Traveling is something most of us look forward to every year. Going somewhere near and being somewhere different and fun fills us to the brim with excitement. Traveling can also be as equally stressful, with coming up with extra money, organizing planes and hotels and the list goes on.
It is very easy to become overwhelmed with taking care of all the things that need to be addressed when you are going on a trip. One of the worst things that can and almost always happens is forgetting something important. Maybe you forgot to print off your plane ticket or didn’t bring any adapters, either way its inconvenient and takes time away from what you would rather be doing which is enjoying your trip.
I created this list as a guide to help you prepare for your next trip whether your going across the globe or across the street. This checklist covers most of the basics(and sometimes obvious) things but it also touches on some of the things that we don’t often think of.
Some of the points on this checklist may not apply to you so skip over them. Not every box needs to be ticked off but I created this so that you have an idea of things you should consider or prepare before going away.
One thing that isn’t included on this list is safety measures and precautions. Any time you are going somewhere unfamiliar its always best to check the local news in that area. Cover all of your bases to ensure that you have a peace of mind and are up to date about the happenings where you are going. Local news is best since it only focuses on the immediate area, and not just larger stories and issues. Its always best to safe so make sure to take a few minutes and make where you are traveling is safe for travelers.
Here is your ultimate pre-travel checklist:
- Check airline luggage restrictions. Bringing improper luggage or bags that are too big can easily ruin a good start to a vacation. Double check with the airline to make sure that your bringing the right size bags with you ahead of time.
- Give copy of itinerary to family or friends. As a safety precaution its always best if someone back home knows where your going to be and when. In case of an event or emergency, it will be a lot easier to find you if someone already knows where you will be.
- Print more than one copy of your passport. Its easy for things to get lost when you are traveling and you don’t want to get stuck if you lose your passport. Print off more than one copy and keep the other set separate from your original.
- Check to see if you need a Visa for where your going. Some countries require you to have visas to enter the country so double check before you go.
- Get an international drivers license(if you plan on driving.) They aren’t hard to get and can be used in a lot of different countries so if you are planning on driving, get your license in advance.
- Get travel insurance. Travel insurance is typically pretty affordable and covers things such as emergency medical, evacuation, lost luggage and trip cancellation.
- Buy a small first aid kit. This may not be something you would think to keep in your carry-on or daily bag but having a first aid kit handy can help for small cuts or bites.
- Buy adapters and converters. You never know what kind of electrical outlets will be available to you so bring some adapters and converters so you can still keep your electronics charged.
- Get travel guides and physical maps of where your going. Not only will maps and guides make your trip feel more like an adventure, but if something happens to your GPS or phone, having a map will help you stay safe.
- Purchase a language guide or common phrase book. Unless you can speak the native language where you are going it doesn’t hurt to buy a common phrase book to keep with you. Tourists are normally very easy to pick out so if you stumble over a few words it will be ok.
- Printed reservations/tickets. Not all hotels and airports accept digital tickets so print off a set just in case.
- Pay bills or set up autopay. With everything else you have to think about when going on a trip, don’t forget about your bills back home. If you can, pay in advance or have your payment automatically set up to come out at a certain time.
- Call your car/home/renter’s insurance. Some companies will have a special coverages that you will need while you are away. If you are going to be gone for more than 30 days, you can check to see about your putting your car in storage which will reduce the rate while you are gone.
- Buy a money belt & don’t put all your money in the same place. As fun as traveling may be, pocket-pickers prey on tourists so make sure to keep a separate stash of money tucked away.
- Take your medical prescriptions with you. In case something happens to you while away, its best to have your prescription with you and some customs require it.
- Let your bank know where you are going. Banks will lock your account and card if its being used in a location different from your primary address so let them know in advance that you are leaving.
- Make sure toiletries are all travel-proof. Buying a small set of airplane friendly bottles to put toiletries in is a lot cheaper than having to throw them all away at the airport and buying new ones.
- Check with the Center for Disease Control and see if any vaccines or shots are needed before you leave. Make sure to get them in advance and keep proof with you.
- Double check the weather. Tried to avoid hurricane season where you are going by double checking the weather.
- Suspend mail deliveries. You don’t want to mailbox to be overloaded while you are gone so ask them to hold your mail until you return.
- Register with the embassy. Whenever you leave your home country, its always a good idea to let the embassy know. In case something does happen, your being in another country is documented and you can be found easier.
- Know money conversion before you go. Your travel budget can get thrown off easily if you don’t know how much your money is worth in another country. Make sure you have enough money and see what kind of currency is accepted.
- See if country has entrance fees. Some countries require you to pay a fee to enter the country itself so make sure to bring enough and check beforehand.
- Buy tickets in advance for destinations or events you want to go to. This will save you time, money and stress and will ensure that you have a spot when you get to your destination.
- Call your water company. Pipes malfunction all the time, so to prevent water damage and flooding in your home while your away call your water company and have them shut off your water temporarily.
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These are 25 things to consider when traveling abroad or anywhere. If you have any more tips that you would like to share, please leave a comment down below. Thanks!