Unless you are a frequent world traveler, you may find your first big trip leaves you a bit frazzled. Traveling abroad comes with much preparation and planning, and you want to make sure everything is in order. Now that you have your plane tickets and hotel stay arranged, it’s time to get organized with all the smaller yet just as important details.
The best way to keep organized is to make a list of all items to address before your big trip.
Have up to date passports & and visas if your destination requires one. You can check here at travel.state.gov. Make sure all-important documentation is in order and kept in a safe place. Make copies of your passport, hotel reservations, travel tickets, and travel insurance, both print and digital. It’s important to have a hard copy as you may not always have access to Wi-Fi or a fully charged battery.
Give a copy of your itinerary and passport to a responsible adult whom you trust and knows you intended plans and general whereabouts.
Enroll in Global Entry program
It will help you save time, skip the processing line, and even get access to expedited entry benefits in other countries.
Get vaccinations and fill prescriptions
The CDC travel website has a list of countries and their required/recommended immunizations. For maximum protection, get the required shots six weeks before departure.
Medical Insurance & Travel Insurance
Check with your health insurance and make sure you are covered in the country you will be visiting. If not buy travel insurance, but make sure the U.S. government has not issued a travel warning to your destination. Many travel insurance policies will not cover travel to countries that are under travel warnings.
Get a travel credit card/debit card
Most debit and credit cards charge international transaction fees, but there are cards available that do not charge fees. Do your homework and find one that’s right for you. Here is a list of credit cards compiled by NerdWallet and the best no-fee debit cards by CreditKarma. Choose one or two to take with you, be sure to call the company before you leave and inform them of the countries you will be visiting to avoid denial when you go to use one.
Make a Packing Checklist
Consider the climate you will be experiencing and the activities you be enjoying. Pack lightly, bring layers and clothes in colors that can be mixed and matched for a variety of outfits. Include electronics, batteries, medical prescription, toiletries, etc. carry on all valuable and medicines.
Educate Yourself about the Culture
Study the history and customs of your destination. Understanding the culture will allow you to enjoy and benefit greatly from your experience while visiting another land.
Once you’ve finished organizing the details of your trip, relax and enjoy the journey!