Traveling Abroad? Do These 10 Things First.
1. MAKE SURE YOUR PASSPORT IS VALID
If you have a passport, make sure you check your expiration date. To be on the safe side, be sure your passport does not expire less than six months before your return date. Some countries won't allow you to enter if your expiration date is less than 6 months before your dte of departure.
2. CHECK YOUR VISA REQUIREMENTS
Some countries require a visa upon entry. Be sure you've read up on any requirements and have ample time to receive it before your travel date. I've known one too many people who booked travel sooner than their visa was ready and had to cancel.
3. STOCK UP ON TRAVEL ADAPTERS
There is nothing worse than realizing all of your devices are out of battery and you forgot your travel adaptors. Buy these ahead of time on Amazon - they tend to be way more expensive when you're abroad (supply and demand, yo).
4. CALL YOUR BANK
Call your bank and credit card companies to let them know about your travel plans. Chances are, if you don't, you'll have to deal with calling them to clear fraud alerts while you're already abroad. It also helps to check out which of your cards charges less when it comes to currency conversion and has insurance to cover lost luggage, rental cars, etc when traveling.
5. HEY THERE, MISTER POSTMAN
If you plan on being abroad for longer than a week, you might want to contact your post office to hold your mail (depending on your mailbox situation).
6. DOWNLOAD MOVIES, APPS + BOOKS
Be sure to download any large apps, movies, books in advance. I've made the mistake one too many times of remembering to do this on the plane and am unable to because of the slow connections and firewalls. Chances are hotels you're staying at will have the same issue. Do it before, you'll be happy you did.
7. BILLS, BILLS, BILLS
Can you even imagine coming home from a relaxing vacation only to find your electricity was shut off because your bill was due while you were away? I may or may not have experienced that in my first apartment. Take it from me, get those auto-payments setup before you take off.
8. HOTLINE BLING
Some cell providers offer free or discounted international calls and data, while some will charge you absorbent fees by the minute. If you're spending time on Instagram, Snapchat or streaming Spotify...you're in big trouble without a generous data allowance. Check up on this in advance, so there are no surprises when you're back.
9. SCREENSHOTS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN
Print hard copies and/or screenshot all the important stuff - booking confirmations, hotel addresses/phone numbers, excursions. You're not going to want to rely on wifi or your precious cell data to pull this important information up when you need it. I like putting all of my screenshots in an album for easy access.
This might one might be a no-brainer, but checking the weather in advance will help you pack smarter. You always don't want to get stuck spending your dollars on an embroidered hoodie you're never gonna wear again from a souvenir shop.