Before You Go...

Don’t Overpack
A challenge even for some experienced travelers! Wash or dry clean some clothes during your travel. Hotels and villas we choose offer laundry and dry cleaning services. They also provide hair dryers. Toiletries and cosmetics can also be purchased at your destinations.

Pack one outfit in each other’s luggage, just in case your suitcase is delayed.

I usually have copies of the credit cards I may use, my passport and license packed deep in my suitcase, just in case they should become lost or stolen. Scan a color copy of your passport and credit cards and email it to yourself.  That way if you should lose everything, all you need to do is access your email account and print out new copies.

Your Credit and Other Bank Cards Abroad
Before your departure, it is very important you inform your banks of your travel plans to ensure that your bank, ATM, credit and debit cards will work and continue to work while you are abroad. The banks have automated security measures in place that flag transactions outside your normal spending patterns. Failure to do so may result in a temporary freeze being placed on your account.

ATM’s have some of the best exchange rates. Have some money in cash to exchange at the airport so you have spending money when you arrive.

Leave your cash at home! Throughout Europe, cash machines are the standard way for travelers to change money, and credit cards are also widely accepted.

Pre-existing medical conditions
“A traveler going abroad with any preexisting medical problems should carry a letter from the attending physician, describing the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of prescribed drugs. Any medications being carried overseas should be left in their original containers and be clearly labeled. Travelers should check with the foreign embassy of the country they are visiting to make sure any required medications are not considered to be illegal narcotics.”
– U S Department of State

Your Health Insurance Coverage Abroad
“Before going abroad, learn what medical services your health insurance will cover overseas. If your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the United States, REMEMBER to carry both your insurance policy identity card as proof of such insurance and a claim form. Although many health insurance companies will pay ‘customary and reasonable" hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States. Medical evacuation can easily cost $10,000 and up, depending on your location and medical condition… The Social Security Medicare program does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the US".
– U S Department of State

A listing of addresses and telephone numbers of U.S. embassies and consulates abroad can be found in U S Department of State,, under Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts. Go to International Travel section where you can review Travel Warnings and Tips for Traveling Abroad.