International Travel Checklist

International travel is different than traveling in the States. All that amazing history and culture that draws you to Europe, Asia or South America requires a little more effort than just gassing up the SUV and setting your GPS to parts unknown.

If it's your first time going abroad, you'll have a much more enjoyable time with these tips. The experts at ROAM Luggage have a combined 100 years of experience in the travel industry. We've logged countless miles in airports and seaports around the globe, for business and leisure.

Here is our International Travel Checklist to get you ROAMing like a pro.

1. Get your passport in order.

Make sure your passport is not only valid but is at least six months away from expiring on your travel dates. While the U.S. will certainly grant re-admittance with your passport right up until it expires, many other countries will not allow entry if there are fewer than six months left on it. Then make several copies of the photo page, one to carry with you and at least one to leave with a trusted person in the U.S. in case yours gets lost or stolen.

2. Do a little research.

Take the time to look into laws and customs in the countries you'll be visiting. It's also a good idea to check the U.S. State Department website for any travel alerts about civil disturbances, health risks or terrorist activity in the regions you'll be visiting. Consider enrolling in the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive updates on emergencies at home and abroad.

3. Pick the right luggage.

Your suitcase will be your second home on the road, so choose wisely. If you plan to move around a lot on your trip, a hard-sided, wheeled carry-on case is the best choice for maximum mobility. And a customized suitcase in your favorite color will be so much easier to keep track of in a sea of black luggage. Safety features like a TSA-approved lock and waterproof zipper will give you peace of mind on the go, and high-quality ball-bearing wheels will keep you rolling on cobblestones, sidewalks and hotel carpeting.

4. Arrange to breeze through security.

Waiting in long lines at customs and security need not spoil your international travel. Take our advice and register for the Global Entry Program to shave hours off your wait time with pre-approved clearance. Low-risk travelers - with no criminal convictions, immigration violations or ongoing investigations - can bypass long lines in the U.S., United Kingdom and other popular destinations.

5. Pack light - but right.

No matter how long you'll be traveling, about three days' worth of clothes is all you'll need. Depending on the climate in your destinations, choose layers in materials that are easy to wash and will dry quickly. Your 3-ounce bottle of shampoo can double as hand-wash detergent for undies and light tops. And remember that most European countries will afford the opportunity to purchase toiletries and other essentials, so don't worry about fitting enough toothpaste or hand lotion for two weeks into your bag.

Final Thoughts:

International travel will broaden your perspective and leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Use our checklist to make your trip abroad a worry-free experience.