The Ultimate Overseas Travel Checklist
Don’t Go Anywhere Without Doing These Things First
Whether you're traveling to go wild or into the wild, the first step on your journey should always begin with this ultimate overseas travel checklist. So if you're ready, let's begin.
Get Your Shots
While a lot of your travel decisions can be filed under YOLO, your health shouldn't be one of them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting the recommended travel vaccinations with your doctor 4-6 weeks before your international trip.
Keep in mind that each traveler's vaccine list is going to be unique because of different factors such as:
☑ Personal medical history (allergies, chronic conditions)
☑ Country you're headed to (rural areas, developing countries)Length of stay (student, tourist, volunteer)
☑ Activities (volunteering, mountain climbing)
☑ Additional vaccines may be necessary if you're pregnant or if you're traveling with children.
Get Travel Insurance
First rule of overseas travel: Things don't always go as planned.
However, there are times when nothing really goes as planned. You can lose your luggage, your flight could get cancelled, you might get into an accident, or even need to be evacuated - you name it, you're at the mercy of Murphy's Law when you're traveling.
The good news? A quick phone call to your insurance provider can prepare you for such emergencies.
Questions you can ask include:
1. What is covered by my travel insurance?
2. What travel insurance policies do they offer?
3. Do I have to pay out-of-pocket and then file a claim?
Get Your Finances in Order
If you’re going to be away (specially an overseas travel) for an extended period of time (gap year, student, work assignment, volunteering) your pre-trip finances preparation checklist should include the following:
1. Exchange currency.
2. Get credit card travel-ready.
3. Sign up for mobile banking.
4. Pay your bills.
Yes, you read that right. Pay your bills.
While it’s probably the last thing you want to do before going on your epic trip, you also probably don't want to return to a heat-less, electricity-less, internet-less, and cable-less house either.
Depending on how long you'll be away, you can either set up an automatic payment system with your bank to make sure you don’t miss any payments. Or request for a temporary suspension on your account instead for services like your cable and internet.
Up Your Packing Game
When you find yourself asking, "Do I really need clear packing cubes?"
Just remember that the most disastrously embarrassing travel stories always involve two things - a disorganized luggage and a person recklessly doubting the organizing power of clear packing cubes like EzPacking's Starter Set.
So, if you want to avoid unknowingly smuggling baby iguanas inside your suitcase or having your underwear strewn all over the terminal floor (much to you and everyone else’s horror) as a consequence of overpacking, the answer is a clear and all caps, YES. Especially if:
1. You're traveling from one country to another.
2. You're packing for different climates.
3. You're a frequent traveler.
4. You’re traveling with children.
Following the wisdom of a famous travel quote, an organized suitcase begins by not having that much luggage to organize in the first place. If you're prone to overpacking, clear packing cubes forces you to be mindful of the space in their luggage, so you end up taking only the essentials with you.
Create a mini, just-in-case version of your entire luggage using a Medium Packing Cube to stash in your carry-on duffel bag. Include a change of clothes, a few toiletries, prescription medication (if you're taking any), a physical copy of all your important travel documents, and a few snacks to tide you over in case of an emergency.
When packing, start with larger and sturdier items on the outside and work your way towards the center, where you pack your fragile items. To keep them from getting damaged, pack them in between softer items like towels, dresses, or shirts. If you're traveling with babies, make sure to check our post on How to Travel with a Baby and Not Be Hated by Everyone for Mom-tested packing tips when going on the road with your little ones.
Make Arrangements for Your Furbabies
If it's not possible to take your pets with you on your holiday abroad, make sure to find a safe environment where they can be well-cared for while you're away.
1. Leave them with family. The best thing about this setup, is the peace of mind that your furbaby is going to be well-taken care of to the point of being spoiled rotten.
2. Hit two birds with one stone by having a trusted family or friend, house sit (and pet sit) for you.
Are you a travel junkie? Veteran business traveler? Wanderlust suddenly hit you? If you have any other travel hacks to add, make sure to share it with fellow travelers in the comments section.