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Five things to do before you travel abroad

Last updated on: June 3, 2011 14:14 IST

Any plans to go abroad either for a job/business or leisure, brings in a sense of euphoria for everyone. However there are few things that must on your checklist to safeguard your interests. These include:

1. Insurance

Foreign travel insurance is an absolute must for most travellers abroad. This is not applicable for those who are going to work abroad.

The travel insurance can be taken for various periods starting from one week going up to 6 months. There are different fixed slabs in between. Some companies offer insurance for the exact period of travel, too.

Students going abroad for studies can take up a special plan, which is available with almost all companies where the general rule of 6 months is not applicable. Student's foreign travel insurance offers insurance for 1 year extendable by one more year.


Five things to do before you travel abroad

Photographs: Illustration: Dominic Xavier

Foreign travel insurance covers the following:

The basic cover in foreign travel insurance is for medical expenses. The plans are also designated based on the cover provided for the medical expenses.

So a $1,00,000 travel insurance will reimburse up to a maximum of $ 1,00,000. The cover will start from the time one boards the flight to travel abroad till the time one gets down at an Indian airport.

Apart from this medical cover, some of the standard incidents covered in a foreign travel insurance plan are:

a. Checked Baggage loss
b. Checked Baggage delay
c. Loss of passport
d. Dental Cover
e. Personal Accident cover
f. Delay in flight
g. Cancellation of flight
h. Personal Liability
i.Hijack cover
j.Repatriation of remains


Five things to do before you travel abroad

Care should be taken to note that there will always be an excess clause for most of the covers. This means that for every claim the first portion of the claim to the extent specified has to be paid by us.

The insurance company will pay the rest.

For example, if the deductible is $ 100 for medical expenses, then for a claim of $ 400 only $ 300 will be paid. If the claim itself is less than $ 100, nothing will be paid.

The plan has much higher charges if USA and Canada are part of the travel itinerary. This is because of the higher medical and legal expenses in these countries.

A minimum of $1,00,000 of medical cover is recommended while travelling abroad. Cover offered by companies go up to $5,00,000.

Some companies today have included thoughtful additional covers as part of the travel insurance. These are: home burglary, hospital daily cash, international driving license loss, home burglary, etc.


Five things to do before you travel abroad

Safety of valuables at home

It is better to keep jewels and valuable documents (fixed deposits, land documents, important certificates, etc) in a bank locker before travelling abroad.

It is necessary to safeguard these not only from theft but also from untoward incidents like fire, flood / water seepage, or any other forms of damage.

Carrying foreign currency

A pre-loaded foreign currency card will be most useful for travelling abroad for a long period. This may be preferred over a bank debit / credit card as the charges for foreign currency conversion will be lesser.


Five things to do before you travel abroad

Keep bills safe

It is better to keep bills for items brought abroad, when landing in India. This is especially true for valuables. Proper bills will help to clear customs faster and without hassles (if any)

Roaming SIM card

Though not a problem in earlier days, to have access to a mobile phone at all times is important today.

It is better to buy a pre-paid international SIM card from India itself, rather than using the same number used in India, as roaming charges can be very high for a normal Indian SIM.

Also, it is not economical to keep changing the SIM to a local service provider, especially if you are visiting a number of countries.

These tips will help you to have a financially safe trip abroad and take care of your valuables in India.

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