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The '''IATA Visa Database''' [http://www.delta.com/planning_reservations/plan_flight/international_travel_information/visa_passport_information/index.jsp], provided by Delta, is an excellent place to check whether you need a visa or not. While IATA provides no guarantees of accuracy, the database is usually fairly up to date. More importantly, if you don't have a visa but their database says you need one, you will not be allowed on the plane!
You can also try checking out '''Project Visa''' [http://www.projectvisa.com/],
If traveling by land, it is imperative to check that the border crossing you plan to use is open to foreign visitors. If the country provides a '''visa on arrival''', make sure that the border crossing in question can supply it. If at all possible, confirm the answer from multiple sources and, if blithely promised that crossing is no problem, try to get the promise ''in writing'' in case the border guards happen to disagree.
AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are poorly controlled in many developing countries. If there is ''any'' chance you will have sex with anyone except a long-term partner, carry condoms.
Your diet will change
See also [[Travellers' diarrhea]], [[Tropical diseases]] and [[Sunburn and sun protection]].
*Money belt or passport pouch for your valuables. See [[pickpockets]] for more detail.
*A little flashlight designed to hang on a keychain
*Guidebook, phrasebook or Wikitravel printouts: These can be very helpful, and the more
*Map: often these can be bought cheaply in the destination country, but you should bring your own for countries such as China where you cannot expect to read the locally-printed map.
*Toilet paper: Keep a roll or wad of paper in your luggage and a good wad in an easily accessible spot. Public toilets and guest-house toilets will often not provide any. If you're short on space, remove the cardboard tube and flatten the roll. Keeping it in a large zip-lock bag is another good idea.
*A towel: Hotels and hostels may not provide one, or not clean ones. In cold weather areas, drying off quickly is much more important than on a tropical island. Making room in your pack for a good towel can keep you healthy and happy. Bath and beauty shops sell small super-absorbent towels for drying hair, but they work just as well for general use, and dry quicker than regular cotton. To save space, go with the smallest size you're comfortable with.
*A padlock: Some hotels don't have door locks, but give you a padlock with which to close the door of your room. People who work at the hotel almost certainly have duplicate keys for that lock. Using your own lock is more secure.
*A universal rubber plug, for use in sinks and tubs where no plug is provided