You’ve waited for months to go on your dream trip or maybe you’ve purchased a ticket spur of the moment. Now, it’s time to start getting ready to actually head out on your trip. What you should you do? There are probably a million thoughts running through your mind and it can seem a bit overwhelming. Let me just say one thing…Most people can’t just drop everything and go. Usually it takes a little planning and preparation. We’d love to live in a world where we could all just jump on a plane and head out. Barring those who have a fleet of assistants, servants, and butlers, the rest of us have to consider a number of things before embarking on our adventures. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a short list of some of the most important things to include in your travel prep.
1) Get Healthy
There is a lot of disease out in the world that many of us from the US and other countries have never encountered. Make sure you have all the proper vaccinations and medications to prevent sickness that you’ll need. Trust me, I’ve had Malaria and it is no walk in the park. You want to take every precaution to avoid sickness while traveling because it is the worst. Also, make sure your medical insurance applies overseas and if it doesn’t then get some travel insurance. There’s nothing like preparedness!
Are you traveling for a week, a few months, or half a year? The way you answer this question should determine what type of luggage you need to use. For me, a week to a couple months long trip would mean normal luggage like a suitcase with wheels. If you’re staying longer, then you might want to try to pack your life into a backpack. Backpacks are easier to carry and a lot of them nowadays open just like a suitcase. Lastly, don’t forget to think about what your packing. Make a list and check my post about what you shouldn’t forget to pack.
3) Backup Documents
Of course, you need to remember your passport, identification, emergency numbers, and visa. But make sure to make multiple copies of your important documents like your passport and visa. Don’t forget to print out extra copies of your itinerary and leave them in a place where a friend or family member can easily find them should something go wrong. You don’t want to lose your passport and have major issues reentering the country.
4) Notify Your Bank
These days, identity theft is a rampant issue. There are lots of measures to protect your identity and your money implemented by banks. Call you bank/s and credit card companies to let them know you will be traveling while you are still home. Then you won’t have to deal with frozen accounts and limited access to your money.
5) Be Safe
An easy thing you can do to ensure your safety should something go wrong is register with your embassy to let your government know you are traveling. It sounds a little big brotheresque but if you are visiting a foreign county and conflict breaks out, your government will know to look for you there. You can do it at smarttraveler.com.au. Additionally, set up a skype account and contact your phone company to arrange an international calling plan.
6) Research Like A Pro
Don’t go into any country or city blind. A little research goes a long way. What events are taking place while you visit? What are the major tourist attractions and what are the not so major tourist attractions? Does the country have an entrance fee (some countries charge anywhere between $20-200 to enter). These are all things you need to know and they’ll help make your trip a lot smoother.
7) Download Stuff
While you are home, you will most likely have easy access to internet service. Use the time you have before your trip to download any books, guides, TV shows, apps, and other things you might need during your trip. It sometimes can be rather difficult to find WiFi depending on the country you are visiting.
8) Prep your house
This is one that I am definitely an advocate of doing. Make sure your home is tidy and clean. Take out the garbage, clean your refrigerator, and generally straighten things up. It stinks to come home from a nice trip to a dirty house. You’re sanity will thank you for it later.
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