International Travel

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Travel to other countries is a very broadening experience.

Here are some lines to take up room on the screen:

Of course, the first thing you need to do before traveling overseas is to get a passport.

Getting a Passport

The most important thing to remember when getting a passport is to start early. If you apply for a passport a week before your trip, you may as well forget about getting on the airplane.

You will probably have to get a specific type and size of photograph; most camera stores have the facility to do this cheaply.

In addition to a general passport, you may need to apply for a visa to gain entrance to a particular country. Some countries don't require a visa if you stay less than 15 days; others require only a tourist visa for visitors, rather than the business visa for people transacting business in a country.

If you plan to work in a foreign country, you must get a work permit. Check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your destination country well before you leave.

Packing Made Easy

Rule number one: pack light. Nothing will ruin an international trip worse than having to lug around two metric tonnes of clothing and gadgets.

Unless you are going to a truly primitive area, you are not leaving civilization, and will be able to find most of the things you need in your destination country.

Take two pairs of shoes: one for formal occasions, one for walking around. At a stretch you might need three pairs; taking more than six pairs of shoes is wretched excess.

It's definitely worth taking a power kit so that you can plug in your electric shaver or hair dryer.

Most of the world is on either 110 or 220 volts. If you plug a 220 volt device into a 110 volt outlet, it just won't work. If you plug a 110 volt device into a 220 volt outlet, be prepared to see lots of sparks and smell burning wires.

You will need both a transformer to step the voltage up or down to the proper level, as well as a plug adapter to fit your plug to the outlet in your destination country.

This can be problematic in Europe, as the configuration of grounded outlets is not standardized.

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