Traveling Internationally & Need A Visa Waiver? Make Sure You Go To The Country’s Official Site, Not A Scam Site

Although there are currently 80-something countries that don’t require any special paperwork for U.S. citizens to enter their respective land, there are well over 30 countries that require them to get a visa waiver. That number will nearly double when the 26 Schengen Zone countries will also require a visa waiver of U.S. citizens, effective January 1, 2021.

Meanwhile, citizens of nearly 40 countries and territories are eligible for visa-free entry into the United States, as long as citizens fill out a visa waiver.

Unfortunately, there are several scam websites that look very official and/or offer to “help” you fill out the electronic form, albeit for a fee on top of the actual visa waiver cost. Here’s how to avoid them and find the “official” sites for the country/countries in question.

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Reminder: Effective Today, If You’re Traveling To New Zealand & Don’t Need A Visa, You’ll Need A Waiver

October 1, 2019: Following in the footsteps of the United States’ ESTA, Canada’s eTA and the upcoming ETIAS (Who can forget that one? It’s a visa! No it’s not!) for the European countries in the Schengen Zone, New Zealand has official begun its NZeTA visa waiver program for those who don’t need a visa to enter the country.

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Traveling Internationally? Make Sure To Add This Info Into Your Phone Before You Go

I think few would disagree that the cell phone is one of the most essential pieces of modern technology that’s come down the pike in the past 20 years or so. As their technology has improved, they’ve been an especially great boon to travelers, with apps to help with airlines, hotels, rental cars, ground transportation, maps, translation, keeping track of your miles, points and reservations, and so much more. And that’s to say nothing of the ability to stay in touch with your family, friends, and, as needed, work, all thanks to having a cell phone.

If you’re traveling internationally and have data or WiFi service, your cell phone becomes even more critical, especially when you need it for emergencies.

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Can You Travel Internationally If Your Passport Is About To Expire?

You’re getting ready to go to your most favorite country you love to visit. Or maybe you’re finally going on that bucket list trip to that place around the world. You get your passport out and OH NO, It expires in a month! You’ll be there and back before the actual expiration date, but is that good enough? I mean, you can still travel internationally with a passport that’s so close to its expiration date, right? As long as it hasn’t actually expired, you’re OK, yes?

Well, it depends.

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Yes, You Should Buy Medical Insurance For International Travel

When we’re traveling within the U.S., I don’t give much thought to insurance before the trip. I make sure to use a credit card that has good travel protections, and if I rent a car, I use a card that acts as the primary coverage in case there’s damage to the vehicle. For medical coverage, I’ll have my insurance card in my wallet in case I get sick or even worse if there’s some sort of emergency.

When traveling outside the United States, there are a bunch of things to think about. You need to reconfirm travel arrangements, make sure you have all the necessary travel documents and visas and arrange for your mail to be held, your pets to be looked after and everything else that goes through your head. It’s easy to forget that you should also be looking to buy a travel medical insurance policy for your trip.

That’s because even if your medical insurance reimburses you for expenses abroad, they will most likely be considered out-of-network charges with high deductibles and copays. If you have Medicare, you don’t have any coverage at all.

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