7 Things You Need to Do Before Traveling Internationally
You finally booked that trip of a lifetime out of the country and the countdown has officially begun! ...So now what? It's easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of booking that dream trip overseas, but there are a few things you need to add to your checklist before you pack your bags.
Use these 7 tips to make sure you're preparing for your international trip like a pro!
1. Check Your Passport and Apply for Visas
This step could even come before you officially book your flight, but it's important to make sure your passport is in good standing (i.e. it's not expired) and that you go through the application process of any visas you might need. In case you didn't know, just because you have a passport doesn't automatically grant you access into any country. Make sure you do a little research to apply for any visa you need before you head on your journey--especially since some visas can take a couple weeks to get approved.
2. Notify Your Bank and Arrange Your Finances
Before you leave the country, make sure you call your bank and let them know you'll be traveling overseas. The last thing you want happening is your account getting frozen when you try to pay for your hotel, taxi, or dinner once you arrive. Give them a quick call to place a note on your account (or do it online), and maybe even request some money in your destination's currency.
3. Check if You Need Vaccines or Medications
If you're traveling overseas, see if you're required to get any proper vaccines or medications before you depart. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a list of these requirements on their website. You can also browse the site to see if there are any health advisories that you should be aware of, or any proper medications you could bring along.
4. Make Copies of Important Documents
Take a couple minutes to make a few copies of your important documents. This includes your passport, visas, reservation confirmations, and even credit card info. It's nice to keep these copies in a safe place in case anything were to happen while you were traveling.
5. Research Entrance/Exit Fees
I've actually been surprised by this one and it's caused a dent in my travel budget since I didn't prepare ahead of time. Some international countries impose (ridiculous I.M.O.) entrance and/or exit fees once you arrive and leave. It's usually not too expensive, but if you're not accounting for it, it can surprise you and make a dent in your travel budget. Do a quick search before you leave and get your cash ready (important in case they don't accept credit cards).
6. Get Any Electronic Adapters You Might Need
You definitely don't want to show up to your destination without being able to plug your electronics in, so check to see what kind of adapters you might need. You can visit Amazon or travel stores like Flight 001 to get all kinds of adapters and international plugs before your trip.
7. Learn a Few Important Phrases
This isn't a requirement, but it's a nice gesture. If you're traveling to a country where you don't speak the language, do your best to learn a couple important phrases like "thank you," "please," or "hello." People of the country will respect and appreciate that you took the time to learn a little bit of their culture.
Other things you could do:
- Get Travel Insurance
- Exchange your money at a local currency exchange or bank
- Check the weather in your destination
- Research driver permits
- Confirm your hotel, car, and/or other reservations
- Read this post for tips about how to thrive on your next flight
- Beat jet lag with these tips
What are other things you do before traveling internationally? Do you have a specific checklist? Comment below with more tips!