Great Pre-Travel Tips To Start Your Trip Off Right

The key to having a great travel experience is starting off prepared and organized. Nothing can put a damper on a vacation then suddenly remembering you forgot to pay your mortgage bill or turn off the air conditioner on the upper floor. Whenever I leave my home for an extended period of time I usually go through a pre-travel checklist.

Renew/check passport

Do this way in advance. This way you’ll avoid incurring extra fees to have your passport rushed. Keep in mind most countries will not allow entry if your passport is due to expire within 6 months. Always double check visa/passport regulations of the foreign countries you will be visiting.

Reconfirm/Check-in online with airline

I tend to often times skip this step, thinking I have email confirmation why do I need to double check my booking. Well guess what? I have been bumped from flights magically many a time due to overbooking with no fault of mine. There is nothing more annoying than rushing to get to the airport on time, and come to find out you’re not going anywhere due to some computer glitch bumping you from your scheduled flight.

Check flight info airline & times

Oh yes flight schedules can change, and they do. Double check.

Personalize luggage

You do not need to purchase a fancy luggage tag to make it personal. Try tying bright colored ribbon to the luggage handle. This will help differentiate your black bag from a 100 others. Don’t forget to fill out a airline luggage tag available at the check-in center with your home address and the address that you will be staying, if you know it. This extra step will help your luggage return to you a lot faster if it is lost.

Insurance: Trip cancellation/medical

Insurance can help with the financial burden if travel changes need to be made or in case of medical emergency. Even if your ticket is refundable, the airline often keeps a hug portion of the original airfare if you cancel. It’s almost like you are not receiving a refund at all but only a small portion of the money you spent on the airfare. In the event of necessary medical treatment most primary insurance providers will not cover you abroad. Check out Allianz’s travel insurance program, they are my go to travel insurance.

Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance. Get a free quote.

Exchange Money

It’s always a good practice to carry a good amount of currency of the country you will be visiting. Often times in the United States we rely on debit and credit cards to get us through. Keep in mind many countries throughout the world are heavily cash-based societies. Do a little research before hand where you can get the best exchange rate. Usually a good rule of thumb is to avoid the airport and hotel exchange desks. Best bet is a local bank.

Check local destination weather/news

Checking weather will help you pack accordingly. You don’t want to end up shopping for a new wardrobe because you assumed and packed for beach weather and it turned out to be cold and rainy the whole duration of your stay.

Confirm your hotel has Wifi

In this day and age we often assume wifi connection is everywhere and readily available. Often times, not the case. Internet has become a necessity to help us get around and explore. Most hotels have wifi, but in case internet access is not available you should print out your itinerary from home, as well as places you would like to visit.

Inform your bank where you will be traveling

When a transaction is made outside of your daily routine credit/debit card information systems send up a red flag. For your protection, a hold is put on all transactions. Unfortunately this could occur at the worst moment of your journey. Plan ahead and notify your bank where and how long you will be traveling.

Double-check your mobile carrier’s international plans

Every carrier has different rates for different countries and its best to assess what your costs could be at the get-go. If costs are high with your carrier turn off all mobile data in your phone’s settings and avoid calling and texting. Don’t get blown away on your return home from an outrageously overpriced mobile phone bill.

Pack basic medications

There’s nothing worse than feeling ill on the road. Don’t make things worse by running around for medication while you’re sick. Pack a small Ziploc bag with the following over-the-counter medications.

  • Products to relieve stomach upset/diarrhea/ constipation
  • Aspirin or Ibuprofen for headaches and small aches and pains
  • Antibacterial ointment for scrapes and cuts
  • Antihistamine ointment for insect bites
  • Eye drops for dry, dusty climates

Home preparation just before for your trip

Pay all bills/utilities

Forward or hold mail/newspaper/magazines

Remove perishables from the fridge, try using them up if you can,

Take out the trash

Empty pet food bowls.

Store valuables in a safe place

As you are stepping out the door

Turn off heater/air conditioner

Lock all doors and windows

Set house alarm

Last minute check of passport, documents, keys, and wallet.

Take a deep breathe, exhale smile because you are on you way.

Safe travels!








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  • Ana De- Jesus
    November 13, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    I agree that finding somewhere with basic wifi and packing medication and first aid is so important for travelling as its better to be safe than sorry. I can’t wait to travel again! x

  • Sharon Koenig
    November 13, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Such a cute idea for personalizing luggage! Those of us who don’t travel often and feel especially scatterbrained at the airport NEED simple stuff like that to stay sane. It’s comforting to be able to pick it out from the crowd so easily.

  • Joanna Bayford
    November 13, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    These are such important things to do! When we went to Cape Verde last year we did all of these things before hand to make sure our holiday ran smoothly.

  • five little doves
    November 13, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Great tips!! I always get so stressed out before we go away, worrying about all of the things I may have forgotten or turns out have actually forgotten. Great list!

  • Joline
    November 14, 2017 at 1:23 am

    These are great tips! Once we book a trip, we obsessively check the local weather thinking we can will it to be nice and sunny when we’re there, even if our trip is months away lol!

  • Aditya
    November 14, 2017 at 3:43 am

    So simple tips you have given. Often we forget about these simple things especially paying bills, even I have seen many people seen doing it, after they come back from travel, which makes matter worse. But people think they are so great, that they are untouchable.

  • Mayuri Saxena
    November 14, 2017 at 7:30 am

    These are some awesome tips. I just realized I need to renew my passport as it is now less than 6 months in expiry and most countries require at least 6 months in expiry. It’s important to check the immigration rules before travelling abroad.

  • Rhian Westbury
    November 14, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    So many great tips. I get annual travel insurance so I don’t have to worry about it before each trip, but I always make sure I print off boarding passes, hotel confirmation etc incase I need it x

  • Jess
    November 14, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    This is such a great list! I always stress that I forgot a pre-travel step. It’s my worst nightmare to show up at the airport and have my passport be expired! Definitely saving this post.

  • suchi
    November 15, 2017 at 1:53 am

    hese are such important things to do! I always stress over pre-travel step!

  • Kallia
    November 15, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    All your tips are on point! I have to move a lot around and even work trips things like wifi or making sure your flight is still a go are very basic, but very important!

  • Jen S
    November 15, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    These are definitely all important basics! There was one time it slipped my mind to call my bank and my cards were frozen the first couple days of my trip. Definitely not the best start!

  • Ali Rost
    November 15, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Such great tips. I especially like the one about confirming your hotel has wifi. That happened to me once in Mexico, and I literally had to change hotels. Also, it’s such a good reminder to let your bank know you’ll be traveling. We’ve also had our credit card blocked because we’d been using it five states away. From now on, before we leave we always remember to call!

  • David Elliott
    November 16, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I definitely need to think about all of these things as I would love to travel again in the near future. And I definitely need to update my passport.

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  • Deborah Regen
    November 19, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    These are all good tips, especially making sure your passport is up-to-date and valid and also to double-check with flights before day of departure as more airline carriers will overbook flights and you can get bumped from your reserved seat. That’s not a good way to start a vacation!