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Time to get down to business. In this chapter we will discuss simple ways to find budget airfares, look at equipment and what to take, and other specifics.


Even if you are only remotely considering going abroad, get your passport RIGHT NOW. US citizens can get information from selected state or federal courthouses or main post offices or visit the US Department of State at Canadians have all the information at Australians and New Zealanders can go to the post office or visit or, respectively.

Even if your travel is far in the future, I advise you put this book down and get on the phone to find where you can apply locally. Passports can take several weeks to process, but they are valid for up to 10 years: getting it early does no harm. Save yourself last-minute headaches and get it now!


Most countries in Western Europe and many now in the east do not require a visa--in fact it is often a major problem to get your passport stamped if you want the souvenir as you cross a border! All countries list their visa requirements online; check before you go if in doubt. If you do plan to visit a country which requires a visa, you might not need to waste time getting it before you go, unless you are flying directly into that country. You can almost always get a simple tourist visa quickly in the bordering country just before you go in overland. Travel agents usually have this type of information, and remember that things are changing in the east.

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