To get a passport, you’ll need your birth certificate (or a notarized affidavit of your birth which is vouched for by a relative or person who has known you a long time). You’ll need two passport pictures (front view, 2 1/2″ to 3″ square on a white background).
Be sure to sign your passport and keep it on your person at all times (except, of course, when your hotel concierge in some countries needs to borrow it temporarily when you register)-not in your baggage. Specific papers required for entry by each country from United States citizens are listed with the countries on pages that follow.
Before you leave the United States, it’s best to have visas and tourist cards (where required) for each country you think you might visit, because in some foreign countries it takes a long time to get them for other countries.
Some travelers realize a saving by exchanging some of their money into foreign currency before leaving the United States, where one may frequently get a better rate of exchange, but be careful to note the total amount of foreign currencies that may be taken into each country. The Clipper Passenger’s Currency Converter lists currency for many countries with the United States equivalents.
It’s handy to carry a few one-dollar bills with you so that it is not necessary to cash a traveler’s check or exchange a large bill into local currency in order to make small purchases in those countries where you plan only a short stop-over between planes.
Just as the water in one section of the United States differs from that of another, the water of many foreign countries varies; and even though it may be safe to drink, i.e., sanitary, some people may contract diarrhea due to the change of water. This also applies to the ice in drinks. Consult your doctor as to what medicine to take along. A good rule to follow is-when in doubt, drink bottled water.