Now that you’ve wisely purchased a visitor insurance plan, are you wondering what else you can do to make your journey hassle-free from start to finish?
Our clients often ask for advice on how best to prepare for their international trips. Many tourists are confused, and a bit worried about preparing for their travel abroad.
In an effort to answer the most commonly asked questions, we put together the below Travel Checklist.
Passport and Visa
Be sure your passport is valid and won’t expire during your time away. Also, make sure there are empty passport pages still available.
Keep in mind; some countries require your passport to be valid for up to 6 months before entering.
Make sure that your visa is valid for the duration of the trip. If the destination country is offering a visa on arrival, then verify the formalities and make sure you are eligible for the program.
It is important to check online resources like the U.S. State Department to find any special entry requirements, as well as conditions abroad that may affect your security.
Airline Tickets and Travel Entry
Make multiple paper and electronic copies of your airline tickets and travel itinerary. You should store these extra copies in different locations in case the originals are lost or stolen.
Always share your travel itinerary with loved ones so they can reach you in case of an emergency.
Do some research to find out if the country you’re visiting requires proof of onward travel. If the country does require proof at point of entry, they’ll want to see that you have an outbound ticket booked and will not be staying permanently.
It’s your responsibility to know if your host country will require additional travel documents like a travel card or e-visa.
Medical Checkup and Vaccinations
Visit your family doctor for a travel check-up. Your physician can assist you with items such as…
- Being sure your prescription medications are current
- Getting Malaria pills if you are heading to a mosquito-prone area
- Confirming vaccinations like MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella), Chickenpox, Polio are all current
- Receiving your annual flu shot
Before going to your doctor appointment, check online for any recommended immunizations.
For example, if you’re traveling to China or Costa Rica then expect to get a Typhoid Fever shot to protect you from contaminated water and food.
Check in with your credit card company and bank for their international policies. Plenty of credit card companies include extra fees and hefty charges when you use the card in a foreign land.
It’s also good to let your financial institutions know where you’ll be traveling and when. This will keep them from accidentally locking up your funds when they notice unusual charges from exotic locations.
You’ll also want to carry some cash in the local currency. Generally, there are currency exchanges at the airport or near the hotels.
If you need help understanding the local conversion rates, download one of the free currency apps such as Currency, Currency Banknotes, or Currency Convert.
Reach out to your wireless carrier to find out if your current phone plan includes international calling. Each wireless company has different plans and options so you’ll want to be sure you have what you need to use your phone while abroad.
We have to stress the importance of uploading electronic copies of all your important travel documents again. You should upload this paperwork to your iPhone Cloud or your Google Docs so it can be easily accessed from anywhere.
Important documents to save….
- Credit card
- ATM card
- Travel insurance documents
- Bank account information
- Vaccination records
- Emergency phone numbers and emails
- List of expensive items you’re taking along (i.e. jewelry, electronic equipment, etc.)
You’ll probably be traveling with plenty of electronic gear that’ll need to be charged such as cell phone, laptop, Kindle, or blow dryer.
Every country has its standards for voltage and plugs. So you may need to bring an electrical adapter before trying to power your devices.
If you don’t check into this then you may not be able to get any power…or you could even blow something up!
Figure out how you will get from the airport to your hotel or resort. Are there taxis available? Will you need to take public transit? Are you renting a vehicle?
If you are renting a car, then be sure you don’t need an international license and international auto insurance to operate the vehicle.
Packing Your Luggage
The best step to take is to download a free packing app to help you figure out what to pack and how best to pack. Here are a few of the most popular apps:: *DUFL, PackPoint, or TravelList.
Packing apps will give you plenty of useful tips such as putting a change of clothes, medications, and your toothbrush in a carry-on. This way you’ll have everything needed to get through a few days even if your checked baggage goes missing.
News at Your Destination Country
Before departing please get familiar with your destination country’s weather, national holidays, crime rate, and political climate. You need to be prepared for whatever is currently happening in your host country.
Travel Medical Insurance
Buying visitor insurance to protect your travel plans, as well as your health is critical. Once your policy is issued, we recommend you make extra copies of your ID card and policy documents.
You will also want to memorize the closest covered hospital under your travel plan. This way you’ll know where to go in case of a medical emergency.
Before Leaving Home
There are a few basic tasks you’ll need to follow on our checklist to avoid any messy mishaps while you’re away.
- Take out the garbage
- Empty the dishwasher, washing machine, and refrigerator
- Set timers for your lamps
- Drip taps in cold climates or shut off the main water line
- Unplug electronics
- Make plans for your mail delivery
Hopefully, these action items will help you better prepare now so you can enjoy your voyage later.