Checklist for International Travel: 7 Tips for a Smoother Trip Overseas

Traveling abroad is one of the best things that you can do for yourself because of all the exposure you get to other cultures.

Many people have fantasies of dining in Spain, seeing the sights in France, and exploring the Italian countryside. But, booking an international flight isn’t something you should do on a whim.

Before you leave, you need to be sure to you have a solid checklist for international travel. 

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to keep in mind.

1. Start With The Essentials

Regardless of where your destination is, there are essential items that you’ll want to take with you wherever you go. These items include:

  • Headphones
  • Camera
  • Chargers for electronics (camera, phone, razor, etc.)
  • Warm clothing (The plane, restaurants, etc. may be cold)
  • Cash
  • Medication (if you take any)

It’s a good idea to have these items grouped together before you start packing. That way, you’ll be sure they’re all accounted for before you put them in your suitcase/carry-on.

Not all countries have the same cord usage, which can make charging/using electronics difficult. You can learn more about that here. 

2. Call Your Bank

One of the most common inconveniences people face when traveling abroad is having their cards declined when attempting to make a purchase in another country.

Thus, you’ll have to preemptively notify your credit card company and bank before you get on your flight. Otherwise, you could find yourself without access to funds.

You should also ask your bank about their international ATM policy. Some cardholders may find that they have to pay fees when withdrawing cash, but there may be certain locations that don’t make you pay.

Make sure you tell your bank/card company the cities/countries you’ll be in. In the event that your cards get stolen (something that isn’t a rare occurrence for international tourists), your company will know to deactivate the card if it’s used in an area that isn’t near your destination. 

3. Know Where You’re Going

It’s important to know the area where you’re going to be staying. Some countries aren’t exactly the safest places on Earth for travels due to factors like political turmoil.

While this doesn’t mean you can’t visit these locations, you should be extra cautious while you do so.

Regardless of where you travel to, it’s also important that you know what cities are safe and what areas to avoid. Researching online on your own or asking someone who’s been to the country you’re planning to travel to can save you from having to deal with conflict. 

4. Don’t Forget Vaccines Before You Go

You shouldn’t rely on being able to get the required vaccines in the country you’re traveling to, as they might not be available by the time you arrive.

Some vaccines also require multiple visits to a doctor, which is something you may not have enough time to do while you’re abroad.

Foregoing required vaccines is a risky maneuver that could land you in the hospital for the duration of your trip.

Some countries require proof of vaccination. Thus, you should keep your vaccination documents on your person while traveling so that you can access them easily.

You can find a list of shots the CDC recommends here

5. Keep Things Accounted For Back Home

In the rush that comes with preparing for international travel, it can be easy to forget to make sure your home is taken care of.

Before you leave, contact a friend or family member that you trust and give them a list of necessities that you need them to do while you’re gone. Things like watering plants, collecting mail/newspaper, and caring for pets are all essential.

Not only will this make sure you get back into the groove smoothly when you return, but it will also deter would-be thieves from noticing that you’ve been out of town. 

6. Travel Documents

Before you can even consider going to another country, you’re going to need a valid passport and necessary travel visas. There’s nothing worse than attempting to travel abroad and getting denied because your passport has expired (or will expire during your trip).

If you have to renew your passport (or get one), you’ll need to apply for one 7-8 weeks before your trip to make sure that you get it on time.

It’s possible to receive yours in less time by using a private service, but you’ll end up paying far more. 

7. Travel Health Insurance

This is yet another major requirement that many people forget to plan for when traveling internationally.

It’s unlikely that your current health insurance will cover you during your trip. This means that you’ll be paying out of pocket for things like ER visits and filling prescriptions.

So, you’ll have to find a plan that offers you coverage instead.

Plans are often only available for a short time period, so if your international trip is going to be an extended stay, you may need to look into coverage options for tourists in the country you’re traveling to.

Making a Checklist For International Travel Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making sure your checklist for international travel is complete.

Want to learn more about lifestyle choices that can benefit you? Make sure to check out the rest of our blog!

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