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General

General travelling tips (mostly for the first timers - and we’ve all been there!). Very basic but often overlooked items.

Before leaving UK ensure you have all documentation required - visas, medical certificates, passports, etc.
It can be really embarrassing to arrive and be denied entry due to a missing document. Some, mostly Middle Eastern, countries require an exit visa to leave the country. It is often best to have this in your possession on arrival if possible.

In addition to your passport it can be useful to have a notarised copy of your birth certificate with you. Always take both parts of your UK driving licence even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

If there are any medicines you require (including those readily available over the counter in UK) take a good supply with you. Many medicines have different names in different countries and language barriers can make getting the correct medicines difficult. For the ladies - this includes oral contraceptives which can be difficult to obtain even in European countries. Ensure any medicines are legal in your destination country and always carry them in the original packaging.

Even if languages are not your strong point the ability to say “please”, “thank you” and “another beer” in the language of your destination goes a long way in international diplomacy.

On arrival in any country the main initial problem encountered is money. It doesn’t matter how much money you have in your bank account in UK if you can’t access cash in your new place of abode. Our own difficulty in this respect was caused when the links between the UK and Dutch banks went down for several days when we required withdraw cash from an autoteller to pay our rent at the B&B. Luckily, our landlady was most understanding. Cash is always preferred in most places - credit cards are not always accepted. The easiest solution in most countries is to open a bank account ASAP, not always possible, and transfer funds as required.

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Last modified: May 01, 2011