You booked your next international trip! Exciting!
But no matter how experienced a traveler you may be, there are a few unexpected costs of traveling abroad that you will want to consider when planning your next trip. These unexpected expenses add up quickly and can sabotage your travel budget if you’re not prepared.
Here are some unexpected travel expenses to factor into your next international vacation budget:
Is your passport up for renewal or significantly damaged? New and renewal passports for adults costs $110 and a new passport for children costs $80. If you need your passports expedited this service incurs an additional $60 fee.
If you assume you won’t need a passport make sure to double check. Several adjustments have been made in recent years and passports are now required for destinations that did not previously require them.
When I traveled to Africa the visa cost $60 per person. Once you add the photos required, that Visa cost us $70. You will also want to consider time off and possible postage fees that might be associated with getting a visa. Upon booking your trip, research the country you are visiting and check their visa requirements and time frame. The last thing you want is to face a significant time crunch and possible cancellation of your trip because you did not secure your visa in time.
Vaccination and Medications
Some countries require proof of a certain vaccinations before they will grant you a visa. For example when I traveled to Ghana I had to provide proof of a Yellow Fever vaccine before the visa would be granted. Sounds simple,
In my case the Yellow fever vaccine expense was $125 and additional vaccinations cost me $240. That is for one person! Imagine if you are traveling with a family, these costs can really add up.
Malaria pills were also strongly recommended for several international destinations. Some insurance companies will cover this prescription however, if insured the pills can cost you upwards of $100.
If you love gadgets, it is likely you’ll want to use them on your trip. It’s easy to forget that voltage systems differ by country and you’ll probably need power converters during your trip. They can run as much as $15-30 per unit. The great thing is once you’ve purchased it you can use them for future trips.
Don’t forget to turn off cellular service to your phone. If you have an iPhone you can enable wi-fi to avoid roaming charges and use your phone over a wi-fi network. Also look into apps that allow you to remain connected during your trip using a wi-fi connection such as WhatsApp and MagicJack. If your phone is unlocked, you can purchase a local SIM card for cellular use. T-mobile offers free data in over 140 countries around the world. Contact your cellular provider to see how you can use your cellular abroad for free.
Foreign Transaction Fees
It’s hard to determine how much you will spend on foreign transaction fees, but there are things you can do to avoid this surcharge. Research your credit card terms ahead of time and make sure you take credit cards that do not charge foreign transactions fees. Most credit cards are waiving these fees, but it’s better to be on the safe side. Another way to avoid this fee is to use cash only. You may also exchange currency at your banks. Most banks will provide you with foreign currency at your request. Contact your bank to find out how you can order the currency of the country(-ies) you plan to visit. Be mindful of the delivery fees.
Note: Don’t forget to notify your bank and card companies that you will be traveling abroad. Nothing like trying to find a phone connection abroad to call your bank after your card has been frozen.