6 Steps to Take When Planning International Travel

Jan 18, 2024 3 min read

Planning for a vacation overseas is an exciting endeavor but can feel overwhelming at times. You may be wondering how to plan an international trip or where to even begin. Rest assured; we’ve got you covered. Check out these helpful tips to get you started on your next adventure. 

How to Plan for a Trip Abroad

There are many aspects of a trip to consider — where you’re staying, how you’re getting there, how much you want to spend and more. Here are six areas to think about when planning your trip abroad.   

  1. Research the Destination and Create a Budget

The first step to planning your trip is deciding where you want to go! Do you want to lay on a sandy beach, hike through mountains or enjoy the countryside? The destinations are practically endless. Once you’ve determined where you want to go, you can plan the length of the trip and start saving for it by creating a budget. Depending on your destination and trip length, it is a good idea to start planning your travel six months to one year in advance. Researching travel blogs for the location you’ve picked can help you determine where you want to stay, what you want to see and how much it could cost you. These bloggers typically go into great detail about estimated costs, what to expect and sometimes provide lesser-known budget travel tips. 

  1. Understand the Entry Requirements

Depending on where you intend to travel, it may require a passport or specific visa requirements. If you don’t have a passport or are due for a passport renewal, you’ll want to take care of that well in advance. According to the U.S. Department of State, the current processing time for a passport is 8-11 weeks. The cost to obtain or renew your passport is $130. Additionally, you’ll want to check if the country you’re visiting has a particular visa requirement well in advance of your trip. Some countries require proof of immunization for entry, and certain vaccine appointments can take months to book. If you’re flying to reach your destination, consider applying for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry to use while you’re state-side. These government programs may save you time while traveling. 

  1. Book Flights and Accommodations

Once you’ve decided where you want to go, it’s time to look at flights and book accommodations for your trip. When booking flights and looking for ways to save money, consider checking the Google Flights results to your destination for a variety of airline options and deals. Your airfare will be cheaper if you book far in advance. Additionally, there are ways you can find deals on vacation rentals. Whether you want to stay at an all-inclusive resort or in a rental home, there are websites available to help you book your stay. Plus, if you use a travel credit card to pay for your expenses, you may be able to earn reward points. 

  1. Plan for Cell Phone Coverage

If you’re planning to use your cell phone while on your trip, be sure to check with your provider that you have an international phone plan. If you don’t want to upgrade your plan, you can purchase a SIM card to use in your phone during your trip. These can be purchased at many common retailers and are typically more affordable than upgrading your phone plan. 

  1. Consider Home Security

Before you head out of town, consider preparing your house for vacation. Keeping your home and possessions safe while you’re enjoying time away is important. Investing in home security measures such as an alarm system, security cameras, automatic or lights on timers can all help keep ill-intended individuals away from your home.  

  1. Understand How Insurance Covers You Overseas

One last area to consider before you leave the country is understanding how different insurance works while you’re traveling. Travel insurance, health insurance and whether or not you’re insured while abroad are all great questions to ask. The good news is most homeowners and renters policies cover you even when you’re not at home. If you lose your luggage or your jewelry is stolen, the coverages you have in place in the United States will typically apply overseas. As always, check with your agent — if the item isn’t covered before you leave the country, you might be out of luck!

Rest Assured, We’ve Got You Covered

Even while you’re away, you can relax knowing that if the unexpected happens, your Farm Bureau agent will be there to help. Set up a meeting today to ensure you’ve got all your questions answered and that the items that matter most are covered. 

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.