Traveling is a great way to escape the monotony of everyday life. But it can also be an expensive endeavor. With so many costs involved in traveling, you might want to consider specific ways to save money on your next trip.
On top of that, there is no denying that traveling can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be if you’re well-prepared. To help you get started, here are nine things to do before you go on a long trip.
Check your contact information
Ensure that you have all the details for everyone you plan on meeting while staying at your destination. First and last names, phone numbers, and email addresses should all be written down in a convenient place where they can be accessed at any time (like in your smartphone’s notepad). This includes travel companions or colleagues; while some people may prefer to keep their personal life separate from work, having this information readily available ensures you won’t get separated during busy terminals or trains (or worse yet, get stranded somewhere).
Pack your travel essentials
Part of minimizing stress is to anticipate things that can go wrong. If you’re packing light, make sure to include the following in your luggage: a book or kindle (besides your phone and laptop), universal adapter (if necessary), eye mask (for sleeping on planes/trains), earplugs (again for sleeping on said transportation), tissues for when nature calls, hand sanitizer, lip balm, and snacks. This way, you won’t have to worry about being uncomfortable while you wait around for your next flight or train.
Check the weather forecast
Nothing is more disappointing than having an epic wardrobe planned out only to discover it is unbearably hot or cold where you’re going. Make sure to check the weather forecast in your destination ahead of time and confirm that your clothing choices will be appropriate (and comfortable).
It’s recommended that you receive a vaccination checklist at least two weeks before traveling internationally, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides updated information and travel guidance on its website for people planning to travel during the global pandemic. If you are feeling sick, CDC recommends not traveling at all. And you should take precautions like wearing a face mask and washing your hands frequently.
Go for a checkup
Going for a checkup before a long vacation is important because it can help to ensure that you’re healthy and safe while you’re away. By catching any potential health issues early on, you can reduce the chances of getting worse while you’re on your trip. Additionally, many travel insurance policies require proof of a recent checkup to be covered. Thus, if you’re planning on traveling soon, make sure to visit your dentist or doctor for a checkup. You’ll be glad you did!
Choose a travel-friendly bag
With so many options available these days, it can be hard choosing the right one. You may want to go with something light or medium-sized with multiple compartments. Other suggestions include having a padded laptop sleeve (for an airplane or train ride) and anti-theft technology (like slash-proof straps, RFID blocking card slots, etc.).
Taking along a smaller bag with the essentials is always helpful when you’re out exploring or simply wandering around. You can find bags designed for this purpose, but don’t forget to include something comfortable to wear if it’s hot outside—like flats or sandals.
Check visa requirements and have your documents handy
Visa requirements are often country-specific, so make sure to check whether you need one before showing up at your destination. Keep in mind; visas expire, so if it’s been more than six months since you received yours, it’s best to apply for a new one.
Make sure to have a copy of all your travel documents (in case you misplace the originals). These should include flight itineraries, passport information, hotel reservations, and more. If you’re traveling with someone else, it is also recommended that both parties have a copy of each other’s personal document just in case. You never know what might happen during your travels so being prepared is vital.
Pack travel guides
The best way to avoid getting lost or missing out on important landmarks, restaurants, and bars is by packing something like Rick Steves’ guide books before leaving for your destination! Often, these can be found at major bookstores and airports, and they contain everything you need to know about exploring a city—including where to eat, sleep, play, and go sightseeing.
Prepare your medication and first aid kit
Accidents do happen no matter how careful you are, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry when visiting new areas of the world. That means bringing enough sunscreen as well as any medications you take regularly or might forget at home (like those little orange allergy pills, for instance) as well as a first-aid kit to deal with minor scrapes and cuts.
If you’re packing for a long trip, make sure to include these nine things on your checklist. From getting vaccinated to having the right travel documents handy, you must take many steps before leaving home. This way, you can prepare yourself and your family for an upcoming vacation.