Are you planning on traveling abroad? Whether this trip be work-related, for a family vacation or for a study abroad adventure, the amount of preparation that you put into packing and ensuring that you having everything you need before boarding that plane will make a huge difference in your experience abroad. Your nerves will surely be at ease if you plan in advance.
Here is a checklist of some things to keep in mind before leaving the good old U.S.A.
Determine what documents you need to enter any countries that you will be traveling to in advance
It is important to file for a passport and any necessary visas 7 months before your departure date. Unfortunately, all sorts of things can delay the time of delivery for these important documents.
*Tip: Make copies of your travel documentation.
Become educated about your travel destinations
Culture shock is real. The more you read about the destination that you are traveling to, the less surprised you will be when experiencing daily life in a foreign country. Conduct some research on the following: what you can and cannot bring inside the country, local customs/etiquette, transportation (subway and taxi systems), a plan for your mobile device.
Pack correctly when traveling abroad
Pack lightly! I cannot emphasize this enough as I learned this the hard way while lugging around an 80 pound suitcase all over Central Europe. I’ll be honest, I did not need half of the things in that suitcase and it just ended up breaking. Anything that you may end up needing, you can easily purchase at a local store; so, only bring the essentials. As an extra pointer, make sure to check the weather forecast before leaving so that you can pack accordingly. Here are some of the items that I could not travel without: adaptors, comfortable walking shoes, raincoat/poncho, umbrella, sunglasses, dramamine, ibuprofen, anti diarrheal/nausea, reusable water bottle.
*Tip: Make sure you have a few days worth of clothing, medication, toiletries, etc. in your carry on bag just incase your checked luggage gets misplaced by the airline. Sometimes misplaced luggage takes a few days to get delivered back to its proper owner.
Check in with your doctor
It is so important to have a clean bill of health before traveling abroad. It is also important to notify your physician of the destinations that you will be traveling to as you need to get properly vaccinated prior to boarding the plane. You may also need a note from your physician regarding any prescription medications that you have to bring on your trip.
Get insured before traveling abroad
Making sure that you are insured can save you a lot of trouble if something comes up while you are traveling. Check in with your insurance provider to see if your policy applies overseas for emergencies; if it doesn’t then you should add some extra coverage.
Budget, Budget, Budget!
Traveling abroad is expensive. You want to make sure that you are budgeting your money according to foreign currency rates. You simply don’t want to run out of cash because you didn’t plan properly. Calculate how much money you will need each day for as long as you are on your trip. It is important to budget for the following: transportation, accommodations, food, activities/excursions, and emergencies.
*Tip: Make sure you are always using reputable banks and ATMs. Pinpoint major banks in the area that you will primarily be staying in.
Now that I have shared some thoughts to consider before traveling abroad, get out there and board that plane!