Good travel is the result of good planning. This applies to every trip you make. This is especially true if you travel to another country. It can be tempting to book a ticket and worry about your vacation, but there is still much to do.
I’m in the process of completing my itinerary and creating a packing list when I thought about everything to do before traveling internationally.
Sometimes our holidays are not always going as planned, but one thing is for sure: good planning is the key to a good trip, especially when you visit a new country.
Make sure your passport and visa date:
In most countries, your passport must be valid for six months after the return date. The State Department recommends that you renew your passport at least nine months before the expiration date. Now check the expiration date of your passport and, if you need to extend it, the US State Department website to find the nearest passport location.
The processing of the passport application can take up to six weeks. If you need a passport quicker, use the express service for an additional fee and get your passport in two to three weeks. Private freight forwarding services can do this faster but charge much higher fees.
The State Department country information contains important information about your destination, such as: Whether you need a visa and where to get it, and other important information about crimes, special circumstances, medical information, and more.
Buy travel insurance:
It is likely that your health insurance does not cover you when you travel abroad. Depending on where you go, you should take out medical evacuation and emergency insurance.
Store your wallet:
Select one or two credit cards you wish to bring with you and call the issuers shortly before you leave to inform them about the countries in which you will be traveling. Otherwise, your credit card may be declined because the issuer may find the international activity suspicious.
Traveler’s checks are no longer widely accepted and are difficult to use in many countries, especially in less developed countries. Instead, use your bank card to withdraw money from ATMs that can be found in even the most exotic locations. Remember your numeric PIN because on many ATM keyboards, the numbers and letters we use are not displayed or they are placed differently on the keyboard. In general, your most favorable exchange rate is handled through the ATM, although most companies charge a transaction fee.
Prepare your finances:
Call your bank and credit card provider before traveling overseas to let them know where you are. If companies see foreign fees without you realizing they are overseas, they can freeze their cards. This can be quite annoying if you are in a store or trying to pay for dinner. Before you travel abroad, you should know the exchange rate and know how much things generally cost, where you go, so you get an idea of how much you spend. If you want to receive traveler’s checks, you can do so at any time. Keep in mind, however, that these checks are not generally accepted and will be exchanged at a less favorable price than an ATM, no matter where in the world you are.
Make copies of travel documents:
Above all, keep at least one color copy of the ID page of your passport in a safe place, separate from your passport. You should also make copies of all visas that relate to your current trips. Hotel reservations, train confirmations, and all other travel documents should also be copied. In this digital age, having only digital copies of these documents is very convenient. That’s okay, but make sure these items are stored locally on your device so you can access them without an internet connection. Also, if you store sensitive information on your phone or in your email inbox, make sure your passwords are secure enough to keep out potential intruders.
Health and travel insurance:
Before starting your journey, check whether your health insurance includes international insurance coverage. If not, consider buying a short-term policy that covers you overseas should something happen. Likewise, you can intelligently protect your travel and money by taking out travel insurance. Policies and coverage vary from provider to provider, but the basic idea is that you can have your money refunded if your trip needs to be canceled, postponed, or cut for a number of reasons.
The last few days before vacation are some of the most exciting, but they can also be a bit overwhelming. In the whirl of packing, getting and cleaning, some important travel arrangements can easily be forgotten. Have this list of eight important things to remember when you’re making the final preparations for your next vacation.