installment loans online if you don’t have the savings to cover it. Online loans may be able to help you cover your emergency medical expense and act as a stopgap until your next paycheck.

3. Adapter with USB Slots

adapters are essential for overseas travel

Electronic devices, such as mobile phones and laptops, have become essentials for overseas travel. While you likely won’t forget these things, it may be easier for you to forget to pack a charger and adapter, leaving your devices unusable. Charging adapters are a must when traveling overseas, and in the past, if you wanted to bring your own electronic appliances overseas, you’d need to have a big bag of region-specific adapters to choose from. But now, the design of universal plug adapters has evolved to the point where you no longer need to do this, and a lot of them even have a at least one built-in USB slot. Because of this, you likely won’t need to bring dedicated chargers for a phone, tablet, and other devices. Instead, a simple adapter with USB slots will do the trick. This can be a great addition to your packing checklist.

If you want to want get your hands on a universal adapter with USB slots, you can check out places like Unidapt, LKY Digital, and SublimeWare.

4. A Hotspot

A hotspot can be a great addition to your trip. A MiFi hotspot can change the way you approach traveling because it can help you cut back on data usage costs and international roaming fees, while making it easier to have a reliable internet connection for browsing the web or contacting family back home. Most Airbnb’s or hotels will have free WiFi, but it never hurts to have a backup plan.

If you are a digital nomad or plan to work abroad, a hotspot is definitely an essential for overseas travel. If you’re looking for a mobile hotspot, check out GlocalMe.

5. Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

cards with no foreign transaction fees are essential for overseas travel

If you’re looking for budget travel tips, the idea is to be saving money where you can. When you’re making purchases throughout your trip and have to pay a fee of 2 or 3 percent every time you check out of a hotel, buy dinner, or withdraw money from an ATM, these small fees start to add up quickly. That’s why it’s so important for you to bring debit and credit cards with you on your travels. At least one credit card and debit card that doesn’t charge fees for international purchases or withdrawals is essential for overseas travel. has a nice list of credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. People looking for debit cards can visit WalletHub.

6. A Language Translator App

For a variety of reasons, language translator apps are essential for overseas travel. If you plan on traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language, you should plan ahead and download a good language translator app on your phone. While it probably won’t enable you to have a full-fledged conversation with someone, it may be helpful when you need to find simple things, like a bathroom or a bottle of water. Some language translator apps can even translate foreign language text on a photo you took. If you’re having trouble interpreting a menu and don’t want to manually type in all of the items, you can take a picture of the menu and then run it through the app to see a rough translation of the entire page.

A language translator app can also be useful if you find yourself in an emergency situation. When you’re traveling abroad, there’s no guarantee that someone around you is going to speak the same language as you, so a language app is great to have if you need to communicate something urgent to someone nearby.

If you’re looking to download a language translation app, try Google Translate (iOS | Android) and iTranslate (iOS | Android).

7. International Driving Permit

An International Driving Permit that translates your driver’s license into the local language is essential for overseas travel if you plan on renting a car. If an incident occurs where a local police officer needs your driver’s license information, you’ll need to provide them with a translated license. Failing to provide an International Driving Permit could lead to even greater consequences than just a small fine for a traffic violation. You can get International Driving Permits through AAA.

8. Car Charger

car chargers are essential for overseas travel if you're driving

On the subject of renting a car during your trip, a car charger can be one of the most important things on your traveling checklist if you’re planning on doing some driving. Phones have become very useful tools for navigating through a foreign country. You don’t want to find yourself lost on the road with no map and no way to interpret local road signs. In addition to navigation, you may use your phone for other reasons, such as translating, accessing insurance and passport documents, taking photos, browsing the web for restaurants and things to do, and staying in contact with friends and family.

If you use it for even a few of these things, you’ll want to make sure the battery is alive and well. This is where a small car phone charger can come in handy.

9. Anything You’d Be Afraid to Purchase in Another Language

There are certain aspects of overseas travel that might be a little intimidating, and those can sometimes revolve around having to buy certain things in a language you don’t really speak. So, if you think that there’s something specific that you won’t feel comfortable buying, make sure to include it in your packing checklist before you leave. These could be things like contact lens solution, vitamins, and over-the-counter medication. You’ll also need to remember to pack any prescribed medications that you’ll need as well as plenty of contacts or back-up glasses while traveling.

Don’t Forget These 9 Essentials for Overseas Travel

Packing can be a stressful part of any travel experience, and no one would blame you if you forgot an item or two by accident. While it may be inevitable that some items get left behind, there are some essentials that you’ll definitely want to have, and with a proper checklist and proper planning, you should be able to remember them all.

The essentials on this list are primarily focused around items you may need specifically for international traveling, but if you want to learn more today on how to put together a road trip budget, check out this guide for more information.


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

Posted in: Lifestyle

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