Travelling abroad is fun! That is, if you’re well-prepared for it. But if you just so happen to go on a trip without proper planning beforehand, things could get messy, so before packing your bags and heading to the airport make sure that you have taken care of these 10 essential preparations listed in this article first.
1. Check Your Passport, Visa, and Other Travel Documents
Before even planning your international trip, see to it that your passport is still valid, and apply for any necessary visas that might be required when travelling to your destination(s). If you plan to rent a car when arriving in your destination, check if your driver’s license will suffice to drive a car while on trip where they travel on the other side of the road. Otherwise, find out how you can obtain a local driver’s permit in your destination.
2. Check for Travel Warnings or Storm Advisories
It is important that you check for certain travel warnings before leaving on your international trip. Make sure that where you are going is currently not under a state-of-emergency, or that you’re travelling to a destination that is being battered by a devastating storm.
3. Manage Your Finances
Stock up your wallet and make sure that your credit cards and bank accounts are in good form. Inform your bank that you will be travelling in the next couple of weeks or so, and it’s likely they’ll also offer you to head off with some of their traveler’s checks that will prevent you from being swindled if someone tries to steal the wallet out of your back pocket. This will give them a heads up that your irregular financial activities in the coming weeks are only the result of your travelling expenses, and upon arriving at the airport, find an ATM and withdraw cash in local currency to avoid any further problems.
4. Plan Your Day-to-Day Activities
It is important that you plan your first day up to your last day in your destination. Check for tourist spots and arrange any visits that you might be interested in. Find out if there are any local events when you are there, and check for the go-to food spots in the area.
5. Check Public Transit Instructions
It is also worth it to know how the public transportation is in your destination. Obtain a transit map so you get an idea where and how to go to your next destination so you’re never pressed for time trying to get from one end of a foreign city to another.
6. Learn Some Local Key Phrases
This is often overlooked by many tourists. When travelling to a foreign country, it is just proper (and respectful) to learn the most common phrases in the local language so that you can interact with the locals freely. Learn simple phrases like “Hello” or “How are you” or “Where is this location” so you don’t get lost and at the very least, can make simple conversation with those around you.
7. Take Care of Your Mail
If you are expecting a package while you are away, see to it that you inform the courier that you won’t be around during specific dates. If you have regular services such as newspapers, housecleaning and the like, have the courtesy to inform them that you won’t be needing their services (temporarily) so no one has access to your home while you’re away.
8. Get All Electronic Gadgets You’ll Need
Prepare all the gadgets that you will need during the duration of your travel. Make sure that you pack all your chargers and gadgets (i.e. phone, camera, laptop), and be sure that the country you’re travelling to allows you to use these devices unrestricted on their local cellular or wireless networks.
9. Get Travel/Health Insurance
Buy travel and health insurances that will cover you while you are travelling internationally. You can also get certain vaccine shots and other prescription drugs to keep you disease-free while in your destination.
10. Get a VPN service
And lastly, get yourself a reliable VPN service. This might not seem like a big deal, but when you are travelling to a country that has strict internet restrictions, you will benefit from using a VPN service. With a VPN like ProVPN, you can bypass such restrictions and be able to access websites and services that are normally blocked in your destination country.