- Özgür Töre
Let’s play a little game. Imagine that it is the perfect world and that you can travel anywhere right now. Where would you go? Who would you go with? What would you do?
No doubt, you’d be quick to answer. But if we asked you how you are going to prepare for your trip and what you would take with you? How long will it take you to come up with the answer? Well, to cut you some slack, we have prepared a list of things you need to do or have with you once you set off on a journey. Let’s have a look at what's on it!
1. Make Sure Your Travelling Papers Are in Order
Is your passport still valid? Do you have a visa for the country you are travelling to? If so, then skip this step. If not, then go prepare your papers to apply for a new passport and/or visa. Since invalid photos are the most common reason for rejection, make sure that your passport or visa pic complies with all the requirements. If you are not quite eager to spend your time at crowded photo studios, you can opt for preparing an ID photo right at home with the help of Passport Photo Maker software. It’s actually a lot easier than you think. You just need to take a picture of yourself, then crop it using the software’s templates, then print your pic. It’ll basically just take you five minutes to make a 100% approvable ID photo.
2. Get Vaccinated Beforehand
If you are not sure which vaccines you need to get, here’s a must-do list by CDC: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and influenza. More specific vaccines depend on the country of your destination. If you are not sure what shots you need, consult the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s Destination pages for a list of vaccines. And keep in mind that some of those vaccines require multiple shots before they become effective.
3. Acquire Travel Insurance
A universal travelling tip - never leave your home country without travel insurance. Hopefully, you’ll never need medical help abroad, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are quite a few types of coverages, so don’t rush to buy the most inclusive one, but rather consult with your insurance company to find the best fitting coverage. It might also be a good idea to get yourself a trip cancellation insurance, because if anything goes wrong, you won’t be robbed of all your hard-earned money.
4. Educate Yourself
Going to a new place? Find some time to research it. And not the sights-wise, but in terms of customs and (in)appropriate behavior. If you get acquainted with the culture of the country you are travelling to, it might save you a lot of trouble and embarrassment. The Internet is full of dos and don’ts lists on myriads of foregin countries, so you don’t even need going far to find the information you need.
5. Stock Up on Medicine
Whether you travel alone or with your family, having an improvised first-aid kit is essential. There will be no sightseeing or fun activities if someone’s tummy hurts or if someone’s developed a nasty fever. So make sure you have your prescribed medicine with you and also stack on meds for most common ailments like cold, indigestion, strained back, etc. But keep in mind - you’ll need to check with the destination country’s embassy to make sure that the drugs you take aren’t illegal there.
6. Pack Efficiently
First, make a list of things you’ll need and stick to it. Do not take your toiletries in huge packages, better opt for using travel-sized bottles and containers. Do not take any valuable things with you. Invest into pickpocket-proof bags and clothing. Use plastic packing cubes to keep the inside of your suitcase organized. Roll your clothes instead of folding them - it’ll save space.
7. Prepare Your Finances
If you are taking your credit card with you overseas, make sure to inform the issuer that you are going abroad. Do not rely on travelers’ checks, since they aren’t exactly universally accepted. Instead, opt for using ATMs - these things are everywhere.
So here you go - a nifty check-list of things you’ll need to do before you put on your backpack and make your first little step on your big life-changing journey. And when we can safely travel once again - put this list to good use!