International Travel Tips
With nonstop flights from RDU to two international destinations, traveling abroad from RDU is easy. Here are tips to make your big adventure a breeze!
- Before You Go
- Vaccination and Testing
- Currency and Supplies
- International Processing at RDU
- Mobile Passport Control
- Global Entry
Before You Go
- Prepare for medical needs. Check with your doctor and health insurance provider to ensure that you have all of the proper vaccinations and essential prescriptions. Be sure to ask your health insurance provider if your policy applies overseas for emergencies.
- Pack copies of your passport. If your passport is lost or stolen, you want to be sure that you can prove your citizenship. Leave one copy at home with someone you trust, and consider making a virtual copy as well.
- Register with your embassy. If there is a problem while you are in-country, this will make it easier for your government to contact you.
- Call your credit card companies. Let your bank and credit card companies know that you are traveling abroad. Some companies will freeze accounts if they start seeing transactions in odd locations. Calling your credit card companies is also useful in making sure that your cards will work overseas, as many banks and businesses abroad have switched completely to more secure chip-and-PIN technology.
Vaccination and Testing
Under a federal policy that begins in November 2021, foreign nationals flying to the United States must show proof they are fully vaccinated prior to boarding a U.S.-bound airplane. Children under 18 are exempt from the vaccination requirement for foreign national travelers. More information can be found at the CDC website for International Travel.
If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than one day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight.
If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).
Children under two years of age are excepted from this requirement.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is expected to issue a contact tracing order that requires airlines to collect current information from each traveler bound for the U.S., including their phone number and email address.
The U.S. government has extended the mask requirement on airplanes and TSA has doubled fines for passengers who refuse to wear a mask.
You can find additional information about air travel safety at FlyHealthy.gov.
Currency and Supplies
The Shops of RDU has everything you need to prepare for an international trip.
- Travelex Worldwide Money in Terminal 2 is a good stop to make to check on current rates and to convert U.S. dollars to local cash before you board. Many locations overseas still rely on cash currency. It’s always a great idea to carry some on hand with you when you travel.
- Be sure to snag an international electrical adapter before you head out overseas. These inexpensive devices are available in most of the retail locations of The Shops of RDU.
- If you’re taking a nonstop flight from RDU to an international destination, take advantage of duty-free shopping at. If you’re connecting domestically, it’s still worth your time to visit for great deals on a wide range of products.
International Processing at RDU
Arriving at RDU from an international location? Processing in from an international flight is easy and stress free.
Step 1: Passport Control
The first stop on U.S. re-entry is Passport Control. Make sure that you have your passport ready for inspection and that all declaration forms provided in-flight are filled out and ready to go. Speed up your trip through Passport Control by using Mobile Passport Control or participating in Global Entry.
Step 2: Secondary Inspection
Following Passport Control, you will claim your luggage and proceed through Secondary Inspection. Here, your luggage and belongings is subject to search for prohibited items.
Step 3: Meet and Greet
Unlike arrivals for domestic flights, passengers arriving on non-stop international flights meet their parties near Bag Claim 1 at the International Arrivals area in Terminal 2.
Customs and Border Protection – Trusted Traveler Programs
Mobile Passport Control
Coming July 12, RDU will be one of a handful of airports that allows you to utilize your smartphone to breeze through U.S. Customs. Open to all U.S. citizens, download the Mobile Passport Control app from the Apple iTunes Store or the Google Play store while on your international trip.
On the flight home, launch the app and fill out details of your trip (even in airplane mode). After landing at the airport, submit via Wi-Fi or through a data signal to complete your processing. At Passport Control, have the app open and proceed for clearance through the line marked for “Mobile Passport Control.”
RDU is participating member of Global Entry, a federal trusted traveler program, which provides expedited re-entry into the U.S. in exchange for a fee and additional background and security checks. Part of the Global Entry registration process is an in person interview. While U.S. Customs and Border Protection occasionally offers these at RDU, the closest in-person interview center is in Charlotte.
Dates for potential in-person interviews will be posted within the application process when scheduled.
Need more information? Check out these essential links: