Photo by C. Cagnin from Pexels
If you’re like me, you like to plan your trip well in advance. How to travel to and from the airport, what hotels you will stay in, what attractions you want to visit. You may even look up recommendations for restaurants to plan meals ahead of time. But, it’s easy to forget that there are things you MUST do before you travel anywhere.
We’ve all been there, and I have (more than once) stood in a hotel in a foreign country without a plug adapter. A dead phone is no fun.
That’s why I’ve collected a list of things you must do before you travel anywhere.
1. Check out your passports and visas
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels
This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget to check that your passport is still valid at the time of your travel. In some destinations your passport will even have to be valid for at least 6 months AFTER your visit. You should also check if you need any visas to visit the countries you want to.
This should be done months before your travel, in order to have time to get all your papers in order.
2. Get your vaccines
Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels
Depending on where you are travelling, it might be necessary for you to get some vaccines before your trip. Do your research and check what your national health authorities recommend.
Make sure to make the necessary appointments well in advance. Ideally you should get vaccinated at least 4-6 week before your trip. There are several reasons why: some vaccines need a little time to start working, so you want to make sure you’re protected while travelling. Also, it gives you the time to get vaccines that require more than 1 dose.
3. Pay your bills
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
If you know you have any bills that are due while you are away, or right after you get back, you should get around to paying them.
I know that in today’s world you will most likely be able to pay your bills while you’re travelling, but it’s easy to forget. And honestly, who want’s to worry about bills while on vacation?
4. Find someone to watch your pet
Photo by Buenosia Carol from Pexels
If you have a pet, you need to find someone to watch it for you. The person you choose must be someone you really trust. If you can’t find anyone you trust to watch your pet, you could opt for a professional service.
If you choose a kennel or any other kind of professional service, make sure you read testimonials from clients. If anything seems wrong, find somewhere else! Trust your gut instinct on this.
5. Make arrangements for your mail and residence
Depending on how long you’ll be away it’ll be smart to make arrangements for your mail and residence while you are gone. Have someone you trust check up on both your mailbox and residence while you’re away.
If you have houseplants you might need someone to water them, and it’s nice to have someone come around in case anything happens. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen, but if a waterpipe bursts, you want someone to notice as fast as possible.
6. Make arrangements for your cellphone
Depending on where you are travelling to and from, you will probably have to check with your phone operator what it will cost to use your phone while travelling.
In many cases it will be cheaper to unlock your phone and buy a SIM-card in the country you’re travelling to, than to stay on your usual plan.
7. Download apps
Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels
Before you go on your trip, you should look into what apps might be useful to you, and download them. This could be apps to buy tickets for public transport etc. If you download them ahead of time you can acquaint yourself with them, and know how they work before you actually need to use them.
8. Get a plug adapter and voltage converter
As mentioned earlier, this is one of those things you must do before you travel anywhere. Check what plug adapter you will need and check if you’ll need a voltage converter so you are able to charge your phone and computer while travelling.
These are usually quite inexpensive, and some of them are versatile so you can use the same adapter for multiple plugs. It’s no fun having a dead phone when you want to call home or need it for an emergency.
9. Contact your bank and/or credit card company
Before travelling it’s smart to notify your bank and credit card company that you will be travelling. That way they can make a note of it and you should have no problems using your cards.
You should also take this time to check if there are any foreign transaction fees you should be aware of. In addition, you should note down your bank's contact info so you can get in touch with them if you lose your card or if it’s stolen.
Even though you should always be considerate when using credit cards, it’s very useful to travel with universally accepted cards like Visa or Mastercard.
10. Get the right currency
Before you travel anywhere, you need to check what currency they use. This is especially useful if your bank charges fees on foreign transactions.
11. Get travel insurance
Of course, we always hope nothing bad happens on our trip! But in case it does, you need to have your travel insurance in order.
Depending on what activities you plan on doing, you also might have to get a special insurance as most common travel insurances don’t cover things like extreme sports.
On that note: You also have to check what your insurance covers. Depending on what it covers, you might want to leave your most valuable items at home.
12. Make copies of important documents
The last thing you must do before you travel anywhere is to make copies of important travel documents. I like to make a physical copy I can leave with a trusted friend or family member, but it’s also smart to have a digital copy stored in your cloud.
Documents you should make copies of:
Passport & visas
Bank account info
Use these tips on what things you must do before you travel anywhere
to be prepared for your next trip!
If you liked this article, I hope you'll follow my blog or sign up for my newsletter for more travel info and shared travel experiences. And of course I'd be happy if you would share this article with someone else who might be interested in it, too.
I've created a packing list that you might like to have. Sign up for my newsletter now and get instant access!
See you soon!
Hi, I'm Else Kosberg, a Norwegian woman who is passionate about travel, languages, photography & filming, and learning about other people and cultures. I'm a writer, motivational speaker and broadcaster who wants to empower others (and especially women) to live unapologetically on their own terms. I will forever be a Warrior for Peace, love and understanding across the borders, and with this blog I hope to inspire, motivate and empower YOU to start exploring the world and maybe follow the roads less traveled.