Things to Do Before You Travel
The last few days of a trip can be stressful, everyone knows. It doesn't matter if you're traveling to the beach for a weekend or abroad for a month or two; it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the tasks. This handy checklist will help you avoid stress and last-minute rushes. These are the things that you need to do before you go.
Check That Your Visa and Passport Are Current
The majority of countries require that your U.S. passport be valid for six months from the date you return. The State Department recommends that your passport be renewed no later than nine months before expiration. You can check the expiration date of the passport online. If you have to renew your passport, visit the U.S. Department of State website to locate the nearest passport office. The passport application will take between 10 and 12 weeks to process. You can use the expedited service to receive your passport within four to six weeks for an additional fee. Although private expediting services are faster, they can charge more.
The State Department's country updates give important information about your destination. This includes information on whether or not you will need a visa, where it can be obtained, and other details such as crime statistics, special circumstances, and medical information. Find out if an international driver's license is required to rent a car or drive at your destination. Photocopy the information page from your passport and visa pages for your destination. These should be packed separately from your passport.
You should be aware of exchange rates. It is also good to calculate the conversion rate before you travel. Exchanging money for foreign currency is one of the travelers' most costly mistakes. Exchange rates can cause you to lose money if your bank purchases are made before arriving at your destination. The best rates will be obtained if you use an ATM upon arrival at your destination. Your bank should be notified that you are traveling to place a travel alert. This will prevent any suspicious spending and temporary freezes or holds on your account.
This insurance covers things such as injury or illness during travel, trip cancellations, and baggage loss or theft. Although travel insurance is not mandatory, it's a good idea. Although travel can be exciting because of the unpredicted, I believe that it is important to be prepared for everything. Talk to a travel agent if you have any questions about planning. It doesn't matter if you are traveling abroad or domestically; it is important to know the basics. The unexpected can happen, but it will be worth it.
Notify Your Financial Institution of Your Travel Plans
This is something we generally remember to do. In certain countries – such as much of Europe, which your bank considers "safe" – it doesn't matter, and your bank will not normally refuse your card if you use it in that country. However, as soon as you reach a "high risk" nation, you should avoid using an ATM unless you have already told your bank since your account will be immediately suspended. Make a simple 5-minute phone call to your bank before you leave on your trip, and you should have no difficulties. Many financial institutions now allow you to alert them online.
All Things in Advance
When should you begin booking your trip? This is difficult to determine as Covid is still in its final days. Contrary to previous advice, recent research has shown that booking near your departure date can get you last-minute deals. This is because airlines are struggling to fill planes. Survey results showed that the best time to book cheap flights from Europe is 180 days before departure.
You can receive flight discounts if you are under 26 years of age. To get a discount for youth, you can use StudentUniverse or other flight search engines. Whatever your reason, bookings are best made when you have the funds and are ready to take off on your first international trip. You should have exit flights to each country, as some airlines won't allow you to board an aircraft for a single-way flight.
Even though I have been traveling for a long time, I still book my accommodation in advance. It's a bit scary to arrive in a new place after a long day traveling and not knowing where my bed is. But some people find it exciting. You should at least have a place booked for your arrival. Providing a list of where you will be staying is a requirement for customs forms. If your phone goes out, keep a business card with your accommodation. This will help you find your way home if you get lost.