When it’s time to travel, most people just focus on where they’re going and how they’ll get there. However, to ensure that you have a safe, fun trip, there has to be some preparation done beforehand. Generally, you’ll be able to get basic necessities while in a new place, either in markets or shops in the airport. However, even before you set foot in the airport, you’ll want to ensure you have everything you need and prepare for the worst. Here are eleven important things to do before you start your journey traveling abroad:
1. Get Your Passport
This one’s pretty obvious, but you can’t leave your country or enter another country without your passport. You’ll need to double check the expiration date, too. Make copies of it just in case it gets lost and also have a digital backup saved either online or on your laptop to cover all of your bases with ensuring you have the proper documentation readily available.
2. Make Sure You Have the Right Visa
Your passport won’t be enough to get you into every country. Research what the requirements are before you arrive so that you have the necessary documents depending on how long you’re staying. For example, if you’re moving to Canada, you’ll need to register for an Express Entry Visa. Likewise, countries like Cuba require special visas for visitors looking to travel to their country too. A tourist visa lasts for a single traveler for up to 30 days and proof of a return ticket must also be provided.
3. Tell Your Friends and Family
Before you walk off into the sunset, let your loved ones know where you’re going. Letting people know where you’ll be will help if you get into any trouble and need their help. You can use social media to update your locations or even start a travel blog so they can share your experiences with you.
4. Have Your Medications and Vaccinations Ready
If you’re the type who needs allergy medicine or any kind of medicine really, you’ll want to pack it. You can also look into which remedies will prevent illness for where you’re traveling to by using the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. Also bring some generic medications for headaches, stomach discomfort or nausea, and colds.
5. Have a Working Credit Card
Traveling with a large amount of cash is not a smart idea. Credit cards are great because they’re small and can be carried easily. Make sure your cards will work overseas. You’ll also want to alert your credit card company and bank that you’ll be traveling. If you don’t, they might freeze your account.
6. Get a Guidebook
You don’t need to master the language of the location, but it definitely helps if you can say basic things like greetings or ask for directions. A guidebook will also help point out attractions and details about how to get around.
7. Have the Right Adapter for Your Electronics
So you’re traveling and want to share your photos and stories online, but how can do you that if your electronics run out of juice? Different countries use different adapters and it’s best to buy one before you leave so the cables work at both ends.
8. Verify Your Travel and Health Insurance
Make sure that your health insurance includes international coverage. If it doesn’t, discuss the option of adding short-term protection just for the duration of your trip. Travel insurance will provide the necessary protection if you need your money refunded or if you had to shorten your trip for a number of reasons, like delayed flights, cancelled reservations, etc.
9. Bring Snacks
While it’s great to have an open mind when traveling, sometimes you’ll need a little piece of home. Having your own reserve of food will make you less dependent on trying to find every corner market. They’ll also help curb your appetite while you search for that one great meal or if that food cart nearby looks a little suspicious.
10. Pack Extra Clothes
Whether you’re using an actual small suitcase or a backpack for your carry-on, you’ll want to keep at least one extra outfit in it. This is because luggage getting lost or delayed across flights is a very routine thing and can be both costly and inconvenient. You don’t want to rely on the souvenir t-shirts from the gift shop for a makeshift outfit to wear for a few days while things get sorted out, so plan ahead.
11. Buy Tickets Before You Get There
When choosing what to see and do, see if you can get tickets online. Sometimes you can get better seats or even discounts just for buying before you arrive. There are also sometimes tourist-only deals for shows and exhibitions.
Featured photo credit: Markgraf-Ave via pixabay.com