A Simple Pre-Travel Checklist for International Travel
Are you planning any international travel in 2018? We hope you have amazing adventures and the time of your life.
To ensure your safety and that everything goes smoothly, we’ve created this easy checklist to make sure you have everything in order before you go. We also want to help you plan for anything unexpected that may happen, like an injury or illness.
1. Get an Emergency Medical Plan
An emergency medical plan is not health insurance. Instead, it guarantees that in the event you are injured, fall ill, or get caught in a natural disaster or terrorist attack, your will be transported HOME. Your health insurance most likely states that you will be taken to the nearest medical facility. But let’s be honest–that may not be where you want to be in a crisis. You will want to be home with your own doctors and family. A medical emergency plan can cost less than a plane ticket. Out-of-pocket medical transport can cost up to $100K. YIKES! It pays to have a plan.
Don’t have a plan?…
Depending on the country you’re visiting, you may need to apply for a visa or some other special permission.
Start researching this as soon as possible, since it could take weeks to finish the application process and obtain the proper documentation. Check out 5 Tips on How to Get a First Time Passport.
3. Create a Copy of your Passport
We aren’t talking about dual citizenship here, but rather, a copy of your passport. If you are a frequent international traveler or have trips scheduled close to each other, a second visa can make checkpoints go smoother.
While you are at it, organize all of your travel information for the trip in one place. Copies of reservations, your itinerary, addresses and phone numbers, confirmation numbers, etc. Keep a copy for yourself and give a copy to someone you know. That way, in case of any emergency, you can be accounted for much easier.
4. Call your doctor
Depending on where you are traveling to, you may require vaccines and/or medications. Call your doctor or go in for an appointment to make sure you have all the required medical treatments. Don’t forget to get a copy of the proof of your vaccinations.
5. Alert your bank(s)
Before you leave, call or go online and let your bank(s) know where and when you’re traveling. That way, your credit and debit cards will work while you’re abroad — an absolute necessity!
Check out more Travel Banking Tips: Keep Your Money Safe.
6. Educate Yourself on Local Culture and Customs
It’s a good idea to memorize a few key words and phrases like, “hello,” “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” and “do you speak English?”
Most often, local people will appreciate your efforts to speak their language, even if you only know how to say a few words!
Also, research the local customs and etiquette. The last thing you want to do is offend someone or look stupid for doing or saying the wrong thing. For example:
- how to dress
- how to greet people
- the dining and drinking etiquette
- off-limit conversation topics (if any)
- if/when/how much to tip
Can you think of anything else that would be handy to know?
7. Get an international driver’s license
If you plan to rent a car, scooter, other motorized vehicle while you’re abroad, you may need to get an international driver’s license. Requirements vary from country to country, so make sure to do your research well in advance! Also, read up on rental car accidents and what to do
When planning a trip, the last thing you want to do is schedule your vacation time down to the minutes. However it is a good idea to have some idea of your plans. Especially the highlights that you want to be sure to not miss. Check to see if there are any interesting local events going on.
You can often save money if you purchase tickets and book tours ahead of time.
It also doesn’t hurt to have a good idea of the weather predictions for your trip. It might make packing easier!
9. Restaurant Research
Trying new foods can be one of the highlights of international travel. Some might say it is THE REASON for travel. It is imperative to do a lot of restaurant research before you go. Make sure you know what the MUST TRY local dishes are and the best places to get them. Also, have a good idea of the types of places you want to avoid. There are plenty of sites that can help you with this, such as:
- Google Reviews
- Open Table
- Travel Blogs
10. Get an adapter & a converter
International Travel exposes you to all types of electrical outlets. You do not want to be stuck unable to charge your phone or dry your hair. Which means you need an adapter with the properly configured prongs to then plug your devices into. Depending on the electronics you plan to use while abroad, you may also require a voltage converter.
Most people don’t think about foreign exchange rates until they are traveling overseas and need to spend money in a different currency. Exchange rates and foreign currency trading can be complicated and difficult for people to understand. This article makes it easy for you.
12. Get your house ready for your departure
Usually we talk about how to stay safe while traveling, but have you given enough thought to home invasion while you are away? One of the worst ways to end a spectacular vacation (besides an illness or accident) is to arrive back to a home invasion. Check out these tips on How To Guard Against a Home Invasion.
13. Have Fun!
There is a lot to do to get ready for a big trip, so the key is to start early and have fun with the planning. Once you arrive at your destination you will be so glad you took the time up front to plan for your International Travel.