A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


Several things to consider when traveling outside of the US

Pack your bags and check them twice
Ehvan Fennell
Cover photo collage created by Canva

The thought of traveling to a nearby state or a distant country could be challenging and sometimes scary to the inexperienced. However, travelers could learn a lot by experiencing the food, people, history and culture that differs from their own. But where to start?
The extensive list below will help you prepare for such a trip to be more safe, informed and enjoy your experience.
All of this could be very exciting but there are still so many questions in the air that need answers before embarking on an international journey.
Six months is ample time to receive everything needed for the trip and to answer those unsolved questions. Any time used to research is time well spent.
Being extensively informed on this list below is great preparation and heavily encouraged to increase the trip’s percentage of being a safe, informative and joyous experience for everyone involved.


Apply, renew or replace a passport


Kiss international travel goodbye if you don’t have a passport.
A passport is a legal document usually issued by national governments that proves the identity and citizenship of the passport holder and allows the holder to travel internationally to and from foreign countries.
A passport typically includes a person’s full name, photograph, place and date of birth, signature and the passport’s expiration date. Ensure your passport’s expiration date is at least 2 weeks longer than the intended travel date, in case of any unlikely mishaps that would cause a longer stay than the intended departure date.
Travelers could expect to wait approximately 10 weeks to receive their document from the national government after applying for a first time passport, renewing an old passport’s expiration or adding pages or replacing a lost passport.
Both the country you are born in and the country you are traveling to need to approve this document. Give plenty of time to receive it and keep it in a memorable and secure location as you travel with it.


Do the research


Sticking out like a tourist’s sore thumb is inevitable no matter how extensive the research is.

But a prepared traveler has a better chance of a more fulfilling experience than an unprepared traveler. Unless you are willing to take huge risks in foreign territory that could cause harm or prosecution, serious planning needs to occur in order to be prepared.

As mentioned above, any time used to research the following is time well spent:

-Price of plane tickets

-Hotels or Airbnbs

-Weather conditions

-Appropriate clothing

-Travel vaccinations (if applicable)

-Time zone changes

-International data plan for phones

-Local currency

-Set a budget

-Tipping culture or standards

-Special events or holidays

-Laws or rules

-Brief history of the country’s people and culture

-Street etiquette

-(Don’t forget your passport!!!)

Try to learn basic phrases for saying “Hello” and “Thank you”, how to ask for the check and how to ask where the bathroom is to relieve some anxiety or tension in conversation.

Save important travel information like boarding passes, hotel and accommodation bookings by having a physical copy or downloading info on a phone for seamless offline access.


Preparing residence for departure


Preparing a trusted friend or family member to take care of the residence while gone can help reassure that everything back home is safe and awaiting your arrival. Leave clear instructions on any housekeeping that needs doing while away; feeding pets, receiving mail and even keeping a copy of passport information and other important details of the trip.
Luckily I had the opportunity this summer to vacation across the globe with my parents on a 3 week journey through 3 different continents: Africa, Europe and I’m counting North America because my flight’s layover was 4 hours away in Atlanta.
My excitement was instantly shrouded with questions and fears of the unknown.
But if you do the research on your destination, prepare the residence for departure, do not forget the passport and try to experience something new with an open mind, you might start or re-ignite a passion for traveling.
Pack the bags and check them twice because you are on your way toward traveling on a new adventure abroad.

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About the Contributor
Ehvan Fennell
Ehvan Fennell, Staff Reporter
Ehvan Fennell is a Staff Reporter for SAC Media. As an aspiring Black journalist, Ehvan Fennell’s reason for writing is to inspire change through every medium, with a current interest in short-form videos and cultural feature stories. He has been with SAC Media for over a year as features editor and is now a senior writer on staff. His dream is to read a teleprompter for the rest of his life.

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    Anita SmithOct 4, 2023 at 8:50 am

    Excellent tips! Sounds like an adventure of a life time!