Essential Things To Know Before Traveling Abroad

What should I do before traveling abroad?
The best way to travel safely is to prepare for the trip well in advance. Whatever the reason for your trip abroad, prior information is essential to avoid problems and even emergencies.


Informed travel is safer travel. Here we offer you useful information for any trip abroad. In addition to consulting the Travel Recommendations specific to the country or countries of destination, it is convenient to take into account the following general tips:

General Recommendations
Check the Travel Recommendations. They are the main source of information about the country or countries you are going to visit. In each of them, you can find updated information on the requirements for entry into the country, documentation and visas necessary for travel, security conditions, health status, vaccinations, currency and the main telephone numbers of interest. It is also advisable to find out about the country of destination, as well as about their customs and local legislation.


Carry sufficient means of payment. It is recommended to always bring enough money to travel and to deal with possible unforeseen events, ideally through a combination of different means of payment. It is convenient to check that in the destination country if it is possible to use credit cards.

Documentation: passport, visas, international driving license
Prepare the necessary documentation: ID, Passport and visas.


The basic travel document is the passport. Exceptionally, you can travel to some countries with the National Identity Document.

In addition to having travel documentation, many countries require a visa. Check if that is the case in the Travel Recommendations. To obtain the visa, you must inform the Consulate or Consular Section of the Embassy of the country or countries of destination. It must be borne in mind that visa processing may require additional documentation and that the concession term is determined by the country. Therefore, it is necessary to process the visa well in advance.

Even having all the documentation in order, including the visa, entry into a foreign country is not a right, so you may be denied entry to it.

If you are going to drive abroad, you will need specific documentation and insurance.

Traveler Registration
Provide a relative or friend with the details of the trip you are going to take, including dates and places of stay and sign up for the Travelers Registry.

Medical and travel insurance
Many people regret not having signed medical insurance before their trip when they have to face a medical emergency abroad. Since the costs of hospitalization and medical treatment in most countries have to be borne by the patient and can be very high, it is strongly recommended to hire a medical insurance that has full coverage in case of illness or accident during the trip, including evacuation by medical plane.

If you are going to visit several countries during your trip, check that the insurance has coverage in all of them, even in the stopovers and short stays.

Confirm that the insurance contracted covers all the activities you are going to carry out during the trip, including those considered as risks such as scuba diving, paragliding or kite-surfing. Also, activities related to the motor world (rallies, raids, snowmobiling, canopy, etc.) usually require specific coverage.

Also keep in mind that if you are going to do some high-risk sport or activity (mountaineering, caving, caving-diving, etc.), your insurance coverage must expressly include the performance of that activity abroad and be sufficient to cope to everything related to the rescue, medical evacuation or transfer of mortal remains. When an accident occurs abroad, the competence in rescue and civil protection rests with the local authorities, whose legislation, action protocols and means may not be similar to those available in Spain. The Embassies and Consulates do not have the resources to face or guarantee the costs in case of an accident nor can they assure you a better treatment than that of the nationals of the country in which you are.

If you are going to drive abroad, it is advisable that you first consult the Travel Recommendations for your destination country and that you are provided with accident and civil liability insurance.

Likewise, it is also advisable to take out travel insurance that covers these and other contingencies that may occur before or during the trip:

  • Loss of flights or connections. Keep in mind that some airlines do not guarantee or cover the cost of connections lost due to delays or cancellations.
  • Family emergencies or unforeseen occupations that require return earlier than expected.
  • Theft
  • Damage and loss of luggage or delay in receiving them.
  • Civil liability
  • Remember that Embassies and Consulates do not pay medical or travel expenses.

Travel with medications
If you are affected by a chronic illness, you should take the necessary medication with you for the entire duration of the trip. All medications, especially those that require a prescription, should be stored in hand luggage in their original containers with the visible labels, and as a precaution, the medication can also be taken in duplicate in checked baggage. You should bring your doctor’s name and contact details, information about your medical situation and treatment, details about the medication (including generic names of the medications), as well as the prescribed doses.

In the case of having to travel with other sanitary materials such as syringes, it is necessary to carry a doctor’s report certifying the need to use such material, since it can be requested by customs officers or security personnel.

In some countries, some substances of legal use in your home country, including alcohol and certain medicines, are considered drugs and therefore their consumption, possession, and traffic are penalized. Therefore, it is important to consult the Travel Recommendations for each of the countries to visit.

Travel of participants in cooperation projects
If you are going to travel to developing countries, either as a solidarity tourist or as a participant in cooperation or volunteer projects, it is highly advisable that:


  • You get detailed information about the destination country by reading the Travel Recommendations.
  • Observe the self-protection measures that, where appropriate, are recommended for Spanish residents in the country.
  • Often, organizations that promote some solidarity and volunteer tourism activities are not officially registered or provide any kind of security or support to those who travel through them.

Travel of minors
Travel by and with minors is subject to specific restrictions. The border police, both inside and outside the Schengen area, have a specific mandate to pay special attention to minors, whether accompanied or not.

In the case of minors traveling alone, border agents have the power to carry out a thorough inspection of documents and travel documents, to ensure that minors do not leave the territory against the will of the persons exercising the custody.

If the minors travel accompanied, the border agent may request documentation proving the parental rights of the companions or those who sign the authorization of the minor’s trip with another adult. Also, if the child is accompanied only by one of their parents, you can request express authorization from the absent parent or conduct a more detailed investigation if you suspect that the custody of the child to whom you exercise it could be illegally deprived.

It is recommended, in general, if the child travels alone, accompanied by a single parent or by third parties:

  • Carry with you the express authorization, where appropriate, of the parents, of the absent parent or of those who legally exercise parental rights.
  • Carry ordinary travel documents (passport or National Identity Document, if applicable)
  • Carry with you the documentation that proves the parentage and parental rights according to the case and the country of destination.

The requirement regarding the type of authorization and the circumstances in which it is required varies greatly depending on the country of destination and its local legislation and customs. In case of doubt, it is advisable to consult with the Embassy or Consulate of the country of destination.