Wednesday, 29 January 2020

35 Things To Do Before Traveling

Have you ever left the house, driven on to the highway, and started thinking: "Did I lock the front door?" Did I blow the candle out?" Did the garage door closed all the way?" It's not a good feeling, and it is 10 times worse if you happen to be on your way to the airport, that's why I created a list of 35 things to do before leaving for any trip so you can spend less time worrying and more time enjoying on your next vacation.

Let's Get Started

Things To Do One Month Before Travel...

1. Review Your Passport

You want to make sure the expiry date is not within 6 months. It's also good practice to have at least six free pages, especially if you're going to be getting a new visa stamp. 

2. Look At The Visa Requirements.

If you need a visa, apply early. Processing times vary and you do not want to leave this until the last minute. 

3. Book Your Flights

If you haven't already booked your flights, do it. Usually, flight prices are the lowest leading up to six weeks before your trip. Once you've gotten closer than that prices start to rise. 

4. Consider Booking Your First And Second Night's Accommodation.

You may want to book more than this, but having at least the first and second night means that you can arrive stress-free, knowing that you have a place to sleep the first night.

5. Review Any Vaccination That You Need And Book An Appointment With Your Travel Clinic.

Depending on where you live, it can take two days to get an appointment or it can take two weeks, so don't leave this until the last minute. Order any prescriptions that you have and make sure you have enough in stock to last you for your trip and a few extra days just in case.  Sometimes you need a doctor's note to get additional prescriptions before you run out. 

6. Consider Getting A Credit Card With No Foreign Transaction Fees.

As for me, I use Stack. Not only are there no fees when I go to withdraw from an ATM abroad, but it also gives extra security features: I'm able to track all of my spendings on an app and then freeze the card on demand if I ever were to lose it. 

7. Check The Expiry Dates of Your ID, Credit Card, Debit Card.

If it's going to expire while you're away you're going to want to put an order in for it as soon as possible. If there's any chance you'll be driving in the destination, apply for an international driver's license. The process is inexpensive, quick, and easy; it's just a good thing to have. 

Things To Do One Week Before Travel

8. Book And Buy Your Travel Insurance.

Please, don't travel without insurance and do check with your credit card first because you may already be covered for free. Print, email yourself and send it to a friend all of your confirmation. Often you can show your confirmation on your phone and that's fine but, if your phone were to die or you were to lose it or you couldn't access the internet, it's always good to have a paper copy with you. By emailing it to yourself or uploading it to a cloud, you can access your confirmation from any device regardless of where you are, and then sending it to a friend is just..... It's an extra backup should you need it. 

9. Make A Photocopy Of Your Passport And Your IDs. 

By having this copy, you're not going to have to be pulling out your passport - which is one of the most valuable things you are carrying - every time someone asks to see your ID. It's going to reduce the risk of losing it and also flagging it around for theft. 

10. Check If You Can Register Your Trip With The Government

For Canadians and Americans, it's very simple, it's free, it takes two minutes, and then it allows the government to contact you and help you with any messes abroad should they happen. 

11. Review Your Airline's Luggage Restrictions And Also Weigh All Of Your Baggage.

This is particularly important if you are flying on a budget airline because they will weigh everything and they will nickel and dime you if you are one pound over. Baggage fees for checking your bag at the airport can be well over $50.

12. Unlock Your Phone.

I can't tell you how many times I've been traveling with people and they've arrived at the airport, try to get a traveler's SIM card then realize that their phone was locked to a specific carrier. So, say you're with AT&T or Bell, go to them or got to any phone store, and they can unlock your phone for you, quickly and cheaply, to allow you to use any SIM card when you're traveling abroad. 

13. Pay Any Outstanding Bills And Set Future Bills To Be Auto Paid. 

It's not something you want to be worrying about while you're away on vacation. 

14. Arrange For Pet-sitting And House-sitting

You may also want to arrange for pet-setting, house-setting, or just someone to come by and check on things while you're away. if you don't have a friend or family member to do this, do a quick google search of your location and house-sitter and you will find plenty of options. 

15. Head Out To The Grocery Store And Buy Some Non-perishable Snacks For Your Trip.

This is good. Say you were to get stuck at the airport on a delay, now you're not having to pay for expensive, overpriced, kind of crappy airport food. Also, buy some non-perishable things that you can stock the house with for when you get back home. Oatmeal, coffee, some frozen meals, that would be a great option. 

16. Notify Your Bank Of All Of The Destinations That You Will Be And The Dates that You'll Be Traveling In Each Country. 

This will help them not put a hold on your card, which is a total pain in the butt to have lifted when you try to use an ATM, and suddenly your card is frozen. Notifying them will help reduce the risk of this happening. However, I notify them, and often my card is still frozen. I still do it, it's worth trying. 

17. Order Foreign Currency For Your Destination Country Prior To Leaving Home.

This way you have it with you when you arrive, and also try to get it in small bills for tips. Whether you get foreign currency or not, try to carry some USD on you. USD is accepted almost anywhere in the world and then if you were to arrive at the airport and you couldn't withdraw your money from the ATM or your credit card was frozen for some reason, you would have a little bit of money that you could exchange into the local currency to get you started. 

18. Review All of Your Subscriptions, Memberships, And Plans. 

This will depend on how long you're traveling to see if it's worth it but, say you have a gym membership or a subscription to Spotify that you won't be using while you're away, cancel it, put it on hold, even your phone plan. I save 90% off my phone plan because I put the plan off and I have them just put it on hold for me while I'm traveling. Maybe something that you can do too.

19. Clear Up The Memory Cards On Your Camera And On Your Phone.

This way you're not taking a new picture and having to go back and delete all of your other pictures to do so. You'll also want to backup all of the photos that you have and all of your information prior to leaving. The actual device can be replaced, the information that's on it can't. Back it up in a cloud or put it onto a hard drive before you leave the house.

20. Arrange To Have Your Mail Either Put On Hold Or Picked Up By A Friend Or Family Member.

21. Take An Afternoon To Research Your Destination

Things To Do A Day Before Travel

I have 14 things that you should do before you board your plane. I will go through them quickly.

22. Check To Make Sure That Your Flight Is On Time. 

Why wait at the airport if you don't have to?

23. Check For Any Up-To-Date Destination Information. 

Things can change fast. You never know what the weather might do or if there's been a natural disaster or if a new travel alert has been put in place. 

24. Review The Routes and Your Transportation Options From the Airport to the Hotel of your first night of Accommodation. 

You're also going to want to pack within your carry-on an extra set of two days worth of clothes, the toiletries that you would need, and any medications, in case your checked baggage were to be lost or delayed at your arrival country. While you're packing, also considered spreading some of that USD and foreign currency throughout your carry-on and throughout your jacket, your pockets, so it's not all in one place. Say something were to be stolen or if you lost, wherever it was, you haven't lost everything. 

  • 25. Weigh your luggage And then weigh it again, especially for those budget airlines.

  • 26. Tag your luggage. If you already have tags on them, review the information to make sure that your contact info - your phone number, your address - hasn't changed. 

  • 27. Empty your wallet of any non-essentials that you don't need on this trip. Your library card, bus pass, a loyalty card for a local store. 

  • 28. Fully charge all of your electronics; if you have one of those battery packs, make sure that is fully charged as well. 

29. Review any apps that you may need in the country that you're going to and make sure they're downloaded prior to arriving. Things like ridesharing apps, Uber, Lyft, Google Maps, Google Translate, XE currency converter, and then download any information from these apps that you may need for online use. I will download from Google Maps, few shows from Netflix, some of my favorites podcasts, and a playlist from Spotify.

  • 30. Set an autoresponder on your work email so you're not having to worry about responding to co-workers while you're away on your vacation. 

  • 31. Set the house thermostat to be either four degrees warmer or colder. This way you're not using extra energy that you are not even enjoying because you are not in the house. 

  • 32. Clean your house quickly but thoroughly. You do not want to come to a home that has dishes left in the sink, garbage in the garbage cans, and dirty laundry just sitting there smelling and waiting for you. 

33. Turn off and unplug all electronics - I'll even do this for the television. 

Say there were a storm and lightning struck the house, I don't want any devices being fried while I'm away or potentially being a fire hazard. Also, turn off your water so if there were to be a leak, the whole house is not going to flood on you. 

34. Lock your windows and close your blinds. 

This won't help just for privacy but also if you live in a hot destination, it's going to stop the sun from shining in, heating up your house, causing your thermostat to go on, and wasting energy costing you extra money.

35. A couple of water bottles in your freezer because you can usually solid, frozen water through airport security, which means you're not having to pay for overpriced water at the airport. 


Now, lock that door,, make sure the garage door closes all of the ways and start worrying about things like what movies they'll have on the airplane or how terrible you'll be the first time you try surfing, not about your house. 

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