Amanda Lukoff: Whether you are going to see the great sites of Europe or visit a tiny village in the South Pacific, international travel take some planning. At Away.
com we've picked four key tips to make sure things go smoothly.
First, get passports and visas. About two to three months before your departure make sure that everyone in your group, including newborns, has a valid passport. Also, find out if your travel will require you to carry a visa. Some countries require them and others don't, but don't procrastinate, because some application processes can take weeks.
Second, tee up your cell phones and credit cards, if you plan on making phone calls or searching the web all overseas, find out how much it will cost to you. You might decide to add an international roaming plan or use video chat instead. Also, notify your bank and ask about surcharges for credit card purchases while abroad.
Third, learn the roads. Before you run a car, get familiar with the local driving conditions, laws, and customs. Country specific information can be found on the US State Department's international travel site.
Fourth, familiarize yourself with the destination's culture. Learn basic phrases like hello, yes, and no. Also, find out if there are any customs such as appropriate attire that might be different from your own culture.
Traveling internationally can seem overwhelming, but with a little planning, you'll be on your way.