A lot of countries will ask you to bring a picture from your passport when you apply for a visa. Based on the information you gathered while you were traveling, you might alter your itinerary and add one or two countries to your travel plans if you are taking a long trip across the globe. If you meet someone and start traveling with them, they might have a better plan than you do. In many countries, like Cambodia, you can get visas on demand more easily if you have photos of your passport. Another situation is when you enter a restricted tourist area that requires a pass. In many cases, they will request a photo of your passport for your application.
- International driver’s license: obtaining one costs only 15 dollars and takes only 10 minutes. It takes less than ten minutes from the time you walked in the door to the time we were back to get the IDP issued. All you have to do is go in, show them your valid US driver’s license, pay the money, and give them a passport photo. If you decide to rent a small motorcycle, having one can save you some trouble. In a lot of places, like Bali, they know that people will drive without them. This is a quick way for the police to get money from you, and it will cost you more in many cases than having an international driver’s license from IDA. Instead of taking a chance, put it on your to-do list before you leave and get legal.
- Calculator: If you don’t speak the language, you can find and buy almost anything with a calculator and some charades skills. They are referred to by the brand name Casio in some countries, but they are all well-versed in their uses and will be of great assistance to you. They are available here in Asia for approximately 2 USD dollars; use a calculator to determine the exact rate of exchange!
- Money belt: Wearing a money belt is a great safety precaution. Try not to be one of those insane individuals who go around with the belt in the open. Because you are telegraphing where your valuables are, you should only wear a money belt when you are somewhere that no one can see you wearing.
As a safety net, credit cards are excellent. Having a credit card will enable you to have immediate access to cash in the event of an emergency because many establishments will not accept foreign insurance and will only accept cash. Doctors and hospitals that do not accept foreign insurance frequently accept credit cards. Also, if you have insurance and you get into an accident and need to file a claim, you should make sure to get it translated before you leave the country. Most of the time, your insurance company won’t translate it, and if you go to a translator in the US or UK, you might have to pay more for the translation than the claim you’re submitting.