The other day I wrote about how I find that having a standard travel routine helps make travel planning easier.
So I decided to write my list of the things I do for my trips – but of course depending on the trip you may not need to spend much time on these things.
1. Travel-related activities to do before you even know where you’re going:
These are best-practice things that you will want to have in place at all times.
- Ensure your passport is valid and renew it 6 months before the expiry date
- Save a photo of your passport to your email so that you can always retrieve it
- Always have valid multi-trip travel insurance
- Get a credit card that doesn’t charge extra for using abroad
2. Planning a trip:
When you decide where you’re going and start planning a trip, these are the key things you will want to do:
- Book flights (inform of special meal requirements)
- Book time off from work
- Research and plan itinerary
- Book accommodation
- Book any activities/excursions (inform of special meal requirements)
- Book any local transportation (buses, trains) or research what the options are
3. Get the paperwork sorted:
These things are boring but crucial to do.
- Check visa requirements (and apply for visa if needed)
- Check if any vaccinations/anti-malarials/other health-related preparation is advised
- Buy local currency if you can (or research how to buy it in country) and check if credit cards are widely accepted
3. Do your local research
- Use Google maps and download offline maps of the places you are visiting
- Add local spots you want to visit to Google Maps
- Check Happy Cow for vegetarian and vegan options
- Make reservations and check opening times to any restaurant, show or attraction you won’t want to miss
- Check if tap water is safe to drink
- Research the local tipping etiquette
- Check the local weather forecast
- Check the local dress code (not required for most trips!)
- Read about local security measures (not required for most trips!)
- Check if your mobile will work and what the charges may be
I use my ultimate packing list.
5. Final preparations
- Check in as early as possible and print or download the boarding pass
- Print any essential paperwork (vouchers you may need, instructions to give to a driver at the airport)
- Research transportation from the airport
- Sometimes hotels/tour operators/Airbnb hosts ask you to confirm your arrival in advance, so keep them informed
I always unpack as soon as I’m back home, this is how I know I’ve fully arrived!
What are your tips on preparing for a trip?