Going on vacation is supposed to be a relaxing experience, but anyone that’s ever forgotten to pack a vital item or square away a logistical issue prior to leaving will tell you that it can put a real damper on the trip. That’s where travel checklists can come in. A solid checklist is even more important if you’re planning to travel internationally. Here’s a look at some of the items you should put on your list before your next international trip.
Contact your financial institutions
With the prevalence of credit card fraud these days, most financial institutes will freeze your account at the slightest suggestion that someone other than you is using your card. If you suddenly attempt to make purchases in Europe after your flight there’s a good chance you’ll get declined if you haven’t given your bank and credit card companies a heads up that you’re traveling internationally.
Get some cash
You can order currency from most countries at your local bank, and by doing so before you land in your destination country you can save yourself some hefty processing fees. Give yourself a few weeks before your trip to make sure you get the foreign cash in time.
Double check your phone plan
The good news is that most cell phones these days will work in any country with cell reception. The bad news is that this doesn’t necessarily mean that those calls are covered by your plan. Make sure your plan is set up for international coverage, or you’ll be in for a rude awakening when your next bill arrives. This one should be at the top of your list.
Know what you should pay
Not all cabbies, restaurants or tour guides are honest. If they know you’re a stranger in their country they may charge exorbitant amounts for their services. Put in a little research and know what the fair price is for any services or products you’ll likely need in your destination country.
Make sure you have insurance
Here’s another one that belongs at the top of your travel list. Double check your health insurance. Many policies won’t cover you in foreign countries, so you should look at short-term international policies.
Double-check your passport
This one should be obvious, but make sure your passport will be valid for your entire trip, not just the day you depart for your vacation. The last thing you want is an expired passport when trying to get back into your home country.