A Few Things to Keep In Mind Before Your Trip to Italy
Here's a list of some of the things I think about before starting my travel to Italy.
Contact your bank debit and/or credit card companies before traveling if you intend to use your card on your tour. This will ensure your bank is aware that you are out of the country and that any transactions made in Italy are valid and will not be declined due to increased Global security measures. Be sure to include "layover" countries if you think you will use your card during flights to and from Italy.
I like my American Express because if I buy my airfare with the card, I don't have to notify them that I will be in Italy and/or any other country if I have a layover.
Increase your ATM withdrawal limits to as much as your bank allows. Withdrawing larger amounts saves repeat ATM charges and conversion fees. Check with your bank to see if they can waive those fees. Also, check to see what the fees are for charging a purchase on a credit/debit card compared to an ATM cash withdrawal.
Check your credit cards to see which ones don't charge international transaction fees. Thars the one you want to take.
TRAVEL TIP: Don't take all of your credit cards. Limit your risk if you should fall prey to a pickpocket. I take one Visa (my debit card) and my Amex. I only use my Visa debit if a place does not accept Amex.
Convert money to euros before the trip only if necessary (i.e. taxi from the airport). Most taxi and private airport transfers take credit cards. And one of your first stops in Italy, after checking into your accommodations (never at the airport) will be to an ATM machine.
If you are taking your mobile/cell phone on tour, contact your provider to ensure international ROAM is on. And ask them about international calling/texting plans.
Turn off any in-home preset alarm clocks and all electrical appliances at the switch.
Inform neighbors and neighborhood watch groups (if you have such a thing) of your travel dates.
Make sure your family and friends have copies of your overseas travel itinerary and the hotels you will be staying at, in case they need to contact you and your phones aren't working. Also, it's good for someone to know where you are in case of a crisis/emergency in Italy.
Think about comprehensive travel insurance to cover all overseas medical costs for the duration of your travel, especially if you are doing adventure travel. Your travel insurance should also cover any activities in which you plan to participate.
Since the pandemic, it is really important to get travel insurance to cover everything
from lost baggage to flight delays to trip cancellations.
Make copies of your passport details (front page), insurance policy, and credit card numbers. Carry one copy in a separate place from the originals and leave a copy with someone you trust at home.
Consult your doctor regarding recommended vaccinations or other health precautions for your destination(s). It is a good idea to carry a hard copy prescription from your doctor for any medicines you take with you. I found this out the hard way when my parent's neuropathy medicine ran out and the Italy pharmacists would only allow a paper prescription from a U.S. doctor.