Get your passport ready for another stamp! A bit of searching online for a dreamy international destination, and joining Last Minute Travel Club to get the best hotel rate, and you’re good to go, right? Well… there are several steps you should take in pre-planning your international trip that can make life a lot easier, safer, and full of more savings.
1. Passport – Two key things to do here:
– Make a couple photocopies of your passport in case your documents are lost or stolen. Leave one copy with a trusted person back home, and the other in your hotel room when out traveling.
– Have you just realized your passport is expired? Yikes! Go to http://www.rushmypassport.com/, and they’ll help expedite your passport in 1-12 days.
2. Phone – I’ve heard terrible stories of friends who have sent texts back home with their selfie attached costing $12 per picture! International SIM cards are one solution, and they work in most unlocked GSM phones. One SIM Card offers rental phones and SIM cards that can be sent to your home before you take off.
You can also check with your local carrier, or simply go without being connected to your stress-filled world back home. What a concept.
3. Health – The CDC recommends that you check your health insurance policy to see what medical services are covered abroad (sounds like fun reading) Other experts encourage you to bring photocopies of your prescriptions, and pack your medicine, in its prescription bottles, in your carry-on bag.
By the way, you’re already on your way to reducing your risk of heart attack by 50% because you’re taking a vacation!
4. Bank Notices – It may seem trivial, or an infringement on your privacy, but inform your bank that you’ll be traveling internationally so that your account won’t be frozen for be marked for ‘unusual charges’.
For cash, generally, your most favorable exchange rate will be through the ATM, not at the airport. Although most companies will charge a transaction fee.
5. Check the Weather – Even traditionally warm locations may have chilly breezes, or changes in elevation that can cause the temperature to drop 20 degrees.
6. Travel Apps – With the Tripit app, your itinerary and all its details will always be as close as your mobile device is. You can even access your itinerary offline, while in flight mode, to avoid roaming charges when traveling abroad.
Of course, saving money on your hotel, activities and other travel products will ensure that you have more to spend on surstromming (fermented Baltic herring), and for the medical attention you’ll need an hour later (see item #3 above). Use the Last Minute Travel Deals app for the best savings.
7. Travel Insurance – Unexpected events can occur before you depart or while you’re on vacation that may leave you with cancelled plans. Especially for cruises, many experts recommend travel insurance.
8. Charger Adapter – Want to play a fun game? I’ll show you a picture of the electrical connections from around the world, and you tell which country its from! Yeah, there are many different electrical fittings out there. Walmart has an (almost) all-in-one adapter for under $3.00!