Preparing for your trip is key. You want to enjoy your time on vacation or holiday. The last thing you need is to be dealing with issues and taking away time from what you should be doing. Relaxing. Enjoying. Here are some of the things we do to make sure you're prepared for just about any situation.

Preparing for international travel involves dedicated planning time to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here’s a comprehensive list of things to be aware of and tasks to complete before embarking on your journey:

Before You Go

  • Passport & Visa – Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months past your planned return date and that it has blank pages for entry stamps. Also check if your destination requires a visa and obtain it if necessary.  For more, click here.
  • Vaccinations: Research and get any required or recommended vaccinations for your destination.
  • Travel Insurance: Confirm your health insurance covers international travel or consider purchasing travel insurance.  We use SquareMouth to find the right insurance for our trips and have never had an issue.  More on that and what to look for in a policy, here.
  • Travel Advisory: Check for travel advisories or warnings issued by your government for the destination.


  • Currency Exchange: Familiarize yourself with the local currency and exchange rates.  While paying electronically has become commonplace in many places and countries since the pandemic, currency is still important in smaller businesses outside the US, as well as many places in businesses of all sizes in many other countries.
  • ATM/Credit Cards: Check and see if you need to notify your bank of your travel dates to avoid issues with card transactions.  Many allow you to do it online on their site.  You may also want to consider setting a lower daily withdrawal limit while you’re away, in case you lose your ATM card.  You can find more tips here.
  • Emergency Fund: Carry some cash in the local currency for emergencies.


  • Travel Insurance: Purchase travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unexpected events.
  • Prescription Medications: Bring enough prescription medications for the duration of your trip.  Based upon the medications you take, it’s important to also check with the countries you are visiting, as some may be illegal or require you to show a copy of the prescription itself when you go through customs.
  • First Aid: Pack essentials like pain relievers, hand sanitizer, Neosporin and alcohol wipes.

Communication and Technology

  • Roaming and Data Plans: Check your mobile carrier’s international roaming plans to avoid unnecessary charges.  If you have a newer phone (usually less than tw years old) check to see if it has a E-sim capabilities.  If so, you can use a service that we’ve had great success which is Holafly.  .
  • Adapters and Chargers: Ensure you have the right plug adapters for your electronic devices.


  • Backup Copies: Make photocopies or digital copies of your passport, visa, travel insurance, and other essential documents.
  • Emergency Contacts: Carry a list of emergency contacts, including local embassy or consulate details.


  • Weather: Pack clothing suitable for the destination’s climate during your stay.
  • Travel Essentials: Don’t forget chargers, adapters, toiletries, and any other essential items.
  • Luggage Restrictions: Be aware of airline luggage restrictions to avoid extra fees.

Safety & Security

  • Secure Your Home: Lock all doors and windows, and inform a trusted neighbor or friend of your travel dates.
  • Travel Locks: Consider using locks for your luggage and a money belt for valuables.
  • Know Local Laws: Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs to avoid unintentional violations.


  • Transportation Options: Research local transportation options, such as public transit or rideshare services.
  • Weather Updates: Keep an eye on weather forecasts for your destination.
  • Local Customs and Etiquette: Learn about local customs, etiquette, and cultural norms.
  • Language Basics: Learn a few basic phrases in the local language.
  • Travel Apps: Download useful travel apps for navigation, translation, and local information.

By addressing these aspects, you’ll be well-prepared for your international journey and can enjoy your travel experience with greater peace of mind.