E-1-6-International Travel

About International Travel

The best source of information about international travel is the U.S. Department of State travel web site, where you can use the drop-down menu to learn about each country you will be visiting or passing through. You should also review the embassy website for each foreign country you will be traveling in or through. The following third party web site also offers some good information and tips: http://www.tripresource.com/beforeyougo.htm

For your convenience, we also offer the following summary information, additional resources and helpful links.*

Entry Requirements: Every foreign country has specific entry requirements. Entry is generally a two step process: one called immigration and involving proof of identity and obtaining a visa (basically, an official permission slip to be in the country), and the other called customs, which confirms that you are not bringing anything into that country that it considers illegal or taxable. (Remember, the U.S. has similar laws when returning home.)

Immigration: To understand a country's immigration entry requirements, you should first start on the U.S. Department of State travel web site. You should also review the country's embassy web site, as it is that country's law that governs entry into that country. A list of embassy web sites can be found here. You will typically need a U.S. passport (with an expiration date at least 6 months from your return date) and possibly a travel visa (which is "recommended" to be obtained in advance, though often is available at the airport upon arrival, particularly in the Caribbean).

Customs: Countries can be very strict on what they allow to be brought into their borders. You should consult both the U.S. Department of State web site as well as the destination country's embassy web site for details. Click here for a list of foreign embassies. The simplest advice is to travel light and without plant or animal products, and to buy little or nothing other than basic souvenirs that you want to take home with you.

Immunizations and Other Health Matters: Travel to foreign countries, particularly developing ones, may expose you to various diseases, insects and other harmful things not found in the U.S. It is important for you and your doctor to understand the medical risks associated with any countries you will be visiting or passing through, and prepare accordingly. Specific immunizations/vaccinations may even be required for entry. Important Travelers Health information can be found on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site. Any requirements or recommendations should be tended to at least 4-6 weeks in advance of trip departure. Also note that it should be assumed that tap water is not drinkable; you should avoid swimming in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams; and you should avoid handling animals. As a precaution, you may want to take along over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication and anti-itch medication, such as Benadryl.

Register Your Trip with the USDOS: We recommend that you register your trip with the U.S. Department of State through its "Smart Traveler Enrollment Program" so that you can be more easily reached in the event of an emergency.

Review U.S. Government Travel Security Alerts & Warnings: As you prepare to depart, you should check for any travel alerts or travel warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State for the countries you are visiting or passing through on your trip.

*The above information is believed to be reliable as of 9/19/2013, but is provided for informational purposes only and in no way constitutes an endorsement or guarantee, expressed or implied, by Purpose Bound, Inc. or any other affiliated entity or person. Travel requirements information is valid for U.S. resident citizens only; others should contact their country of residency/citizenship.