The holidays are just around the corner. If you already have a clear destination and you are in the planning phase, we give you the keys to organize a trip abroad and make it a success. Documentation, health issues, budget, currency, types of luggage… More than four decades organizing routes for our travelers have provided us with great experience and knowledge that we share with you today. You will see that the details do matter.

If you are part of the club of travelers who begin to enjoy the route from the moment of its preparation, we congratulate you. Traveling is an infinite pleasure that becomes a way of life. Regardless of the destination, it is about squeezing the experience to the maximum. And to achieve this, especially when it comes to organizing a trip abroad, the preambles are important. Before leaving, it is always advisable to gather as much information as possible about the stay and, from here, get started to plan and resolve issues that will help you only have to worry about enjoying the trip.

Preparations to organize a trip abroad

1.- Consult the travel recommendations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Take some time to dive into this website to get a first approximation of the destination you want to travel to in the country files. Write down the location and telephone number of the Spanish embassies and consulates in the country. It is also advisable to collect data on local customs and legislation, since it can save you some trouble if it is not followed.

2.- Register of travelers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

It is a procedure that any traveler should carry out when organizing a trip abroad, whether traveling accompanied or alone. In the latter case, for greater security, it is convenient for family or friends to know the route, including the places of stay, the accommodation and the dates in each one of them.

3.- Health situation

To obtain information in relation to COVID-19 it is advisable to go to the website of the Ministry of Health. Although the restrictions due to the pandemic have been lifted in most countries, it is essential to know the health requirements that the destination country demands. You will save surprises that can tarnish your trip.

4.- Vaccines

The information on the vaccines required by each country can also be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Pay attention to the type of vaccine, the doses to be inoculated and the times. Sometimes you have to put them on well in advance. In fact, if you request it at the International Vaccination Center of your province, you must do so at least one month in advance.

5.- European health card

In the countries that are part of the European Economic Area and Switzerland, Spaniards who have this card can access public health under the same conditions as nationals of the country.

6.- Specific medication

In the event that you suffer from a chronic illness or have any allergies, do not forget to prepare the necessary medications for the duration of your trip. Especially if they need a prescription. You must keep them in hand luggage always inside their own container with visible labels. In addition, you must bring your doctor’s contact information, information about your treatment, details of your medication and the prescribed doses, preferably in English.

In general, it is advisable to prepare a first aid kit with analgesics, anti-inflammatories, antidiarrheals, antacids, mosquito repellent and material for small cures.

7.- Medical and travel insurance

A medical emergency is the last thing on our minds when we consider a trip. But it is a serious mistake not to have it foreseen, since the hospitalization and medical treatment expenses in most of the countries have to be assumed by the patient. If you do not have medical insurance that provides coverage abroad, it is essential to contract it or expand the one you already have to include full coverage in case of illness or accident during the trip and evacuation in a medicalized plane. It will seem like an exaggeration, but we recommend that you apply the saying, prevention is better.

Also check that it protects you in all the activities that you are going to carry out, for example, trekking, paragliding, scuba diving or activities such as driving nautical or snowmobiles, which may require specific coverage.

Regarding travel insurance, it is important that it cover missed flights or connections, as well as any family or work emergency that forces you to return early, lost luggage, any type of theft and civil liability.

8.- Passport and other documents

If you opt for a country of the European Union, it will be enough to have the ID in order, be careful because the children will also need it in the event that they participate in the adventure. However, the basic document to travel abroad is the passport, so you must make sure that it is valid and also that its validity is adequate to access the country of destination, many of them require at least six months. You must carry them in your hand luggage during the trip.

Do not forget to manage your international driving license if you consider the possibility of traveling by car during the holidays. Remember that you can request it online at the electronic headquarters of the General Directorate of Traffic and that in the destination country it will be essential to present it together with your Spanish driving license for it to be valid.

Also, sign up in very large letters to take a copy of all the relevant documents and, since it is not an effort, have them also in your email. You never know. If the originals are lost or stolen, the Embassy or Consulate may issue a travel document with limited validity.

9.- Visa

Many countries do not allow entry without a visa. To achieve this, contact the Consulate or Consular Section of the Embassy of the country accredited in Spain. Attention because it is a procedure whose concession term is established by each country, so it is one of the first steps to be taken. It may be the case that additional documentation is required.

10.- Means of payment

In addition to the budget that you plan to spend, you must always have a reserve to deal with possible unforeseen events. From our experience, when organizing a trip abroad, it is preferable to combine different payment methods: one part in cash and the other in credit cards. Of course, you have to make sure that they accept the type of card you use and ask your bank for the commissions that they will charge you for its use.

11.- Currency exchange

Check if the destination currency is convertible, that is, if you can obtain it anywhere in the world and it is accepted as a means of payment everywhere. If this is not the case, you will not be able to acquire it before leaving, since it can only be used within your country. Therefore, you will not be able to change the tickets that you have not used when you return. In this group is the Moroccan dirham, the Cuban peso, the Indian rupee, the Armenian dram or the Georgian lari.

If you need to change currency, do it through official channels: exchange offices, banks, hotels… and always keep your receipts. The airport is another possibility but a higher commission is usually paid.

12.- Suitcases

It is an element that is not always given due attention and, nevertheless, it can greatly condition your trip. When organizing a trip abroad, we always recommend having a larger suitcase to check in and a flexible bag, backpack type, as hand luggage. Consult the sizes and requirements of the main airlines.

13.- Type of plugs at the destination

Check the type of plug they use so as not to get scared when you see that you cannot charge the different devices that you will take on the trip. If they do not match the one used in Spain, take an adapter.

14.- Book a visit to special places

Some monuments, natural parks, exhibitions, concerts… require a prior reservation in advance. Take the precaution of consulting it before taking a great disappointment when you reach your destination.

Without haste, but without pause, begin to enjoy taking care of the organization of your trip abroad. Perhaps, during the process, you find that we have missed some detail, so we will appreciate it if you write to us to comment on it.

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