There are so many things to do before you take off on a big trip, beyond packing your best bikini and decanting your skin care products into 3 fluid ounce containers.
Here is a list of 13 things you need to take care of before you head to the airport:
If you plan on posting your trip on social media, make sure you have house sitters living in your home while you are away.
Photocopy Your Passport
Have a couple of copies of the photo page of your passport packed in different parts of your luggage. This expedites the process should you either lose your passport or if it gets stolen. It doesn’t hurt to also have your passport number stored in an email or somewhere you consider safe online, but don’t rely solely on anything being stored on your devices or anywhere that needs internet access to retrieve, because there will be plenty of times when you have zero access to the internet super-highway.
Stop Your Mail
Go to the post office and fill out the form to have your mail delivery stopped until you return, even if you have house sitters staying in your home.
Get Your Paper Collected.
Arrange for someone to collect your newspaper while you are away. If you have house sitters staying in your home make sure they are clear on picking up the newspaper from your driveway – you don’t want to advertise your absence to potential thieves. And you can’t assume your house sitter will think to do it.
Call Your Bank.
Your bank needs to know a couple of weeks in advance that you are leaving the country and planning on using your cards. Generally they want to know departure and arrival dates and which countries you will be visiting. If you don’t clear it with them ahead of time they will most likely refuse or shut down your cards when you try to charge them or withdraw cash overseas.
Getting them re-instated and regaining access to your money can take days.
Should your flight get re-routed to another country and you need to use a card to get food/accommodation etc call the number on the back of the card first and tell them what has happened prior to using the card.
Call Your Cell Phone Provider.
Make sure you are set up on your cell provider’s international plan before you leave the country. Have them mail or email you the terms of the contract so that you have everything in writing, and recheck the details. Going over your minutes, texts or data can cost you thousands of dollars.
While you are at it make sure you know how to turn off your roaming data.
Some countries require you to have an entry visa. If you don’t have one you can be turned away at the airport and refused access to your departing flight. Usually these are now done electronically and the process is simple. Make sure you check ahead to see if you do require a visa for any of the countries you are planning on visiting.
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Charge Your Electronics And Pack Your Chargers In Your Carry-on
Make sure everything is fully charged before you leave home. Check anything that requires batteries, and pack spares, and always make sure you have your chargers and international chargers in your carry-on luggage. Things happen, your flight gets rerouted or delayed, and you need to be able to access your devices.
I also recommend traveling with a fully charged battery charger. i use the Anker 2nd Gen Astro E5, as it has the ability to fully charge a completely dead iPhone and iPad, more than once.
Separate Your Prescriptions
If you are on any prescription medication make sure you split your supply in half and carry one set on board with you and pack the other into your checked luggage. Should your luggage go missing with all your prescription medicines your trip could be ruined.
Make Copies Of Your Credit Cards And The International Help Numbers
If your cards get stolen you need to be able to call the international help line, and you need to have the credit card numbers. Don’t rely on your credit card company to
A) be staffed by helpful, intelligent people
B) have people whose accents you can understand answering the phones
C) have the ability to find your card number based on your name and social security number.
Empty Your Wallet.
Only take exactly what you need, no surplus cards, cash, or other items.
Pack Snacks And Reading Material
Don’t blow the budget on overpriced salty, sugary junk foods at the airport (fabulous, guaranteed recipe for jet-lag and swollen legs), or on overpriced magazines and books. Do a little front end planning instead.
Leave Very Clear, Written Directions And Rules For House Sitters.
Don’t assume common sense will prevail.
And don’t assume verbal rules will be followed.
Unplug computers, put important papers in a safety deposit box at the bank.
Put Clean Sheets On Your Bed.
Invariably you will arrive home from your international trip exhausted. There is something so wonderful about slipping between fresh, clean sheets when you crawl into bed.
As always, if you have anything to add to the list please hit me up in the comment section below!