Will I need a passport while traveling internationally?
Yes, you will need a passport to travel internationally. If there are domestic flights in-country in your itinerary, we will need copies of your passports to submit to the airlines. Otherwise, we will request the name listed on your passport, passport number, and expiration date. Please keep in mind that your passport must be valid for at least six months from your date of entry.
What is a visa and will I need to get one?
A visa is an official document granted by a foreign country, giving you permission to enter that country for a specified period of time. All countries have different rules on visas. Some countries require you to purchase your visa online ahead of time while some countries allow you to pay for your visa upon arrival at the airport. Other countries don’t require a visa at all. Visa regulations change frequently so you’ll want to do your research on whether you’ll need one or not. Go directly to the embassy website of the country you are planning to visit for the most up-to-date information, plus a phone number you can call for more information.
US citizens can also check the Bureau of Consular Affairs for detailed travel advice on every country.
Do I need special vaccinations to travel out of my country?
The vaccinations you may need to travel abroad depend on several things including: where you’re traveling, your activities while traveling, the state of your health and your vaccination history. We recommend that you see your healthcare professional or a travel clinic at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to get up to date on any vaccines you need before you travel. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information.
Do I need local currency?
You can Google the local currency of the country you’re traveling to before you go. We do recommend getting some cash in the local currency which you will need to tip your guides/drivers, pay for items not included in your trip and/or shop at the small shops or local markets. You may exchange your US dollars at a bank or in some instances at your hotel. ATMs are usually common in the major towns along your route.
Ensure your bank knows of your upcoming travels before you leave the country so your account doesn’t get frozen due to questionable activity. Also, educate yourself on your bank cards before you travel so you know you’ll be charged reasonable fees when you use your card in a foreign country.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, you do not need to speak the language of the country you’re traveling to if you book an Austin Adventures vacation. Your guide is bilingual, speaking both English and the language(s) of the country you’re visiting. Your guide can communicate with and for you. That being said, it certainly doesn’t hurt to learn a few words or phrases of the country’s language with the very least being please and thank you!
How safe is it to travel internationally?
When traveling with a tour operator, our main priority regardless of the destination you travel to is your safety. There is no 100% guarantee that you will be completely free from safety risks when you travel internationally (or anywhere for that matter!) but we will do everything we can while you’re on tour to minimize risks.
While traveling internationally, you can take preventative steps to keep yourself safe, like gaining knowledge about your destination before you travel, learning about local customs and some key phrases in the local language, and not taking risks you wouldn’t be comfortable taking at home. Trust your instincts – if a situation doesn’t seem right to you, it probably isn’t.
Is the food and water safe to eat or drink?
Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you’re thoroughly fed and have plenty to drink on your vacation. That being said, some countries recommend the use of bottled water in remote areas, even for chores like brushing your teeth. Do not use ice anywhere you wouldn’t drink the water. Food is usually safe in all of the hotels that cater to international travelers. If you are eating in smaller “street restaurants” there is less certainty about the food quality.
Avoid eating uncooked portions such as salads, fruits and vegetables unless you know they’ve been washed thoroughly (with clean water) beforehand. Make sure all meat is completely cooked through and steaming hot when served to you. We of course encourage you to try new things while you’re on vacation, just be mindful of what you eat and drink.