Many groups are eager to embark on the exciting journey of international travel, or are considering planning an overseas trip. To help make international travel with your student performance group a breeze, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

1. Passports

A valid passport is mandatory for international travel. Check the passport’s expiration date to ensure it has at least six months of validity remaining before the trip. Apply for passports well in advance to avoid the need for expedited service. Consider keeping photocopies of all passports and visas with you in case they get lost.

2. Visas

While a majority of popular student destinations don’t require visas for U.S. citizens, there may be exceptions. Check the visa requirements for your intended destination country. For countries that require visas, such as Brazil or China, work with the consulate or visa service to secure the necessary visas for your students before travel.

3. Currency

Exchanging currency can be a concern for international travelers. Consider providing your group with cash in the currency of the countries you’ll be visiting. Alternatively, recommend that students use a reloadable debit card. This way, students avoid carrying large amounts of cash and parents can reload the card from home.

4. Communication

Using cellular data overseas can be expensive. Advise students with smartphones to turn off data features to avoid unexpected charges. Most hotels offer free wireless internet, so utilize Skype or WhatsApp for communication. Skype-to-Skype calls are free, as is WhatsApp. Additionally, iPhone users can message other iPhones for free using the built-in iMessage feature while connected to Wi-Fi.

5. Electronics

Most countries use different socket types and voltages than North America, except for Japan. Rechargeable devices can accept up to 220 volts and only need a plug adapter. Items requiring an electrical connection will need a voltage converter in countries that use 220 volts. Remind students not to plug devices like hair dryers or straighteners from the U.S. into an outlet running 220 volts without a transformer. Hotels may provide a few voltage and plug adapters, but it’s best for students to have their own before leaving the country.

6. Medicine

Recognizable brands of basic medicines like Tums and Tylenol may be hard to find abroad. Pharmacies may not keep extended hours like in the U.S. Therefore, recommend that students pack some of these basic medications. On another note, It is a great Idea to check with the Embassy of the country you are visiting to see what they consider contraband when it comes to medications and prescriptions and the protocols on those. TSA.GOV is a great resource and is the constantly being updated.

We hope these tips make preparing for your international adventure as easy as possible. Remember, we are always available to answer any questions or to start planning your group’s international performance tour. Just contact us to get started!

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