So you’ve decided that your next dive trip is going to go well outside your comfort zone, and take place in some beautiful and tropical corner of the world.
Considering the number of scuba sites that are located in pristine and travel-worthy destinations, this isn’t a bad idea – world travel and scuba diving tend to go hand-in-hand, after all.
But are you ready to venture to a foreign country? With language barriers, currency considerations, and packing, there can be a lot of questions that arise well before your trip even begins.
Not sure where to start? Then consider these FAQs of traveling to a foreign country, and make sure that regardless of your destination, you’re fully prepared to simply relax and have a blast.
If you’re traveling out of the country, odds are, you’ll need to exchange your cash into your destination’s currency. Skip the currency exchange kiosks at the airport or around town, which can have some of the highest rates. Using local ATMs is often one of the simplest and cheapest way to get money in local currencies. Just check with your bank first to find out about fees. Fodors wrote an article about exchanging money abroad with more tips.
Usually. You’ll want to call your credit card company anyway and let them know when and where you’re traveling. While you’re on the phone, ask about using your card where you’re going. Many major credit card companies can be used in other countries and are a safe way to make large purchases. However, remember many small, local businesses such as restaurants might not take credit cards in really remote areas.
Maybe. Many providers allow you to upgrade to an international plan for a month, which can save you some hassle if you’re traveling somewhere that they offer plans.
However, there is a chance you’ll need a special SIM card or to enable Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) to make your phone compatible. Call your wireless provider and ask before your trip. Some liveaboards or vacation rentals may have an onsite smart phone that you can use, so ask before you go.
Out of everything you’re packing, your passport is probably the most important item you’re bringing along – and it’s the one thing that you can’t afford to lose while you’re in a different country. Make copies of it (and credit cards, drivers license, etc.) and email them to yourself so you can access them from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Lock your passport in your hotel safe if it has one or sometimes the front desk will have a safe. If not, you can a buy portable safe that can be locked to something in your room. You can also wear a waterproof pack and keep your passport, credit cards, etc. on you. Check out our selection of dry bags!
Yep. Make sure you have all medications that you’ll need, even OTC ones since they might not be available where you’re going. Pick up a pocket language translation book so you can look up helpful phrases. An electrical outlet converter might come in handy too so you can plug in any items you might need during your trip, from phone chargers to hair dryers.
Do your research. Review local diving accommodations, check out the transportation options, see what neighborhoods are safe and which aren’t for tourists, and essentially be as prepared as possible. A little knowledge will go a long way toward feeling comfortable throughout your trip, and let you concentrate on what you came to do – dive!
Check out our travel section where we cover dive destinations from every corner of the globe!
Any travel tips you want to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image attributions: https://www.flickr.com/photos/seanhobson/