With the rampant pandemic wreaking havoc on a large part of the world, it always seems a breath of fresh air to finally pack your bags and be allowed to explore far-off places and lands. Still, the landscape of tourism and hospitality has gone through drastic changes in the last year. So, you need to be on top of the details before setting your course.
Table of Contents
- Purchase Travel Insurance
- Get an International Driver’s License
- Add Extra Passport Pages
- Ensure You Have the Right Visas
- Have a Checkup and Get Vaccinated
- Reserve Accommodations
- Print out Hard Copies of Your Documents
- Join STEP
- Double-Check Everything
- Put Together a Survival Kit
- Buy a Travel Adapter
In this post, we are going to make a definitive checklist that can help you with your journey ahead. There is no doubt the last couple of days before your vacations are always stressful, hence this list to check essentials before you leave your house
Purchase Travel Insurance
This is one of the things that are clearly not open for debate. For many, travel insurance is only necessary if you are leaving your home country. So, if you are traveling abroad, make sure you insure yourself.
There are a lot of options in getting yourself insured for travel. It usually covers;
- Emergency medical coverage
- Lost luggage
- Trip cancellation
Get an International Driver’s License
This is another thing that is mandatory in one country, not so in another. But, it is a good idea to obtain an IDL before you travel to another country.
For Americans, it is easy to get one. All you need to do is go to the AAA office with two passport photos and a nominal fee (maybe around $15).
This can literally open new avenues of adventure for you.
Add Extra Passport Pages
Depending on how much you travel, you need to keep tabs on how many pages you have left on your passport. And by pages, we mean correct pages that permit visa stamps and not the “amendments pages”.
Further, there are countries that do not permit entrance unless the passport has at least six months of validity.
Ensure You Have the Right Visas
This one should be obvious but it is often overlooked. You can always spot a couple of people haggling with immigration staff to let them through, even if they do not have proper visas.
So, you must check visa regulations and requirements before making your move or you will not be able to head out of the airport. On the other hand, you stand to lose a couple of thousand dollars as you will have to leave the country on the very next flight if your visa is not in order.
Have a Checkup and Get Vaccinated
Before getting on to the next plane to your beloved destination, it is always a good practice to see your physician and discuss your condition. It may include;
- Topping off your prescription
- Further medical safety measures
Additionally, depending on the countries you want to visit on your travels, you may need to get vaccinated. The website of CDC is the best source to know about the latest development in this regard.
Many of us are spontaneous and adventurous who do not think about tomorrow and want to live our lives to the fullest today. That may be a pertinent philosophy while you are at home, but you should reserve accommodation in where you are headed, just in case.
Like the old saying, it is always better to have something and not use it than to need something and not have it.
After staying the first night, if you want to go someplace else to spend the night, by all means do it, but as long as you have a place reserved already, at least you won’t have to sleep out on the side of a road somewhere.
Print out Hard Copies of Your Documents
Reservation – It has almost become a norm not to have a hard copy in person. Everyone is relying on integrated software and that is fine until you are somewhere where there is no WIFI or cellular coverage or your device dies down.
Having hard copies with you can save you from a lot of trouble as you can produce them on demand. Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork in hard form.
Tickets – The same goes for tickets. The airlines are much ahead of the time in this regard, but trains in many cities can default on that practice. So, you are maybe asked, politely, to purchase a new ticket even though you had confirmation and digital copy on you.
Passport – It may seem like a long shot but making several copies of your passport can save you a lot of trouble. In case your passport gets stolen or reservations, where they need your passport before you can check-in, having a hard copy on you, can always save you from the trouble of waiting.
If you want to stay ahead of the new developments happening around the world that directly affect travel and tourism, then joining STEP is the right move. This program is started by the US Department of State to facilitate travelers and tourists.
They will send you alerts and updates, such as if your passport has been stolen or if there is an emergency.
Reservation – When you are planning on a multi-destination tour, you must keep tabs on the time in between one journey and the others. Your whole accommodation reservation scheme depends on it. Otherwise, you may lose your reservation and hard-earned money with it.
Weather – While packing for your trip, you must check the ten-day weather forecast of your destination before packing your luggage. This way, you will be sure about which way to go, the extra layers or the raincoat.
Carry-On & Luggage Restrictions – If you are flying on a budget, you need to snuff out all the potential pitfalls where you might have to part with your money. For instance, airlines differ on what they allow you to take as carry-on luggage or checked luggage. So, double-check on that before making your move.
Put Together a Survival Kit
Here is a list of some general items that be included in your survival kit. Add anything else that is essential for your survival and is easy to carry in a bag.
- Eye mask
- Sleep aid
- Bismuth subsalicylate (i.e. Pepto-Bismol)
- Prescription medications
- Hand Sanitizer
With pandemic restrictions, you may have to keep your vaccination certificate on hand to show upon request.
Buy a Travel Adapter
Although many airports have places to plug in devices now, you can always benefit from the one you have in your possession. This can come in handy whether you want to get some work done while waiting at the airport or check out your Instagram or Facebook feed (highly likely).
It does not matter if you are a detail freak or someone who acts on the spur of the moment, you need to do some research and advance planning to make your international trip as enjoyable as possible. If not, then you are likely to get into trouble.
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