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Why you should translate your documents before travel

Regardless if you are an avid traveller or plan one of your first trips abroad to see the rest of the world, it is crucial to prepare and translate your travel documents sometime before your planned travel date. It will help you to stay safe and avoid trouble at the border control when talking to the customs officers both locally and when arriving in the country of destination. Starting with the immunisation card that is necessary and especially important in these turbulent pandemic times to your insurance and hotel booking documents, being able to provide professional translations will keep your travel experience safe from legal trouble or having to explain the purpose of your trip. 




  1. Your travel documents help to identify you. Of course, it is only natural that you have to keep the translation of your visa-related documents, health insurance, and immunization card because these documents are obligatory for travelers unless you are using diplomatic privileges or work for a specific NGO where the list of documents becomes different. In any case, you must have your travel insurance, criminal record, and financial information translated for the sake of being safe at the customs line in case this information is requested. In certain countries, you will have to provide proof of accommodation or the hotel booking, which is also important to translate to provide the officials with a copy for a quick check-up. 


  1. Healthcare and immunisation documents are obligatory. Considering the list of restrictions that are being introduced lately, the presence of your immunisation card with the list of vaccines, allergies, chronic illnesses, or the list of your past trips is obligatory. These documents must be translated by a healthcare translator with the relevant certification. You can read a professional translation services review to choose the best experts in the field and determine the deadlines. It is best if you do so at least a week before your planned trip since it will help you to have at least two days to check everything upon completion. Remember to check the personal names, dates, and numbers since you can compare them to the original document(s). 


  1. Some countries may demand the purpose of your trip. This aspect may sound tricky, yet do not let it frighten you because it may include an invitation to some business conference or information about your professional skills if you are an artist or an expert in a certain field. It is good if you could provide your resume, recommendations, invitations, or a document where you explain the purpose of your trip and the requirements since it may not be always possible to explain your thoughts in English or any other language if your time is limited. Of course, you can approach the best language learning apps and improve your skills a bit, which will never hurt as you travel! 


  1. You can expand your international business chances by translating your business documents as you travel. Consider translating your business proposals, too. While this may sound like an insignificant aspect, doing so will increase your chances when talking to foreign investors. Just remember to plan this part of translation in advance and approach only certified specialists who understand your business objectives. 



Unfortunately, the majority of travellers forget about keeping copies of their vital travel documents all the time by their side as they travel by keeping them at reception or at the hotel room. Of course, you do not have to keep your health insurance document along with you at the beach or a fancy nightclub, yet you should have your international driver’s license or any identification document at all times. Alternatively, you may create a special card in a foreign language with the phone numbers and contacts of your physician or a family member. Doing so will keep you safe in case of an unfortunate accident or any legal trouble. 


Merissa likes to explore the world and discover the peculiarities of foreign cultures. Her posts always provide recommendations regarding staying safe abroad by following some simple tips. Follow Merissa to learn about the best ways to travel and plan things accordingly.


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Written by: Merissa Moore
Published: 20 March 2021

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