International Travel Tips
FAQs and Tips for International Travel
- What are my baggage allowances? Please check your airline, as budget airlines have very different rules than airlines such as Delta, American and United. Generally you’re allowed a carryon totaling no more than 45” (length x width x height) and one personal item such as a purse, backpack or laptop case in the cabin. Checked luggage is usually one piece per person, weighing no more than 50 pounds. But I must stress, please check your airline’s website!
- Will I get a meal during my flight? And can I request vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Yes, most likely on the long haul flights. The code for vegan meal is VGML. On the airline’s website it may be called Strict Vegetarian or even Vegetarian. A vegetarian meal might be called Ovo Lacto Vegetarian. If you’re flying a budget airline overseas, you’ll have to order and pay for your meal ahead of time.
- What are the liquid limitations for carry on? You can bring a quart sized bag with containers for liquid, gels and aerosols through security. Containers cannot be larger than 3.4 oz each. You can find more info on the TSA website at: TSA.GOV
- Do I need an outlet converter? If your appliances are dual voltage, you do not need a converter. You will however need an outlet adapter. They can easily be found at stores such as Target or on Amazon. Before purchasing, think about how many gadgets you’ll need to charge, and consider buying an adapter with multiple outlets. Mine has both Type A outlets and USB ones—super convenient. That device then plugs into a very small adapter plug for whichever country I’m in, that goes into the wall.
- Should I check in online? Yes, it’s best to use online check in, which is usually available to you 24 hours before your flight. Often the airline sends you a reminder email, but many times they don’t, so make a calendar note to do this. If you’re not checking bags, after checking in online you can proceed directly to your gate after going through security. If you have a bag to check, you’ll need to wait in line at the airline counter. You will need to enter your passport number and expiration date when checking in online.
- Where do I exchange money? The most favorable exchange rate is to wait until you’re in your arrival country, and use an ATM. Do not use a small free-standing ATM (the kind that you find in 7/11 and event spaces in the US). Use one with the name of a bank connected to it. You should be able to find one at the airport. Be sure to let your bank and credit card companies know that you’ll be traveling internationally. It’s a good idea to have two cards with you, in case you lose one or the ATM malfunctions. European countries vary dramatically in terms of credit card acceptance. (Accepted everywhere in France, even to buy crepes on the street, but not nearly as widely in Germany.)
Take a photo of your passport photo page, as well as the front and back of your credit card (with the phone number readable) in case any of these important items are lost or stolen. Either place a paper copy in your luggage, store the photo in your phone or in Google documents, or email it to yourself (that might not be a secure option, though).
Suggested items to pack, even if you’re traveling light:
A plastic bag for wet or dirty items
Reusable water bottle (mine has a portable filter in it)
Vegan snacks such as Larabars or nuts
A foldable tote bag (in which you place any items you’ll be using on the plane for easy reach)
Locks for your suitcase (in case you need to store it in an attended left luggage place)
Mobile Passport — helps get you through customs quicker
xe Currency Converter – load up your country currencies for ease on the go
Rome2Rio — will give you directions to get from point a to b on buses, taxi, train, ferry.
Whatsapp — WiFi texting to keep in contact with family and friends
Happy Cow — to find vegan food everywhere
Vanilla Bean — to find restaurants with at least one vegan option
AirVegan — to find vegan food at the airport
Vegan Passport – to translate vegan food to wait staff when there’s a language barrier