Whenever you travel, particularly when your excursion takes you to another country, it is wise to go fully prepared- both physically and mentally. One helpful tool often used to accomplish this preparation is a travel checklist. We at Executive Travel have an abundance of experience in regard to the entries that ought be present on such a checklist. We offer you here below 20 important items that our long experience has taught us every traveler would do well to have on his/her checklist:
1. I have acquired all necessary travel documents and stored them in a safe but accessible place. These documents may include: an up-to-date passport for each person traveling in your group, proof of purchase for all tickets, and proof of your relationship to any children traveling in your company.
2. My passport will not expire sooner than six months after leaving my travel destination. In certain countries, such as the Philippines, this is a strictly enforced requirement.
3. I have planned and verified a method by which to communicate with friends and family back home. As all mobile phones and Internet connections do not work overseas, this is a crucial area to investigate before departure.
4. I have enrolled in the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which will help others to contact me in the event of an emergency.
5. I know the location of the U.S. embassy or consulate closest to where I will be staying.
6. I am aware of and have taken seriously any State Department travel warnings or alerts that pertain to the country I will visit.
7. If I plan to drive an automobile while abroad, I have have already obtained an International Driving Permit. I have arranged away to ensure that any vehicle I drive will be covered with necessary auto insurance.
8. I have made two photocopies of my passport ID page, visa, airline tickets, hotel reservation, driver’s license, itinerary, and other important documents. I have kept one copy with me and left one with a friend back home who will keep in contact with me.
9. I have brought a minimal amount of cash and will use internationally accepted credit cards or traveler’s checks. I have already spotted the locations of ATM machines I may need to use.
10. I have notified my banks and credit card companies that I will be traveling abroad and had them mark my accounts for the applicable time-frames and locations.
11. I have recently checked the exchange rate from U.S. dollars to the local currency. Airports, banks, and money-wiring companies like Western Union will be available to change my currency.
12. I am aware of laws of the nation I am visiting that may differ from U.S. law. I understand that U.S. citizenship does not prevent arrest and prosecution in a foreign land.
13. I have packed adequately but lightly. I am aware of the climate of my destination country during this time of year and have brought appropriate attire. I do not have any banned items in my suitcases or carry-ons that might be confiscated or alarm airport personnel.
14. I have a system whereby my most valuable items are concealed and yet not far from my person nor long out of sight.
15. I have checked to see if the country I will visit uses the same kind of power voltage and outlets as in the U.S. Sometimes a power converter or a plug adapter may be needed. Hair dryers, laptops, and cellphones could all be affected. I have brought a surge protector for my laptop for extra protection.
16. I have acquired all necessary vaccinations and medical tests and have my Certificate of Vaccination (yellow card) with me. I have also taken all CDC and WHO vaccination recommendations seriously.
17. If I must bring prescription medication, I have kept them in their original, labeled containers and have a doctor’s prescription with me. I have brought more than enough to last the whole trip, and I know how to purchase more while abroad- even if the medicine is sold locally under a different name.
18. I know where to find a doctor or hospital in the country I will visit if emergency care becomes necessary.
19. My U.S.-based health insurance will cover me while abroad, or I have purchased a short-term policy that will. Overseas incidents that require emergency medical evacuation are seldom covered by U.S. insurance, and these evacuations can cost as much as $100,000. Even if my insurance covers “customary and reasonable” expenses, I may want to purchase an additional, short-term policy.
20. I have taken the effort to learn some basic phrases in the language of the nation I will visit. I am ready to learn more about their culture and language once I arrive at my destination.
Every trip abroad needs to be carefully planned out. To keep your vacation free of legal troubles, needless health risks, problems processing your finances, difficulty using electronics, communication black-outs with your loved ones back home, and other negative factors, you should consider using a well constructed traveler’s checklist.
While a generic list will apply to every trip in some areas, there will be other instances where country-specific items will need to be on your travel checklist. We at Executive Travel have the training to guide you through every step of the way in preparing yourself for international travel to over 100 countries all around the globe. We can directly take care of many aspects of travel for you, and what you must do for yourself, we can fully prepare you to do.