Tips for Honeymooning Abroad
There’s hardly a more thrilling beginning to a honeymoon than hopping on a plane bound for an exotic paradise overseas. But if you’re honeymooning abroad, observe these traveler safety tips and practical advice to help your trip run smoothly.
Applying for a U.S. Passport
Any travel outside Hawaii, Alaska, or the 48 continental United States requires a passport. If you’ve already got a valid passport, you’re all set. If you haven’t yet got a passport, you’ll need to follow the instructions at the U.S. State Department’s website to apply. Start applying at least 6 weeks before your honeymoon, preferably 8 or more.
Brides who are taking their husband’s last name should travel under their maiden name for their honeymoon. Since you’ll be booking your airline tickets and getting your passport before your name has legally changed (as located on your Social Security card,) you will need to go under your maiden name. Whatever you do, make sure that the last names on your passport and your airline ticket match – or you won’t be allowed on the plane.
Travelers Checks, Credit Cards, and Cash
Travelers Checks used to be the most preferred way to carry money overseas. In today’s economy there are more options and dangers. Travelers Checks are more secure than cash, you can call and cancel them if stolen or lost. Travelers Checks are accepted at the same rate of exchange as cash and change is returned in the local currency, expect to pay a conversion fee up to 5%. If you choose to use Travelers Checks shop around, your bank and credit companies will offer Checks at different rates.
When traveling abroad it is a good idea to have about 24 hours worth of local currency on hand. This will be useful if you arrive at your destination and you need money for a meal, taxi or to tip. You can usually get foreign currency from your bank, or they will at least be able to help you find another lender that can assist you.
If you plan on using your debit card or credit card call your bank or lender before your trip and make them aware of your travel plans. There is nothing worse than having your account frozen due to suspected fraud. Make sure that the cards you plan on using will work in the country(s) that you plan to visit. Many European, Asian and South American countries require cards to have a special chip embedded to reduce fraud. Most American cards do not have this feature. Also check on what the conversion rates and fees will be with every card that you plan on using so there are no surprises.
Staying Healthy While Honeymooning Abroad
When was your last tetanus booster? Have you been vaccinated for Hepatitis A or yellow fever? Get up to date on your immunizations at least 4 weeks before you honeymoon abroad.
Check the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) for a list of what immunizations and vaccinations are required for entering each country.
Go to http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.aspx and click on the country in question. Then click on the blue “i” from that country and scroll down for all the information on health related issues you’ll need to know.
When visiting foreign countries, particularly less-developed ones with fewer sanitation standards than the U.S., be careful about anything you eat or drink. Avoid food or drink from street markets, as well as tap water.
Personal Safety on an Overseas Honeymoon
Though it may seem fun and romantic to stray from the touristy areas, don’t do it. Non-tourist areas can quickly become very dangerous places for foreigners. Aside from sticking to populated, well-lit areas, protect yourself from pickpockets and muggings with these tips:
• Don’t wear valuable jewelry or carry expensive cell phones or other electronics
• Avoid looking like a tourist: know where you are going and don’t stop to study a big map on the street
• Keep money and other valuables in a zippered pocket or purse at all times
• Put the shoulder strap of your purse or bag across your body, not hanging off your shoulder
• Never leave luggage, cameras, or bags unattended – anything not attached to you may quickly disappear
• Remove all unnecessary items from your wallet or purse before your honeymoon in case of theft
• Don’t carry all of your money in one place
• Keep copies of your credit cards, travelers checks, driver’s license, and passport in the safe in your hotel room in case your wallet is stolen
Know How to Contact the U.S. Consulate
In case of serious legal, medical, or financial trouble, the U.S. Consulate is there to help Americans traveling overseas. Carry their phone number with you, and have your passport handy to prove your U.S. citizenship to them in case of an emergency.
Give Family Members Your Itinerary
Having to tell your parents where you are and when you’ll be home might make your honeymoon sound like a high school date, but it’s in your best interest. Be safe and make someone at home aware of your itinerary. Travelers abroad can even register their trips for free with the U.S. State Department to expedite the process.
Choose Your Overseas Honeymoon Destination Wisely
Don’t travel to areas that could be potentially dangerous for you. Places with extreme political unrest, or a general hatred for foreigners and/or Americans are not safe places to go. Check with the U.S. State Department for more information on safe and unsafe countries for your honeymoon.
Driving on Your Honeymoon in Another Country
If you plan to drive on your honeymoon abroad, you’ll need to contact the embassy of that country and ask what the requirements are about driver’s licenses and insurance coverage.
Know the local traffic laws (they are different in every country) and familiarize yourself with the metric system if necessary (i.e.: speed limits may be posted in kilometers per hour instead of miles.)
With these common sense safety tips and practical helps for getting your passport or U.S. aid in an emergency, you’re ready for your overseas honeymoon. Get packing and don’t forget to enjoy yourself!
♥ Jenny Evans
Exclusively for WeddingLDS.com
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