Being prepared is always a sure way to ensure a safe and stress-free trip abroad. Luckily, I am a planner and have mastered the art of organising and checking things off my international travel checklist prior to going on my next big adventure.
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Travelling internationally can come with certain risks as you never know when you may get ill or, if you’re the adventurous traveller, when you might end up breaking something! For this reason, it’s imperative you have the right travel insurance.
World Nomads (also recommended by Lonely Planet and National Geographic!) offer add-ons for those looking for high adrenaline, extreme sport kind of activities. Of course, you can opt for the basic travel insurance option also, which will suit the majority of international travellers.
Make sure you check out your visa requirements a couple of months before your international trip. Depending on your nationality and where you’re travelling to, it may be that it takes some time to be approved for your visa.
For the majority of travellers, it’s pretty simple to arrange your visa and most countries now have an e-visa service where you can apply online and get approval back within days.
Be wary of third parties charging excessive amounts for visas! You can check Project Visa for information on visas and links to the official government visa sites.
The last thing you want is to get ill when in a foreign country (another reason to have travel insurance!). Be sure to check out which vaccinations you need before you go. Some vaccinations, such as Hep A & B, you will need to get multiple times before going so make sure you have enough time.
But please do have a chat with your doctor before getting any vaccinations or taking any preventative medication.
Check the weather
Hopefully you’re not going anywhere that’s going to rain all day every day! But some countries, especially in southeast Asia, tend to have short downpours of rain once or twice a day so you’ll need to know when to bring rainwear with you. Some countries are lovely and warm during the day but tend to get chilly at night so make sure you’re prepared for all eventualities in the country you’re travelling to.
Convert your money
Depending on where you’re travelling to, you may be able to use your credit card for the majority of payments. This is great, as you can get extra points by using your credit card and you don’t have to carry a lot of cash around.
However, it’s always best to have a small amount of local currency for emergencies, taxis and tips.
I travel alone quite a bit and have gotten into the habit of sending my itinerary to my mum and friend. There’s no harm in being cautious. And you may not have internet or phone service so at least you can rest assured that if there’s an emergency, they will be able to contact your hotel.
Suss out the area
Again, if you’re travelling alone, or even not, it’s always good to be aware of your surroundings. If you’re staying somewhere that might be ideal during the day but not quite safe to walk around at night, you can plan ahead and make sure there will be taxis available or perhaps a driver from the hotel.
If you like it then you should put a pin on it!
Pack the essentials
I know I may over-pack but I like to be comfortable. Nothing wrong with that! Be sure to pack your essentials for a long haul flight so you can start your holiday fresh as a daisy off the plane, having had the most comfortable flight.
Other essentials to pack for a trip abroad are:
- International plug
- Pen for any customs forms you need to fill out
- Appropriate clothing for the country you’re visiting (weather dependant and also tradition dependant)
- Photocopy of your passport – I know you might have a copy on your phone but just in case your passport / phone gets lost, it’s a good idea to have a copy of your passport on you.
Related: Pack Hacks For The Savvy Traveller
Notify your bank
Sometimes when you use your credit card abroad for the first time, your bank may think someone’s stolen your number and block it! Believe me, it happens. And it has happened to me! While you can always call them up and get it sorted pretty quickly, it’s still a hassle having to call from outside your own country. By letting your bank know beforehand, they can make a note of where you’re travelling to and hopefully there will be no blocking of your card.
Set your bills to auto-pay
You don’t want to come back home to find your electricity has been turned off because you forgot to pay your bill before you went abroad! Set your bills to auto pay so you never need to worry about them when you’re travelling.
So there you have it, all you need to prepare you for your big trip abroad. Why not get the international travel checklist sent directly to your email so you can print and check things off before your next big adventure! Sign up below!