6 things to remember before you go away on your travels
The time before you head off and explore a new destination or two is exciting, right? Well, yes it is, but it’s also stressful because you’re trying your hardest not to forget something important, something which if you do manage to forget will not only ruin your time away, but could also mean you don’t actually leave the country in the first place! You need a vacation travel checklist well before you set off.
It’s often the most obvious things we don’t give much thought to, and therefore we run a higher risk of forgetting them.
Because pre-travel can be like trying to traverse a minefield at times, consider this your vacation travel checklist, or tick-list of things to remember before you head to the airport.
Vacation Travel Checklist 1. Passport
An obvious one, right? I’m not just talking about remembering to pack it, I’m talking about checking its validity. These days, most destinations require at least six months left on your passport from the date you return home; now, this varies in some destinations, so do check ahead of time, but you need to be checking that expiry date and renewing early if you don’t have enough time left on it.
Vacation Travel Checklist 2 – Visa
Do you need one? You might not, but it’s a definite must-do to check it! Back in 2007 I missed out on a long anticipated trip to India, because I completely forgot that I needed to organise a visa to travel to India, as it was a stopover on my round the world ticket. It was only when I was boarding at Helsinki, on my way back to Australia, after travelling for 6 months, that I remembered I was meant to organise my Visa for India, when the boarding staff asked to see it. I suddenly found myself on a flight to Hong Kong instead, where I spent a few very nice days, but I was meant to be in India, and still haven’t managed to get there. Some destinations need a much more formal application process compared to others, so again, do this well ahead of time. Some places, such as the USA (for some countries of origin), and Turkey, require you to apply online before you head there, where you simply pay over the Internet before printing the visa out, to take with you. Of course, you might not be eligible for this kind of visa, and you might have to make a trip to the embassy to apply in that formal way we were talking about earlier – if that’s the case, you need time to complete the process. Visa issues are hard to sort out if you don’t do it in time, so make this one of your things to remember!
Check out our short Visa requirement checklist below
Vacation Travel Checklist 3 – Insurance
One of the key things to remember with any kind of travel is to make sure you have adequate travel insurance. It’s simply not worth the risk of travelling without; you might think you’re cutting costs, but believe me, if you need to claim and your insurance isn’t up to scratch, or you don’t have any at all, you’re looking at a huge bill in the case of medical treatment, so your attempt at saving money just went very wrong indeed. Shop around online and remember to declare any pre-existing medical conditions, once you’ve found your policy, pay for it, print it out, and throw it in your hand luggage, storing the claim number in your phone, just in case.
Vacation Travel Checklist 4 – Print out confirmations
Sometimes you don’t need a print out of an airline confirmation, but I always think it’s a better idea to have them with you, just in case of a problem at the check-in desk. Make sure you check spellings and dates as soon as you get them through, and contact the company if there is a problem; if you leave it too late then you may end up paying a charge for correcting mistakes.
Vacation Travel Checklist 5 – Health issues
Your health should be first and foremost in your mind, so head to your doctor for a check-up before you travel, and ask whether you need any immunisations or anti-malaria medication for your particular destination. Again, do this ahead of time, a couple of months if at all possible, so you can get accurate information and you can schedule any immunisations for the correct time. Of all the things to remember, make your health the most important.
Vacation Travel Checklist 6 – Talk to your bank
If you’re planning on using your credit or debit cards overseas, it’s worthwhile just giving your bank or credit card company a quick call to let them know your intentions, and give them dates and destinations. Whilst this doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of your card being blocked for suspected fraudulent use overseas, it does mean it’s less likely, so make this one of your things to remember, simply to make life easier!
Tick off these things to remember on your Vacation Travel Checklist pre-travel, and you should have a much smoother journey as a result.