Planning an international trip can stress out even the most organized person. Between booking flights and accommodation way ahead of time, looking into visa requirements, and planning our your activities, it's easy to overlook the important logistical details that could very much mess up your travels.
Simply putting together a to-do list can help you get more organized. Michael Reay, online editor at HolidayPirates, a free search platform for travel deals, helped us put together a comprehensive checklist of what to keep in mind before you take off for the trip abroad.
Protect Your Valuables
In the rush of packing, many people forget that aside from travel insurance, it’s a good idea to insure valuable items, such as your electronics. Trov offers protection for common items such as laptops, mobile phones, and cameras, allowing users to turn insurance on and off with a simple swipe within the app.
Prep Your Beauty Stash
Traveling with only a carry-on? Don't forget that you can only bring liquids stored in bottles 3.4 ounces or smaller — and that including skincare products. If you want to take a perfume, moisturizer, or deodorant on the plane, you’ll need to invest in travel-sized versions before passing through security. Alternatively, you can buy regulation-sized containers and decant your beauty products before you trip.
Another tip Reay offered is to always pack a Ziploc bag with you. "All your liquids will need to fit inside a clear, resealable plastic bag," says Reay. "It’s a good idea to bring a quart-sized bag with you, as some airports charge up to $2.50 to provide you one at security."
Pack A Few Cozy Pieces
You may be jetting off to a beach destination, but keep in mind that it can get chilly on-board an aircraft. On short-haul or budget flights, you won't even be provided a blanket. Instead of shivering the entire time, make sure you have a scarf, socks, or sweater tucked into your carry-on.
Check Your Passport
It's easy to stash your passport and not think about it until a few days (hours?) before you need to use it for a trip. But there's nothing more stressful than realizing at the very last minute it's about to expire.
"As soon as you’ve booked your holiday, check your passport to make sure that it won't be expiring soon, as some locations require you to have a certain number of months left on the validity of your passport," says Reay. He also recommends scanning it and saving a digital copy, in case you lose it while abroad.
Check For Hidden Fees
Many European countries have begun to implement city tourism taxes, in addition to visa fees. These fees are usually small — generally a couple euros for each night you're staying — but they aren't included in the price you pay when you book your trip. Rather than being surprised when you arrive at your hotel, check ahead to see if your destination charges such fees and allocate some of your budget to pay for this upon arrival.
Don't Forget Your Tech
You may be a packing pro, but have you thought about how your going to pass the time on that 12-hour trip? There's often entertainment aboard long-haul flights, but the selection may not be up your alley. Don't forget to download books, movies, music, etc. to your devices ahead of time — you don't want to waste data and battery power at the airport.
If you're a fan of podcasts, Reay recommends downloading Acast. The audio platform has thousands of podcasts to keep you entertained, whether you're into comedy, pop culture, or something a bit more serious.
Brief Your Bank
One frequently forgotten task is giving your bank a heads up that you'll be using your card abroad. A few days before you travel, give the bank a call to let them know your whereabouts, so they won’t block your card when a transaction pops up in an unusual location. (Some banks will let you notify them online.)
Also, check on the fees you bank and credit card will charge you to use your card abroad — it can be quite steep.