If you’re done with booking the fun stuff for your overseas travel, now it’s time to arrange the other not-so-fun things. Dedicate some time to fully prepare your trip abroad today than having to spend time worrying about these things while you’re there. Ensure that your trip will go as smoothly as possible by doing some advanced research and planning. Our international travel checklist makes things easier for every traveler, whether this is the first time traveling internationally or not.
Regular travel aficionados would first check if their passport is valid, and then begin with trip planning. If you already have a passport, verify its expiration date. Some countries may even deny you entry if your passport is due to expire in three to six months.
If you don’t have a passport at all, start the application several months before your trip. It usually takes about a month or longer for a passport to be issued, so don’t leave it until the last minute. Most likely, you’ll be asked to apply in person and offer other documents, such as proof of citizenship, identity card, and passport photos.
The next step is applying for a visa. Most countries require a visa, either for a long or a short stay. Visit the official government website of the country you’re visiting to find all the necessary documents you need to sign up for a visa and other permits. There are different types, such as a student or a work abroad visa. Find the one that matches your case and start the process today.
Depending on your destination, you might need to get vaccinated against certain diseases that are maybe extinct in your country, but still exist in others. Consult your doctor on how much time in advance you need to do it and what are some of its side effects. Check also the travel warnings that your country’s government may have issued for some destinations. For example, you might be asked to reconsider traveling or be advised to exercise increased caution in a risky area.
If you are flying to your destination, then you need to first figure out how you will get to the airport. Driving is the most convenient option because you don’t have to wait on anyone’s else schedule or risk delayed public transportation. However, be advised that many London airports, such as Gatwick Airport, have expensive parking rates. The good news is that you can find discount off-site Gatwick Airport car parking and reserve a spot in advance to save money.
You also need to know your transportation options at your destination. Will you rent a car or take an uber? Is there sufficient public transportation around the city? Do you want to take day trips outside of the city? Do plenty of research in advance so that you know what the best option is for your trip.
When traveling inside your own country, you probably haven’t considered travel insurance. International travel is different because if something happens out of the blue, you don’t want to worry about how you will cover the costs. It’s best to purchase travel insurance that covers medical emergency expenses, lost or damaged luggage, trip cancellation, and delays. These types of insurance will cover most costs and will secure your financial investment.
Days before your departure, call your bank and ask them if you can use your credit cards abroad, and specify the country you are visiting. Ask about foreign transaction and commission fees for using your card or ATMs abroad.
Also, it might be a good idea to sign up for a travel credit card with a mile bonus reward program. You can earn points for money spent and redeem these points for travel-related purchases. You will also earn bonus miles just for signing up. Travel credit cards usually don’t have extra fees for using the card abroad, so it can be a good investment.
Of course, always bring cash with you in case your credit card is declined or if there isn’t an ATM nearby. If it’s possible, exchange currency before you leave so you aren’t stuck in the airport without money.
Whether traveling abroad for a week or a few months, it’s good to know about the cost of living at your destination. Is it cheaper or more expensive than your home country? Check the general prices for food, transportation, accommodation, and entertainment to know what to expect and how much to budget.
Many countries have tourist discount cards for things like public transportation, museums, and other activities. They can be a good solution to ensure that you have access to all the things you want to do. Check the prices for multi-day tickets and compare to the cost of going without it.
For travelers looking to save money, booking a hostel might be great way to cut costs on accommodations. Some hostels have shared rooms while others might offer private rooms, but most hostels only have shared bathrooms. If you don’t want to share a room with a stranger, then you can book an Airbnb or a hotel room.
Make a list of all the things you are likely to spend money on, and then always take more money with you. Truthfully, we rarely spend less than we expected on a trip abroad.