Traveling internationally is an event to enjoy, whether your travel is for business or pleasure. The trick to avoiding travel-related anxiety (and legitimate travel nightmares!) is to know what to expect and to prepare accordingly. Fortunately, there are a plethora of resources out there with a wealth of information on the various countries around the globe. This makes gathering the data you need a snap, preparation a breeze, and before you know it, you’re cruising down the runway headed to an exciting destination. Here are a few tips to make this scenario a reality before you jet off to your next deposition overseas.
Safety First – Here are a few precautions anyone traveling internationally should take, just in case.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Plan. This service (STEP) is free, and simply logs your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate. It takes next to no time to register and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to find you in the event of an emergency. You can also receive alerts on your phone once registered.
- Check out the area. The State Department provides a thorough overview regarding security for each country. They also include common sense tips for avoiding troublesome scenarios while abroad.
- Ask around for insights. Has a colleague or your cousin been to your destination before? See if they have any tips for you. Waaay back in 2002, my sisters warned me to avoid the metro while in Rome. We walked everywhere. Made for a better trip, and we avoided very skilled pickpockets!
- The State Department does regularly update their travel advisory page as well, just FYI.
Practical/Itinerary Considerations – Unexpected snafus can mean no travel for you, so do run through this checklist.
- Check your passport! Always make sure you have at least six months’ validity on your passport from your planned return date. Also make sure you have the necessary number of blank pages for entry/exit stamps.
- Check (and double-check) visa requirements. If a visa is required for your destination, check processing times and follow instructions carefully.
- Double-check any additional travel requirements.
The first three tips can be taken care of on the State Department website.
- Review recommended health precautions, required vaccinations and the like. The CDC is very useful for this.
- Let your bank and credit card company know you will be traveling and to expect to see transactions abroad, so they don’t send up the alarm and block the charge when you try to pay for dinner in Hsinchu or buy souvenirs in Amsterdam.
- Check the weather! Pack accordingly! Also pack duplicates of all your travel documents, and keep separate from originals, in case of emergency.
- Consider creating a Trusted Traveler Programs account to apply for Global Entry. This can greatly expedite security and customs!
- Download handy apps for your destination country, like maps or currency converters.
- Activate your phone’s global capabilities.
Make the Flight a Breeze – Flying can be stressful, and travel is draining in general. Here are some ideas to take off the edge a bit.
- Arrive at least two hours before departure time for your international flight. There is nothing worse than arriving in the nick of time to reach the gate and seeing that long security line. Don’t do that to yourself. Be prompt!
- Be prepared for waiting, possible extended layovers, etc. In other words, make sure when you book your flight, you allow time to not only recover from jet lag, but for unforeseen flight delays. Worst (best?) case scenario, caution means you have an extra day for sleep or to explore a new country!
- Be prepared for long, boring flights (and waiting around in airports)! If you can’t sleep on a plane, have case materials handy to do some extra prep. Better yet, read! Bring a favorite novel, or a fun, humorous travel guide about your destination. Also bring headphones in case you are seated next to a Chatty Cathy.
Arrive and Enjoy! Get the most out of whatever free time you may have on your trip.
- Ask the court reporting team what you absolutely MUST see while you are there.
- Ask them for the name of the one restaurant you can’t afford to miss while you are there.
- Don’t be afraid to try crazy local dishes! Barring any food allergies or other dietary restrictions, now is the time to be daring and sample some things you wouldn’t normally eat.
Planet Depos has been covering depositions all over the world for well over a decade. With reporters, videographers, and interpreters living in various parts of the world, they can not only provide coverage for depositions anywhere, but also useful tips and information about your destination. For more information on international depositions or to schedule, contact Planet Depos International Scheduling at 888.433.3767 or fill out our easy online scheduling form.
By Suzanne Quinson