What to do Before Leaving the Country

You can hear me singing my lungs out every time I head off to explore another foreign country! I’m always so excited in fact that there have been times when I have forgotten key things that could have saved me time and avoided stress if I had only remembered them. Learning through experience, I’ve now made the habit to check specific things before I fly overseas. As one travel friend to another, here are 5 things you should definitely check before leaving the country:

  1. Check your passport. More specifically, check the expiration date on your passport the moment you book your trip. Or better yet, before you book. Is your passport expiring soon requiring you to renew it before departure? Then, depending on how far out your departure date is from the time you book your trip, you should have plenty of time to get a new passport. Many countries also require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip return date.
  2. Check travel protection coverage. This is good to have no matter where you go – domestic or international. However, in a foreign country, having travel protection can end up being a financial lifesaver if something goes askew. As coverage varies depending on the protection plan you purchase, it will be good to find out what is specifically covered to allow you to make the best decision on what plan is right for you.
  3. Check in with your bank. Let your bank know you are leaving the country and for how long. This greatly reduces the possibility of your bank freezing your accounts while you are away.
  4. Check out international phone plans. You’ve saved good money to go on a trip of a life time! Don’t let that extra cash end up being used to pay unnecessary international roaming charges on your phone or other electronic devices when it could have easily been avoided. Call your phone company or stop in the store and check to see what international plans they have available. If you want to keep in contact with family and friends back home, access social media or even google maps, you may consider purchasing an international phone plan that will best suit your needs or wants. Better to be safe than sorry!
  5. Check your packing list. Better yet, check it twice! I have previously mastered waiting until the last minute (aka midnight the night before I am about to leave) to pack up my belongings, but doing so has always greatly increased my chances of forgetting to bring something important. And when you are leaving the country, forgetting your passport or adaptable plug ins is not something you want to leave without. So instead, create a list of everything you need and start gathering things. It doesn’t have to be packed up nicely quite yet, but start by just putting items in a pile. Then a day or a couple days before, check that packing list of yours for at least a second time and then you are ready to pack your clothing and essentials into your suit case.

 

What is on your traveling check list?

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