Planning Tips: Traveling Internationally for Dance
Traveling internationally for dance is super exciting! You get the experience of connecting with the world wide dance community, trying new foods, and seeing the sights. While it may be super exciting and a seemingly “glamorous” life traveling the world through dance, there are some things to plan and prepare for when traveling internationally. Whether traveling for work or for fun for a few days or a few months, planning ahead can help assure a safe and enjoyable trip.
Now, while I don’t consider myself an expert, I would say that Kevin and I are “well traveled” after 7 years of continuous travel for dance and leisure. After traveling to 24 countries and 75 cities, there’s so many things we’ve learned through trial and error. So much of which I wished someone would have told us hahah. I’m so happy to share and be a resource for our fellow dance community members.
Let us know if you have any further questions in the comments below!
Know and Understand the Basic Laws and Regulations of the Country Before Visiting
I think this goes without saying for anyone traveling internationally but I have just got to put it out there. Each country has their own laws and it’s advised to be aware of them before visiting.
For example, Singapore is a huge hub for dancers, especially with their event, Summer Jam Dance Camp. Singapore has some really out of the ordinary laws like banning gum and banning the selling of gum. If caught spitting gum on the ground (considered loitering), you are subject to a fine. And if caught selling gum, you are subject to a $100K fine and possibly 2 years in prison. Other odd laws are spitting ($1,000 fine), LGBT PDA (2 year prison sentence), and not flushing the toilet ($150 fine).
You can find more information on the travel U.S. Government website. It offers travelers information regarding each country.
Know The Entry Requirements For Each Country
Another simple one but surprisingly not many people are informed of this one. Again, these vary by country. Basic requirements for entry are a passport with 6 months validity and 2 page requirement for stamp. Some countries require a visa for entry and if doing business, a business/work visa is also required.
You can find more information on the travel U.S. Government website.
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (S.T.E.P.)
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service that allows U.S. citizens to register their trip to the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate.
What does this do? You will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
Why is this important? It’s for your safety and you are accounted for with the US Embassy in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
Bring a printed copy of your passport and important documents and keep them in a safe place in your personal bag/back pack/purse.
Having a printed copy of your passport and important documents helps assure you for those “just in case” moments. This “just in case” scenario would be like… say you lose your passport while abroad. Having that extra copy in hand would help, especially when finding the nearest U.S. embassy, you have photo proof of your passport.
Stay Healthy on The Road
This is one thing we learned the hard way. Having travel insurance gives you peace of mind while on the road. It gives you medical insurance and covers your trip in case of any accident, bad weather, missing bag, flight delay and anything in between.
Imagine, you’re on a trip of a lifetime to India for dance and travel. Having never been to India, your body is not accustomed to the food and water and you catch a bug that makes you feel like death. << this was me, hovering over the toilet and laying in fetal position on the floor of our hotel room. Having travel insurance allowed me to see a doctor (hotel visit!) and get the medicines I needed to get healthy again.
** Side Note: check with your medical insurance to see if they cover you while traveling abroad.
Inform Yourself of Vaccinations
Do your research on the recommended vaccinations before leaving and get those vaccines to protect yourself before leaving. You can learn more information at the CDC website.
High Dance Travel Areas with recommended vaccines:
Bring Over the Counter and Any Needed Meds For Your Trip
Alright, I gotta give it up to my mom for this one. She was always the one who threw in a ziplock baggie filled with OTC medicines “just in case.” I always thought it was over the top until I actually needed them. They come in clutch with those unexpected headaches and body aches or at the first sign of a sore throat. It’s a great practice to have them on hand and saves you some cash since airport prices for these are through the roof!
Here’s a list of some of the things we bring:
Pain reliever: Ibuprofen, Advil, Tylenol
Laxative (in case your tummy doesn’t agree with the foreign food)
Neosporin and Band Aids
Emergen-C + Airborne: We like to pack these in our airplane bags.
Melatonin: These are especially helpful with fighting jet lag and getting a restful sleep.
We hope this post encourages you to become more informed and prepared when planning a trip out of the country. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below!
Happy and safe travels to you all! :)