Traveling Abroad to Europe: How to Make it Happen

Traveling Abroad to Europe: How to Make it Happen

There are certainly wonderful places to visit domestically and in the great state of Texas such as NASA’s Space Center, Dealey Plaza and The Alamo, but traveling to another country enriches your life in ways that shape your view of the world.  Whether you studied art history in college and want to see the Mona Lisa in person or you have always been curious about the day-to-day life of a Londoner, you will have access to these unique experiences once you decide to take the leap and plan your trip. 

Saving up all summer and figuring out the logistics of your stay will be worth the effort; traveling abroad is one of the richest experiences you can have in life.  This dream can only come to fruition if you do your part by gathering and submitting all of the proper documents.

Before you get on that plane to Paris, London, Vienna, or Amsterdam (or if you’re adventurous enough to visit all four), make sure you have the following:

·       Current Passport (In order to obtain this, you will need your Texas birth certificate)

·       Another form of government issued ID (Driver’s License, U.S. Military ID or Permanent Residence Card should suffice)

·       Your flight and hotel information

·       Itinerary (optional but helpful)

A passport is mandatory for entry into another country and also to return home.  Hopefully you have allowed enough time to fill out the application, obtain your Texas birth certificate and two photos, and pay the application fee.  

Once you have arrived in the European city of your choice, you will go through customs and answer questions about the purpose of your trip.  Since you are a citizen of the U.S. with a valid passport, you should be fine without a visa for a quick vacation. Also, you may want to exchange currency for the purpose of having some cash on you; most purchases can be made with credit cards, but there are a few things to keep in mind.  First, credit card companies usually charge a fee when you use your card overseas. Also, there may be a particular item you want to purchase at a street fair or boutique where the vendor only accepts cash.  

Whatever your itinerary entails, there is no doubt that the experiences you have on your trip abroad will be etched in your memory; after all, even the most sage financial advisors encourage people to use their money to travel.  In hindsight, you will be pleased about doing the leg work, getting your passport, packing minimally and researching the best places to eat and visit ahead of time.




Edward Powell