What are the most important things you should do before traveling? The 5 essential pre-travel checklist
You have made a decision. You have decided to finally go onto the travel of your dreams and you are excited, but hold on to your horses. Although traveling is an incredible experience that can broaden your horizons, introduce you to new cultures, and create lifelong memories, how are you going to ensure that all goes according to plan? Before you start packing your bags, there are a few essential things you should do to ensure your trip goes smoothly. Whether you're an experienced traveler or embarking on your first adventure, here are the 5 most important things you should do before traveling
At the top of my travel bucket list, there is a space reserved for Peru. The idea of seeing Machu Picchu has always fascinated me. Although I am an experienced traveler or at least I fancy myself as one, last year I almost blew it by when I was about to buy those super cheap tickets I saw. How? you might ask. Well, those super cheap tickets were in the middle of the rainy season when all national parks are closed. Not the best idea. And that leads me to this point: one of the most important things you should do before traveling is to research your destination thoroughly.
Do not only look at the popular tourist attractions but also get a feeling for the weather, local culture, customs, and laws. It's also worth looking into local events or festivals that may be happening during your stay, which can be a great way to experience the culture. You can even go as far as tailoring your trip around them: Carnival in Rio, Diwali in India or Burning man in Nevada.
You can check travel guides. They come in all shapes and forms from the fancy bookstore ones to phone apps. Travel guides can give you a good base to build upon. Blogs and articles can give you a more personal perspective and subjective view of the places you intend to see. I personally use Facebook groups a lot, where I can talk directly to the people that have been there or even live in the area.
Whatever resource you choose, make sure that your research is as rough as possible because that will save you lost money and disappointments.
Depending on your destination, traveling can be expensive. And even in the more affordable places, you can get trapped if you are not carefully planning your budget. There are plenty of ways to save money if you plan ahead.
Before you leave, create a budget that includes transportation, accommodations, food, and activities. Think carefully about where it is worth spending your money depending on the location, budget and preferences. For example, in Paris, I prioritize visiting the top of the Eiffel Tower over a taxi transfer to the hotel which costs more. Or I would choose public transport, which allows me more croissants in the local boulangeries. Your personal preference should determine priorities for your budget.
That goes without saying but you would be surprised how many times I have run all over my apartment looking for my passport at the last minute. Before you leave, make sure you have all the necessary documents, such as your passport, visa, and any required vaccinations.
Check the expiration date on your passport and make sure it's valid for at least six months after your planned return date. If you're traveling internationally, you may also need to get a visa.
Some countries require specific vaccinations, so it's important to check with your doctor to make sure you have all the necessary shots. You don’t want to be turned back at the beginning of your trip cause you missed an entry requirement.
You can find more information about visa requirements and vaccinations on the country’s travel website.
What can I say about travel insurance? I hope you do not need to use it, but it is better to be prepared. Travel insurance is often overlooked but can be crucial in case of an emergency. It can cover unexpected medical expenses, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen items.
While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, travel insurance can provide peace of mind and protect you in case of an emergency. Remember in some countries a medical emergency can amount to the price of an apartment very easily. It's important to read the fine print and make sure you understand what your policy covers.
Here at tryp.com, we quickly understood the importance of insurance which is why we incorporated it into our offering. So you feel as protected as you will feel if you were home.
Finally, before you leave, inform your bank and credit card companies that you'll be traveling.There is nothing more annoying than having to call your bank from the middle of nowhere because your card is not working. Not to mention, how much a call to the automated bank system can cost you.
Letting them know that you are traveling can prevent your cards from being frozen due to suspected fraud. Many banks allow you to do this online, but it's important to check with your bank to make sure you understand their policies.
The other thing to look for is the international transaction fees for both retrieving money and local card payments. You want to look for cards that have no foreign transaction fees and even travel rewards, so they can be a good option for frequent travelers.
In conclusion, before you embark on your next adventure, take the time to research your destination thoroughly, plan your budget wisely, make sure you have all the necessary documents, get travel insurance, and inform your bank and credit card companies. By following these tips and using the right resources, you'll be able to fully enjoy your trip and make the most of your travel experience. Happy travels!