International Travel Mistakes

Avoid the travails of travel by becoming aware of these common mishaps.
2 min read
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Missing a flight. Ignoring local customs. Forgetting your passport. Chances are you've made at least one of these mistakes while traveling overseas. Put an end to the mishaps. Several travel organizations recently compiled a list of common slip-ups, along with ways to prevent them from happening:

1. Not showing up far enough in advance for your flight. An airline can deny you boarding access if you arrive less than 10 minutes before a domestic flight or less than half an hour before an international flight is scheduled to depart. Arrive at least one hour before your domestic flight, and two hours before for international, and plan for delays such as traffic jams.

2. Not learning local customs. Declining a cup of Turkish coffee in the Middle East or missing a business meeting by a few minutes in Central Europe can offend your host and ruin a potential deal. "Travelers shouldn't tell jokes in business situations," says Jennifer Demmert, a sales and marketing representative for Kroll Information Services. "It might not translate well, and the guest could end up offending [his or her host]."

3. Not getting your papers in order. Leaving your passport at home or failing to obtain the right visa or permit can stop a trip cold. And going home might be difficult if your passport expires while you're on a business trip. It can cause anything from a slight inconvenience to a major disaster. Another common problem: recently married women whose IDs still carry their maiden name.

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