International Travel Mistakes Avoid the travails of travel by becoming aware of these common mishaps.

Missing a flight. Ignoring local customs. Forgetting yourpassport. Chances are you've made at least one of thesemistakes while traveling overseas. Put an end to the mishaps.Several travel organizations recently compiled a list of commonslip-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 10minutes before a domestic flight or less than half an hour beforean international flight is scheduled to depart. Arrive at least onehour before your domestic flight, and two hours before forinternational, and plan for delays such as traffic jams.

2. Not learning local customs. Declining a cup of Turkishcoffee in the Middle East or missing a business meeting by a fewminutes in Central Europe can offend your host and ruin a potentialdeal. "Travelers shouldn't tell jokes in businesssituations," says Jennifer Demmert, a sales and marketingrepresentative for Kroll Information Services. "It might nottranslate well, and the guest could end up offending [his or herhost]."

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

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