Pre-Travel Checklist: Worry-Free Travel Advice
A Pre-Travel Checklist You Can Use Right Now
Whether you’re planning for a trip far in advance or prepping for immediate travel, I’ve got a simple pre-travel checklist to help. Maybe you’re headed on a business trip or perhaps a well-deserved vacation.
Either way, there are a few crucial things you should consider before booking your trip!
I won’t offer any obvious pre-vacation travel advice that you probably already considered, like budget guidelines or packing light. Instead, my pre-travel checklist will prepare you for a worry-free journey and might just save you some big headaches!
#1: Make Your Own Pre-Travel Packing Checklist
Mistakes as simple as realizing you don’t have the right outlet converters for the country you are visiting can be frustrating.
This is why I always make a list of everything I’m going to need for my trip before I even begin packing my bags. It’s best to thoroughly think through all the items you’ll need by imagining the activities of your trip, as well as your daily routines.
I start making my checklist by picturing myself getting out of bed and going step by step through my morning routine. Then I do the same for my evening routine.
After those basics are covered, I’ll think about what I might want to have handy at the airport, in taxi cabs and at the places I intend to visit. These could be packing items I would need for a hike, a beach day or in a day bag that I would bring long to meet friends in a foreign city.
Thankfully, it’s easy to quickly order many of the last-minute items you probably jotted down on your pre-travel checklist. I buy a ton of travel-sized toiletries as well as seasonal travel gear from Amazon.
Even if you don’t have a trip coming up, there are certainly still a few things you should procure. Some stuff can be pretty stressful to find last minute.
For example, ordering new contact lenses (something I personally always have to worry about), or getting clothes tailored are things that always take a little more time.
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#2: Checking Booking Refund Policies
If there is anything that the 2020 global pandemic has taught us, it’s that you never know what unexpected events lie around the corner. Making sure you have flexible flight options is definitely the new normal.
Whether you have to delay your travel due to COVID-19 restrictions from foreign governments or something as common as inclement weather, protecting your travel plans has never been more important.
Prior to booking any travel, make sure to look for flights, hotels and experiences that offer to refunds or exchanges in the event that you are not able to make it.
Unfortunately, travelers have lost a lot of money on vacations due to COVID-19 restrictions this year. As you might expect, airlines and hotel chains that don’t offer flexibility are being left in the dust.
#3 Renew Your Passport / Travel Documents
While passports have their official expiration dates, you can get yourself into trouble if you don’t renew ahead of time. Many countries require that your passport be valid for 6 months after your date of departure.
Naturally, they don’t want your passport to expire while you’re abroad. If your passport is within one year of expiration, I suggest renewing it now, especially if you don’t want to pay the high fees associated with expediting the process.
The same goes for your identification card or driver’s license if you’re planning domestic travel. If your identification is near expiration, save yourself the hassle of scrambling to renew it, and set a reminder now to get the process over with.
#4: Notify Your Bank of Your Destinations
Getting your card declined when you really need it can be a real hassle, not to mention embarrassing. Always let your bank know where you’re headed, even if you’re traveling domestically.
Usually you don’t even have to make a phone call to do this. With many banks you can simply fill out a form online.
Additionally, I also recommend making sure you have debit/credit cards from several different institutions and you know the pin numbers for each. This way, if you lose one or someone steals your primary card, you have a backup.
I personally have lost a debit card and therefore couldn’t withdraw cash. I then couldn’t remember the cash-advance pin code for my credit card from the same bank! Luckily, I carry a card from a separate bank that I could easily withdraw funds using a cash-advance.
#5: Don’t Over-Plan
No matter how much you want your journey to be stress-free, you simply can’t plan out every detail perfectly. I’d be wary of making a bunch of separate and very detailed to-do lists for your trip. Going down this path, you might just end up getting bogged down with too much to handle.
All types of travel require forethought and planning, but going overboard tends to make travelers feel exhausted before they even finish the trip!
It does make sense to book some tickets in advance so you can secure your place at popular attractions. However, it is imperative to leave some time so that you can explore your destination without adhering to a strict agenda.
Maybe you’ll fill the time with more activities, but maybe you’ll instead prefer to take a nap. It’s always best to make sure you have personal time where you’re free to make things up as you go.