Pre-Travel Checklist for International Traveling

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Traveling can be one of the most awe-inspiring experiences to sample different cultures and learn about the world. However, traveling does come with some challenges. This is especially true for traveling internationally. 

While domestic traveling is relatively cut-and-dry, traveling abroad implies a whole slew of different details and requirements. Whether for work or pleasure, here are a few things to note for your pre-travel checklist when you travel internationally to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable trip.

Confirm Your Travel Documents are Current

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised how many people show up at the airport with an expired passport. Don’t make the same mistake, because it could ruin your trip. 

Take precautions and check your passport, ID, vaccination card, visas, etc. are all up to date. You may even need to get a copy of your birth certificate quickly, so be sure to check these first!

birth certificate with passport portrait

Also always have a photo of your passport saved on your phone and with a friend or relative, in case you lose yours.

Check Your Health Before Traveling

It’s always smart to check with travel authorities about health advisories or vaccination requirements before you travel. If vaccinations are required for your international travels, make sure you get those shots in the appropriate time frame before your trip. 

In addition, you may want to get a baseline on your general health by getting a physical or taking an at-home test kit. Wellness assessments such as those provided by Hologic Women’s Health services can determine if you are fit for travel, and alert you to any health concerns that might need to be addressed before your international trip. 

You definitely don’t want to be surprised with a medical issue while abroad – especially if it’s something you could have detected before you left.

Lastly, make sure all your prescriptions are filled before you fly so you have the medications you need while away from home.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Call your health insurance provider and confirm if you are covered in the event of an incident while traveling abroad. If not, consider getting additional coverage for emergency medical insurance or medical evacuation coverage. 

family travel insurance

You may also want to get travelers insurance. This is especially true if you paid a hefty down payment or booked your trip several months prior to flying out.  Travel insurance can help you recoup your money in case your trip experiences cancellations, interruptions, or unexpected issues.

Ensure Your Money is Ready When You Are

Before you go, call your credit card issuers and inform them you will be out of the country for travel. This will help you avoid your credit cards getting shut down due to suspicious charges while abroad.

Also, be sure to store credit card numbers and phone numbers to the credit card issuers in a safe place other than your wallet. This safeguards you so you can call the credit card company in case your cards are stolen while traveling. 

Keep in mind that many toll-free numbers for card companies might not work outside of the US, so find out how to best contact issuers in the event you need to speak to them about your cards.

Check What You’re Leaving Behind

As you prepare for your international trip, you might be completely focused on planning for the future. That’s understandable. However, don’t overlook what you’re leaving behind. 

Take a tour around your home before you leave to make sure all doors and windows are secured and locked. If you have a security system, make sure it’s functioning properly. Additionally, think about linking your security system with an app on your phone so you can check on your home while you are away. 

keys in house door

Depending upon what time of the year you’re traveling, ensure the thermostat is set at a reasonable temperature. You may also want to protect your home from weather events to avoid freezing pipes and have a plan in place in case the power goes out. 

At the very least, make sure you have someone stop by your residence and have them check in occasionally to make sure everything is working okay.

Check and Double-Check Your Checklist

These are just a few suggestions for your pre-travel checklist. Of course, your to-do list might look different, but what’s important is that you have a checklist in play. 

This list can be a life-saver in terms of keeping you on track and protecting you from unnecessary mistakes before and during traveling.  Ideally, you’re meant to enjoy your travel while abroad.

Double-checking your pre-travel checklist will help you do just that and travel with peace of mind.

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