Sometimes when we travel, we found out that we have forgotten to check on certain things when we need it. Here are some common things that we tend to overlook before traveling to other countries.
1. Make sure your passport doesn’t expire soon.
Many countries will not permit travelers to enter the country unless their passports will remain valid for at least six months after their scheduled departure.
Here is a list of some countries that have special passport expiration rules:
- SIX MONTHS — Brazil, Ecuador (including the Galapagos Islands), Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Paraguay, Romania, Singapore.
- THREE MONTHS — Cambodia, Denmark (including Greenland), Fiji, Switzerland. (Denmark applies its three-month rule to your stay in any of 15 European countries).
Check your passport expiration date well in advance of your trip so that you can make the necessary preparations and avoid getting denied entry!
2. Check any visa requirements for the country you’re traveling to.
It’s important to research beforehand a country’s various visa types and requirements, as they will vary drastically depending on whether you wish to travel as a temporary or permanent visitor.
3. Prepare to secure everything – your luggage and your identity.
Crime on the road is something you should always consider and anticipate before traveling – and buying thing like locks for your luggage and hidden money packs are necessities. But what about your online security?
Every day our most private and personal data is gathered and sold to the highest bidder – all without our permission or approval. It’s called Big Data, but it’s also big business. Put simply, our personal data has value and is worth real money.
That’s why I use Sudo – an app that automatically generates safe, secure and private personas – that means email addresses, working phone numbers, password managers and secure browsers that don’t track your online behaviors.
I created a secure email address, a new phone number and use the browser to prevent any of my information being collected by third party apps/companies. It’s also a great way to book flights and hotels without having the prices jump up immediately after searching for them. The app gives you, and only you, total control over your personas, and it doesn’t collect any of your personal data or track/monitor any of your communications while you’re online.
Plus, if you meet people while traveling and want to stay in contact – you can give them your new Sudo number or email address as a way to reach you without having to give them your actual phone number or email address.
After all, you never know how crazy people will turn out – I’ve had some horror stories of people I’ve met while traveling who seemed perfectly normal only to become weirdly stalker-ish shortly afterwards.
4. Call your bank and credit card company beforehand.
It’s happened to me – I flew into London only to have none of my credit cards work because I realized AFTER I had gotten off the plane that I had forgotten to call my credit card company and inform them about my travel plans.
Call your bank and credit card company beforehand and give them approximate dates + locations on where you’re going and when – so that you don’t get stuck having no way of contacting them afterwards. Many banks now offer this service online, so log into your online account and check before hopping on the plane.
5. Check the local currency and bring as much cash as needed.
Check the local currency and anticipate any situations where you may need cash as soon as you arrive at the airport at your destination. It’s usually better to take cash out at the ATM, as most airport money exchange kiosks will take a commission and/or give you a horrible exchange rate. The best is to bring along your debit card as the card gives you better exchange rates.
Don’t bring too much cash, though – I feel nervous/anxious if I have too much cash on me at one time. Look up the prices of cabs to your hotel from the airport, or first destination upon arrival – estimate the amount you think you may need – and plan accordingly!
6. Check the carry-on requirements for your airline.
There is absolutely no reason to bring luggage bigger than carry on size. I repeat – no reason. Traveling light is only going to make your experience EASIER.
7. Bring the appropriate outlet adaptors and plugs to charge your electronics.
Research what countries use what plugs and search for adaptors that are sold from reputable brands/companies.
You can buy individual adaptors or all-in-one adaptors. Pack these along with your electronics to ensure that you have a way to charge your goodies while you’re traveling!
8. Learn basics of the language.
This is not only going to make your life easier, but it’s also a way to be respectful of the culture and country you are visiting.
A few weeks before you travel, take the time to learn even the basics of the destination’s language – please, hello, thank you, excuse me and goodbye – just a few terms that will help open the door, and probably invite a smile from someone local to the area.
Some countries are home to people who know multiple languages just because they grew up there (i.e. Switzerland, Morocco) – don’t expect everyone to speak English, either. And if you can only speak English (which is completely fine!), learn how to ask if someone speaks English in their native tongue.