This is your ultimate list on how to prepare for international travel to ensure you are fully ready for your trip abroad! These are the top 20 things I highly recommend doing before traveling internationally to ensure you have the most fun, safe, and stress-free trip ever! I have learned through my own travels and experiences that these tips are essential. You will learn: what important documents to bring, what to buy before-hand, necessary health precautions, currency exchange, phone plan, travel safety, packing tips and much more!
Top 20 Things You Must Do Before Traveling Internationally
1. Give a copy of your documents, itinerary, and confirmations to friends and family.
- This way they know your whereabouts and if you misplace something you can call them, if needed.
2. Copies of travel docs, passport, and ID in multiple places
- You will also need to have color copies of these important documents with you and in a couple places, if possible, in case anything gets lost.
3. Multiple forms of ID
- Your passport is necessary, but it also helps to bring extra forms of identification like a Driver’s License or college ID.
4. Sign up for the free program: STEP https://step.state.gov/step/
- Why you should sign up?
- For U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad
- Notifies your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate
- Receive safety information about the country you are visiting
- Allows the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency (i.e. natural disaster, family emergency, country turmoil)
What To Buy?
5. Safe travel bag
- Having a trusty theft-proof bag is always a great safety precaution and gives you a little more piece of mind when traveling. Here’s one thats worth the money!
6. Travel charger
- The last thing you want to have happen is to be stranded with a dead phone battery and desperately trying to find a charger. Also, this device comes handy in case when you are in a pinch if your camera dies suddenly! Here is the charger I bought and another I recommend.
- Charger & Option 2
7. Adapters, Voltage, Plugs, oh my!
- A universal adapter is key to traveling! Since voltages are different depending on which country you are traveling to, you will need an adapter so you can use your phone charger, camera chargers, and any other electronics you have! I recommend this adapter.
- Locks come in handy for that extra layer of security on your luggage and backpack. If you are staying in hostels this is a must! I used the number locks so I did’t have to worry about keeping track of a key (maybe tell a family member the combo just in case 😉 ). I recommend getting this TSA approved lock.
9. Vaccination to and from your country
- You want to make sure you have all the necessary shots to go to countries and leave countries. This is to keep you safe as well as others from getting sick!
- Check vaccines.gov to give you information on vaccines for travel.
- Use the U.S. Department of State’s travel page for more information.
- The CDC has up-to-date travel health notices and even an app to keep you updated. Here is the app!
- Be sure to have the refills you will need to last you the whole trip! Carry your prescriptions with you so you don’t risk them getting lost or stolen.
- The government’s State Department also recommends travelers:
- Carry a letter from you physicians regarding your condition and reason for prescription
- Have prescription in original container
- Check foreign embassy of destination country to ensure your medication is permitted.
11. Insurance Info
- You will want to have your Health, Dental, Vision, Travel or any other pertinent insurance information on your phone as well as the insurance cards.
- Need advice on finding the right travel insurance for you? I highly recommend checking out World Nomads.
What To Do About Money?
12. International Currency
- Have cash on hand in the currency of the country you are traveling to before you arrive to the airport! Having to worry about the money exchanging at the airport or in the destination can be stressful. Find out where to exchange currency here.
13. Travel credit card
- Without a proper travel credit card your bank charges foreign transaction fees every time your card is used – yikes $$! Avoid getting hit with the fines and apply for a travel credit card at least 2 months before take-off so you get your card in time. I use this card.
14. Call your bank
- Tell them every country you will be in and the dates you will be there so they don’t block your card and so the bank can tell if someone has stolen your information.
15. Download mobile apps
- Mobile apps come in handy to keep track of plane tickets, where you’ve been, translations, hotel accommodations, and spots to eat at! Check out my list of the top 20 travel apps you need before leaving!
16. Phone plan
- Talk to your phone provider and buy a travel plan best suited for you! This way if you can’t get to wifi you can still make calls and research information. Some phone plans have unlimited roaming included already!
To The Hotel!
17. How to get to hotel
- Have your transportation plan ready from the airport to the hotel and have your hotel confirmation emails printed so there aren’t any discrepancies when arriving.
18. Business card of hotel
- Once arrived at the hotel, pick up a business card and store it in your wallet in case you need the address quickly.
- This is so crucial because you want to make sure you are packing correctly and don’t waste space on unnecessary items or come underprepared!
20. Pack early and weigh the luggage!!
- You relieve a lot of stress when you break out the suitcase a couple weeks in advance and start! Also, you can swap out items if you are close to that weight limit!
- Here is a handy and cheap luggage weight so there aren’t any surprises at the airport!
I’m a checklist kinda gal – so snag this snazzy checklist below to make sure you don’t miss a thing before that epic trip!
Anything you would add? What are your essential pre-travel tips, tricks, and items? Let’s hear em!